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A Few Ways to Tell if Your Home's Thermostat is Working

Published by Parisa Ostovari

5 Ways to Tell if Your Home's Thermostat is Malfunctioning

Your home’s thermostat is the single most important part of living comfortably. After all, you don’t want to constantly be too warm or too cold. Without a working thermostat, you may find yourself reaching for a jacket just a bit too often, or sweating when all you want to do is watch television.

With that in mind, it’s important to know the signs of a potentially malfunctioning thermostat. Just because it feels a bit too warm doesn’t mean it is, you may just be hot that day.

The following five signs can mean that your thermostat is on the fritz and may require professional thermostat repair in order to go back to working order.

Las Vegas, NV thermostat-repair-2

1) The furnace cycles too frequently.

It’s easy to ignore the sound of the air conditioning unit switching on and off, after all, it’s a common sound in the home. However, if it seems to be happening far too frequently, that can be a sign that the thermostat has a problem. Not only does this impact your level of comfort, but it can also send the power bill through the roof.

It’s important to pay attention and inspect the thermostat if you begin to notice an unusual amount of activity. The first thing you should do is check the fan setting, if it’s set to ‘auto,’ this means the unit should only activate in an attempt to maintain a consistent temperature within the Las Vegas home. However, clogs within the furnace or an open window somewhere within the home can cause the unit to use more power than necessary.

On the other hand, if nothing else in the home is amiss and the unit still cycles frequently, it could signal a problem with the thermostat itself.

2) Flickering Display

The majority of thermostats are electronic. No doubt you’re familiar with the dim blue glow of the thermostat’s display as you make your way to the kitchen for a glass of water. However, if you notice a flicker from the display, that can signal a problem. Many thermostats are powered by a hardwired connection into the home’s power supply. In this case, a flicker can indicate a short or a loose wire, which may impact the thermostat’s ability to match the temperature and perform properly.

However, if you have a programmable thermostat that requires an external power source, such as batteries, then a flickering may mean the batteries are running out of juice. The fix may be as simple as replacing the batteries, but if that fails, then you should seek out professional assistance. It’s important that you know what to expect from a properly functioning thermostat so that you can identify problems when they arise.

3) The thermostat doesn’t activate.

When you adjust the temperature in your home, you should hear a click within a few seconds of making the change. That click is the sound of the HVAC unit powering up to adjust the internal temperature. However, if this doesn’t happen, then it can mean the thermostat isn’t feeding the right information to the system. There are a number of reasons this may happen.

The first is that there may be a short in the unit as mentioned above. The second is that the temperature device may be malfunctioning, if the thermostat cannot detect the internal temperature of a home, then it won’t be able to send the signal to the HVAC unit to adjust. Mechanical thermostats can run into trouble if they become too dusty, so a can of compressed air and a wet rag can solve a number of potential problems. A digital thermostat, on the other hand, requires a bit more finesse and a knowledgeable touch.

Las Vegas, NV thermostat-repair4) Internal Damage

Depending on the age of your thermostat, it may be damaged internally.

Older Las Vegas homes often have mechanical thermostats that may contain plastic parts, particularly those that use mercury to determine the home’s temperature. Carefully remove the cover and look inside the thermostat, if there is obvious damage, then it may be time to replace the unit.

Even if you do not see any damage, mechanical thermostats are not as effective as a programmable thermostat by switching yours for a newer model, you may be able to improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit and cut down on heating and cooling costs within your home.

Look for loose wires or burn damage within digital thermostats. If a wire has shorted out, it can affect the functionality of the unit. These are more difficult to repair and should not be attempted on your own, instead, call your local thermostat repair company to get the job done correctly.

5) Flip the breakers off, then back on.

Thermostats are computers, and like many problems can be tested simply by turning them off and back on. However, if you power cycle the thermostat and proper functionality does not return, it can indicate a serious problem within the unit. After checking for other signs of damage, try adjusting the temperature once more. If no change in the temperature of your home can be detected, then it’s a sign that your thermostat has gone bad and should be replaced.

Don’t sit around and be uncomfortable. If your Las Vegas, NV home's thermostat isn’t working properly, get it replaced by calling Anytime Plumbing, Inc at (702) 362-9300. 

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