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.