How to Know If Your Thermostat is Reading Properly

If your home often feels too hold or cold even when the temperature setting on the thermostat says it should be comfortable, it may not be reading accurately. Thermostat malfunctions like this can interfere with HVAC system cycling, make it harder maintain a comfortable temperature and increase your energy bills. Here are some common causes and solutions to help you get the problem under control.

Dirty Components

If you can't remember the last time you cleaned the thermostat's internal components, dirt buildup may be interfering with its ability to read an accurate room temperature. To get rid of dust and debris, pop off the cover, gently dust the interior with a soft brush, then use electrical contact cleaner on a cotton swab to remove any corrosion from the metal contacts.

Faulty Sensor

If the sensor is out of whack, it won't read the correct temperature. You may be able to re-calibrate the thermostat to fix this, but if not, you'll need to replace it.

Off Level

Older, mercury thermostats may not work properly if they get bumped and knocked off level. Try placing a level just above the unit and making any needed adjustments to see if there's any improvement in accuracy. If this doesn't solve the problem, it may be time to upgrade.

Poor Location

The location of your thermostat plays a large role in how well it functions. To accurately monitor the temperature in your home, it needs to be placed in a central location that's out of direct sunlight, away from drafts, HVAC air vents and heat sources.

Old Age

Just like other types of equipment, a thermostat can show its age by malfunctioning. Replacing it gives you an opportunity to upgrade to a programmable or Wi-Fi model with the latest convenient features designed to optimize HVAC efficiency and help you save energy.