How Do I Know If My Thermostat is Working Properly?

Feb 01, 2021

Do you sense that your HVAC system and your thermostat are not in sync? Perhaps you feel hot or cold, but your thermostat says that your home is a comfortable 72℉. Before you begin worrying that you may have a fever, you might first want to explore whether or not your thermostat is working properly. So how do you know when your thermostat is reading your temperature correctly? Here is a closer look at potential causes of misreadings and how to know when your thermostat is off.

You Might Need a Thermostat Calibration

If you think that your thermostat may be off, there is a fair chance that you are right. Over time, your thermostat will begin misreading your home’s temperature. This issue has a few culprits, but it is most commonly because dust accumulates over the sensors. Your thermostat should be checked, cleaned, and calibrated annually. Thankfully, this service is often included in your seasonal HVAC maintenance visit.

Thermostats, Heat Pumps, and Cold Air

When your airflow feels cold and your thermostat says your home is nice and warm, this could be a common heat pump confusion. As we explored in a recent blog (Why Is My Heater Blowing Cold Air?), your heating system can often feel cold—even when it is blowing warm, comfortable air. This is because your heat pump produces 80℉-95℉ airflow, which is less than the average internal body temperature (97℉ - 99℉). Additionally, the steady airflow creates a windchill effect, making it feel even colder. In these cases, your thermostat will read your home temperature properly, despite feeling off.

Check Your Thermostat with a Home Thermometer

If you find that you don’t trust your thermostat readings, it may be worth investing in a low-priced home thermometer. These can be found online or at most major retailers, often costing as little as $5-$10. These home thermometers can often also help you monitor your humidity levels. Alternatively, you may also check to see if your digital forehead thermometer has a setting that allows it to read air or room temperatures.

While these may not be the most reliable source of monitoring your home’s temperature, they can serve as a reference point when your thermostat feels off. It may help give you peace of mind or detect an issue with your system.

Are You Due for a Thermostat Upgrade?

With the right maintenance, thermostats have an incredible lifespan—some lasting up to 25 years. However, all technology has its limits. If your thermostat seems off, you may be due for an upgrade. While this might seem like a problem, upgrading your thermostat presents an opportunity for you to add new convenience features to your home. New programmable thermostats, for example, let you adjust your home’s temperature from your smartphone or through a digital assistant (like Alexa and the Google Home Hub). You can also save money as you increase your energy efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, programming your thermostat to adjust the temperature by 7°-10°F during the day can help you save 10% on your annual heating and cooling costs.

Thermostat Screen Issues

Some thermostat issues are subtle temperature misreadings, while others are overt system problems. The most common of these issues is an inconsistent or blank thermostat screen. In these cases, you might be experiencing an electrical issue, a thermostat problem, or another issue. Here is a comprehensive look at thermostat blank screen causes and solutions.

Expert Thermostat Insight

Your home’s HVAC system is designed to help you feel comfortable. If it is not doing that job well, you might need expert insight or service. You can schedule a seasonal maintenance visit or request a service appointment to get to the bottom of your thermostat issues.

Newcomb and Company Thermostat Experts

If you are looking for thermostat repair, maintenance, replacement, or support, the local experts at Newcomb and Company are here to help you. We proudly serve homes and businesses in Raleigh, Wilmington, and surrounding cities, including Cary, Clayton, Knightdale, Durham, Castle Hayne, Leland, and beyond. Give our local heating and cooling professionals a call today to get started!

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