A majority of American homes have an HVAC system. It keeps the house cool and comfortable during the hot summer months and warm and cozy during the cold winter months. In fact, most of us are so dependent on this modern marvel that life without it is simply unthinkable. Letting the HVAC system know what to do and when to do it is a unit called the thermostat. It is the sole communication device which helps the homeowners communicate with their heating and cooling system.
When it comes to the thermostat, most people don’t know when to replace it. This generally happens because we rarely ever pay any attention to it. If something does not seem fine temperature-wise or the working of the heating and cooling system, we assume the problem could be the HVAC system. Rarely do we ever think that something might not be right with the thermostat. For this reason, today, we decided to dedicate a complete post towards learning the signs that indicate you need a new thermostat.
Telltale Signs You Need A New Thermostat
1. Old Thermostat -Most of us replace the old HVAC system but continue using the old thermostat with the new one. The typical life of a thermostat is 10 years, so ideally, you should change it with the HVAC system. Moreover, a 10-year-old or close thermostat is already outdated as the technology has seen tremendous advancements in the past decade. The new thermostats are more energy-efficient and require minimal human intervention. If your thermostat is almost a decade or more old, it’s time to replace it.
2. HVAC Turns On And Off Repeatedly -The thermostat tells the HVAC system when to turn on and when off. If your HVAC system is turning on and off repeatedly, a likely cause is that its communication with the thermostat is compromised. Usually, it happens if the thermostat wires have frayed or gotten damaged. In some cases, the frayed and damaged wires can be repaired, but if your thermostat is old and your HVAC technician advises against it, you should replace the thermostat.
3. Incorrect Thermostat Readings – Your ideal indoor temperature is the one at which you feel comfortable indoors. It is neither too hot nor too cold, and this is the same setting you feed the thermostat. However, if you notice the indoor temperature is not in sync with the thermostat reading, it could either be a calibration issue or a problem with the thermostat sensors. Either way, you will have to depend on the expertise of the HVAC technician. A calibration glitch can be corrected by recalibrating the thermostat, but if it’s a problem with the sensors, you will do better by replacing the faulty thermostat.
4. Very High Energy Bills – There could be two problems here. One, the thermostat is faulty and sends wrong signals to the HVAC system, making it work longer and harder. Two, you don’t have an energy-efficient thermostat. In the first scenario, the HVAC technician might be able to sort out the fault. If not, replacing the thermostat is the only viable option. In the second case, your only option is to buy an energy-efficient thermostat. There’s nothing else you can do.
5. Frequent Temperature Fluctuations – In an ideal case, your home’s indoor temperature should be more or less constant. If it is not, there’s a problem somewhere. The issue could very well be with the thermostat itself. It is quite possible the thermostat is unable to instruct the HVAC system to maintain a constant temperature. Or probably the thermostat is unable to respond to the changes you have made to the settings. Both these cases spell doom for the thermostat. If your HVAC technician says it’s time to buy a new one, you should.
What To Do If You suspect Thermostat Problems
First things first, sometimes it’s mere oversight on our behalf that causes the thermostat problems. Hence, if you suspect your thermostat is malfunctioning, check its battery. Most likely, the battery has run out of juice and requires replacement. Now that this minor issue is taken care of and yet the thermostat does not seem to be responding or behaving as it should; call your local HVAC technician.
Should I Blindly Trust The HVAC Technician’s Advice?
If you have chosen your HVAC technician well, this question should not arise at all. Professional technicians take great pride in what they do. Yes, they are more expensive than the quacks charging a low fee, but they are only asking what is fair and dictated by the industry standards.
The advice of a professional technician should never be taken lightly. They speak from hard-gained knowledge and years of experience. Since their reputation is also at stake when they answer your queries or do any HVAC work, you can rest assured they will never lead you astray. If you still desire, you can always ask for a second opinion, and nobody will think any less of you.
Is Replacing The Thermostat Only Option When It Malfunctions?
Most thermostat problems can be rectified by the technician, but some can’t. Also, even if the problem can be corrected, the technician may still advise you to replace the thermostat. It is because they deem your thermostat too outdated or know from experience that the repair will not hold or another one is in the making. To cut the future cost of repairs, they may ask you to replace the old thermostat.
A full-functional and energy-efficient thermostat is vital to ensure the HVAC system works smoothly. Nonetheless, the thermostat, too, may develop issues. If it does, don’t worry. Ask your HVAC technician to look at it and figure out the problem. Pay heed to their advice, and don’t assume they are trying to run up your bill. Asking for a second opinion is your right, and you can exercise that any time. Buying a new smart thermostat may seem an uncalled-for expense, but do remember the savings it will deliver will make up for what you spend. Above all, it is your comfort and your money. You should do what feels the best to you.