Is it Your Thermostat or HVAC System Causing Heating or Cooling Problems?

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Is it Your Thermostat or HVAC System Causing Heating or Cooling Problems?

Ways to determine if you need a heating repair or thermostat change

If you’re having trouble at this time of year keeping your house warm (or cool in hot weather), you’re likely to think the problem lies with your central HVAC system. This is a possibility, of course, but the issue could lie with your thermostat.

Your trusty thermostat may need some attention if you’re experiencing the following heating issues.

Signs of thermostat and heating problems

  • Heat cycles on and off frequently. When short cycles occur, communication between the thermostat and furnace is compromised. Have your HVAC contractor check the thermostat wiring to make sure it’s not damaged and that connections are secure (so signals are sent properly). A faulty thermostat will cause failure to complete a full cooling or heating cycle.
  • High energy bills. If your utility bill is suddenly extraordinarily high, it could mean that the thermostat is not reading the ambient temperature correctly, causing your HVAC system to work too hard or not at all. More power is consumed the more frequently your system cycles on and off which will increase your energy bills. If your HVAC technician says the thermostat checks out fine, it’s time to check the HVAC system for defects—leaks, slipped belts, wiring problems, a bad capacitor, pilot/ignition not firing, worn-out parts, and other common problems.
  • The settings changed but the temperature hasn’t. If you’ve pushed the temperature setting up a degree or two, you should hear your HVAC system start up right away. If it doesn’t respond to the new setting (or conversely, if it keeps turning on even though you’ve turned down the temperature), chances are the thermostat needs to be replaced.
  • Settings are not being maintained. If the thermostat is changing temperature settings without warning, it’s probably not a ghost—it’s time to call the HVAC technician to check it out. Before you do, you can test this theory by lowering the settings to see if the heat still kicks on or if that new setting doesn’t hold.
  • Incorrect thermostat readings. The thermostat reads the current ambient room temperature but if it’s faulty, it will register incorrect temperature readings. Chances are, the thermostat’s sensor has a malfunction. If it’s a new unit, it could be a manufacturer defect but if it’s old, it should be replaced.

Other thermostat problems
1 – Your thermostat might need a cleaning, as dust and grime can build up inside the unit. This prevents it from properly reading your home’s temperature.

2 – If the thermostat is older and not level (due to the house settling or improper installation) it will not work properly. Older mercury bulb units require the unit to be level.

3 – Does your thermostat require batteries? If you’re getting a low power signal, give it some juice with new batteries.

4 – You may need to relocate the thermostat for the most accurate readings, away from direct sunlight or the exterior door. Otherwise, it will read the room as warmer or colder than it is, and provide the wrong information to the HVAC system about the zone. We can provide recommendations on the best way to zone your home for maximum comfort and efficiency.

Age is an issue for HVAC systems and thermostats
If your HVAC system is at least 15 years old or nearing 20, it won’t run as efficiently as a newer system. In addition, older air conditioning systems run on Freon (R-22) which makes them difficult to service since this product is now prohibited by the EPA. New systems run on R-410A, a more environmentally friendly gas.

If the thermostat is more than 10 years old, even if you haven’t had any problems with readings, settings, or wiring, you might want to change it for an updated programmable or smart unit.

Programmable thermostats have been around for years and create good energy efficiency in your home; the smart units that learn as they go are becoming more popular—and are even more efficient. They learn your heating and cooling preferences and create a schedule to match. These often have remote energy management features that are app-controlled on a mobile device or computer. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we like the Cô r™ C smart thermostat from Carrier.

If you’re having temperature control problems, contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric for a diagnostic troubleshooting call. We’ll make the right recommendation and repair to make sure your indoor air comfort is where you want it to be. Contact our office at info@bloomfieldcooling.com for an appointment.

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