When is it Time to Replace the Thermostat?

Signs of a Broken Thermostat 

Air conditioners are reliable, providing years of service summer after summer, helping families beat the heat. One of the most important components of an air conditioner or heating system is the thermostat, which is like the system's brain telling it when to turn on or off. 

Thermostats are generally reliable, but when they start to fail, they can negatively impact the entire system. Here are a few signs that the thermostat is starting to fail and likely needs to be replaced. Recognizing these signs early on can help homeowners save money and stay more comfortable without interruption.  

Higher Energy Bills Than Usual

billPaying higher energy bills than usual is a common sign of several issues that affect air conditioners, including a faulty thermostat. Almost always, the cause of high energy bills is the excessive running time of the air conditioner or when it works harder than necessary. Air conditioners require a tremendous amount of electricity to run, so bills inevitably go up when they run for longer than they need to. 

When a thermostat is malfunctioning, it also often causes wasted energy when the unit has to work harder, leading to higher utility bills. When the thermostat can’t read the temperature correctly, it usually will run for incorrect cycles. Replacing the thermostat can typically save more than enough money over time to offset the installation cost. It’s important to call a professional to check the thermostat as soon as higher energy bills are noticed to prevent additional damage. 

Incorrect Temperature Readings 

readingsAnother sign of a faulty thermostat is incorrect temperature readings. When it can’t read the correct temperature, the heating or air conditioning system will not reach the desired temperature.  It may cause homeowners to lower or raise the temperature on the thermostat even more than normal to get to their desired temperatures. It can also cause the system to run for longer than it needs to and waste energy to get to a temperature it may not be able to reach. 

When the thermostat is reading an incorrect temperature, people in the home will not be as comfortable, and it could lead to additional issues. To determine if the thermostat has a problem reading the correct temperature, homeowners can simply use a small thermometer. Hang the thermometer on the wall next to the thermostat. Make sure to put a paper towel or cloth between the thermometer and the wall so it isn’t influenced by the cold or heat coming from the wall. Both should read within a degree of each other. 

Short Cycling 

Thermostats can cost homeowners lots of extra money if they aren’t working right. Efficiency is a common cost that has already been discussed. Still, another cost associated with a faulty thermostat is damage to heating or air conditioning equipment in the rest of the system. 

Air conditioners are designed to run for relatively long, smooth cycles. This is because more damage can occur to an air conditioner as it starts a cycle that will occur throughout the process. Faulty thermostats can greatly contribute to this problem by causing short cycling. 

During a short cycle, the thermostat will signal the AC to run for a short period, then shut off. Shortly after, the thermostat will do it again, causing numerous unnecessary starts for the equipment. Ultimately, this can lead to damage and inevitable repair bills, so if homeowners notice their system short cycling, they should immediately reach out to a professional HVAC technician. 

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

PAC Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is a disabled veteran-owned business serving Staten Island, NY, and the surrounding areas since 1978. They offer maintenance plans, accurate solutions, and fast responses. Call them today for heating and air conditioning services on Staten Island, NY.

When Is It Time to Replace the Home's Air Ducts?

How To Know When Air Duct Replacement or Repair Is Necessary 

According to EnergyStar, air ducts can last for years with minimal maintenance. One doesn’t need to clean their air ducts regularly, and repairs aren’t needed unless there’s damage. However, air ducts don’t last forever. A professional may need to assess the situation and render repairs. 

Below, homeowners can read the basics of what they should know about their home’s air ducts. If they have additional questions, they should contact a local technician. 

Three Signs of Air Duct Damage

smellAir ducts are usually made of metal, inherently reducing the likelihood of bacteria, mildew, and mold growth. Yet, this doesn’t mean air ducts are resistant to damage. Signs that it’s time to consider air duct repair or replacement include: 

  • Foul smell or infestation. Air ducts are dark, well-ventilated tunnels hidden in the home’s floors, frames, and ceilings. This makes them the perfect place for rodents and other pests to call home, especially during the harsh summer and winter months. Pests are breeding grounds for germs and can compromise the home’s indoor air quality and cause a foul smell. After removing the pests, one may remove the air duct system to limit the harm to residents’ health. 
  • Rising energy bills. Holes, cracks, and other leaks in the home’s ductwork can cause air to escape the HVAC system. This can cause the air conditioner to work harder, increasing monthly energy bills. 
  • Strange noises. Over time, ductwork can become unsecured from its location, causing an unpleasant rattling sound. This isn’t just inconvenient; soon, it can become a larger problem. 

Age, a lack of efficiency, and other factors may warrant air duct replacement. Again, a professional can assess one’s HVAC system and explain more. 

The Main Benefits of Air Duct Replacement

save Having a clean and efficient new ductwork system yields countless benefits, including: 

  • Better indoor air quality. A well-functioning HVAC system can limit airborne particles and improve the home’s indoor air quality. It can also reduce humidity and other unpleasant conditions. 
  • Lower energy bills. Poorly-functioning ductwork allows air to escape the home. This increases how often homeowners may need to use the air conditioning system. When ductwork operates as expected, this lowers electricity consumption and energy bills. 

Other benefits of well-functioning air ducts include less noise, better circulation, and desirable temperatures. 

How Would a Professional Repair Failing Ductwork? 

Replacing the home’s ductwork isn’t always necessary. A professional may instead assess the home’s HVAC system and repair it. Some duct repairs include: 

  • Remove any mold growth or pests from the ductwork 
  • Replace certain ducts and not others
  • Patch any leaks or cracks that let air escape 
  • Place more insulation around the ductwork
  • Remove built-up moisture from the system 

A professional can do more than render necessary repairs. They can also explain what preventive measures could keep the air duct system functioning for years to come. 

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning 

PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning is a disabled veteran-owned business with over 40 years of experience serving Staten Island, NY, and the surrounding areas. They provide fast turnarounds, maintenance plans, and options to fit any budget. Call them today for heating and air conditioning services in Staten Island, NY.