1. Signs of a Bad Thermostat: Tips for Testing, Repairing and Replacing
  • Repair or Replace? Learn the Signs of a Bad Thermostat and How to Respond

    May 26, 2019

    Insider tips to implement when your thermostat isn’t working.

    • If your HVAC system isn’t producing air or heat, the first thing you should do is check your thermostat. From how to test your thermostat to what kind of thermostat is right for you, read on for some answers to common thermostat questions.

      How to test a home thermostat

      Is the temperature in your home suddenly too hot or too cold? Before you place a call to repair your HVAC unit, make sure the fix isn’t an easy tweak to your thermostat. Some quick tests:
       

      • Is your thermostat set correctly to heat or cool mode? A quick flip of a switch may be all that’s needed.
      • Make sure your thermostat is in a good location. A thermostat in direct sunlight or near drafty windows and doors can affect its performance and efficiency.*
      • If your thermostat runs on batteries, it might be time to change them.**
      • If you have a programmable thermostat, check the settings to make sure the system turns on and off at the programmed temperatures.**

      Still having issues? The problem could be in the wiring, which would require some handiwork to check for loose, cut or corroded wires on the base of your thermostat. If you don’t know how to do this, call a professional for help.

      Thermostat buying guide

      When it’s time to buy a new thermostat, there are some options for you to consider.

      Manual thermostat:

      This one sounds like the name. You control the temperature by setting it manually. You may want to use this type of thermostat if you’re home often and like a fixed temperature.

      Programmable thermostat:

      According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you turn your thermostat down 7° to 10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting, you can save up to 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs.* With a programmable thermostat, you can let the system know what temperature you want your home at during different times a day. By setting the temperature cooler while you sleep, for example, you could save a good chunk of money on your monthly bill.

      Smart thermostat:

      These thermostats learn your lifestyle as you use them, automatically adjusting to your schedule. You can connect these to your home Wi-Fi network and operate them from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

      Sources:

      *U.S. Department of Energy

      **Energy Star (PDF, 1.38 MB)