Let′s talk about Thermostats.
Thermostats are the devices mounted to the wall to control your Heating/Ventilation/ and Air Conditioning systems or (HVAC). Thermostats are usually controlled manually or with newer digital systems and can be set up to activate systems automatically based on your needs by timers or room temperature settings. Programming a digital thermostat can be frustrating but usually you will find the instructions on the inside of the panel door.
Thermostats contain 2 meters. One for the actual temperature in the room and one for the temperature you desire or “Set” temperature.
Thermostat locations are critical and are usually located near the return air duct. False or ghost readings can cause unnecessary cycling if the thermostat is in the wrong location where a secondary heat or cold source is located like a fireplace, bright lights, electrical appliances or even windows. These conditions make the thermostat think it′s warmer or colder than the inside temperature is.
Even outside walls in the best insulated homes are susceptible to fluctuating temperatures due to outside weather conditions and are not good locations for a thermostat.
Common problems and solutions:
- Loose wiring or t-stat not properly mounted to the wall can cause a number of problems. Loose t-stats with mercury switches are very unpredictable but are easy fixes. Properly secure the t-stat to the wall.
- T-stats may not respond to room temperature changes. There is a hole behind the t-stat where air can pass over the sensor creating wrong readings at the thermostat. I have seen this in older homes where wall cavities are not properly sealed.
Fix: Seal the hole.
- The temperature on the thermostat is inaccurate. Some systems can be calibrated and instructions vary base on the manufacturer. You will need a second thermometer and tape it to the wall next to the thermostat. Wait 15 minutes and compare
temperatures. Call your service technician for repairs.
- Clean thermostat by light dusting or canned air to blow off the dust. I don′t recommend putting your fingers in it, or using household cleaners.
- Change the batteries on schedule if present.
- Many believe that furnaces work harder than normal to warm an area back up to a comfortable temperature which will counteract energy savings gained from turning the thermostat down. This is a misconception that has been disproved by years of
research. So… turn it down.
- According to the U.S. Dept of Energy, consumers can save 10% on their utility bills by setting the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours or more. Programmable t-stats are great for this application.
- Be careful during the winter so as not to create more problems by allowing pipes to freeze.
- Also, setting thermostats at higher temperatures during the summer will cause the humidity to build up in the home, and this can cause more opportunities for mold issues.
For more information on thermostats this situation visit: www.nachi.org/articles