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Signs You Need a New Thermostat

by VitalStorm Content on January 24, 2020

new thermostat

A thermostat is an essential tool for keeping your household both healthy and comfortable – especially during another Seattle winter. It also helps to keep your electric bill from skyrocketing during the more extreme weather months (like right now). When the temperatures are their most unpleasant, you want to make sure that your HVAC system is performing as efficiently as possible. If your thermostat is not communicating properly with your furnace, both your household and your electrical bill will suffer.

The certified technicians at Blue Flame are experts at thermostat technology – both electronic  and manual (mechanical). If your home has been experiencing problems with heating this season, it might be an issue with your thermostat. Before you begin to panic about needing an expensive new HVAC system, check out these common signs that your “comfort culprit” might be your thermostat.

Incorrect Temperature Readings

  • Does your thermostat seem to be registering incorrect temperature readings? During the thick of winter, it’s easier to gage a temperature discrepancy. If your thermostat is set at 68 degrees, yet it feels like the North Pole, it’s a good sign that your model is faulty.
  • Does your thermostat temperature fluctuate rapidly? If you are getting disparate readings, this is also a sign that your thermostat sensor is having problems.
  • If your thermostat is relatively new, the temperature might be affected by the placement. Is your thermostat in the glare of direct sunlight? Too close to a heat source (a warm appliance or air vent)? Is it not in a central location? These are all considerations that a professional technician will take into account. If it is in an area that compromises its reading of the true temperature – it might simply need to be relocated.
  • You can test the accuracy of your thermostat’s reading by purchasing a small portable indoor thermometer. Modern digital thermometers can offer accurate temperature and humidity readings.

Heater Improperly Cycling On/Off

  • If your heating unit is not responding to the prompts of your thermostat – and cycling on and off without reaching the set temperature, it might need to be replaced.
  • A thermostat that is faulty will sometimes have a problem sustaining the set temperature. Does your thermostat thermometer lower once it has hit the requested temperature? While this is more easily tracked in digital models, you can test the accuracy of your mechanical thermostat with your indoor thermometer. 
  • If your thermostat is randomly turning your heater on or off, then it may just be out of adjustment – or need a new battery. You can access the battery in most electronic thermostats by gently pulling off the front casing. If you find that adjusting the casing or changing the battery doesn’t help, then the thermostat itself is most likely the problem.
  • Erratic cycling is also a symptom of poor placement (as mentioned above). Again, if your thermostat is relatively new, make sure that it is positioned in a central location – free from a heat source.

High Heating Bill

  • Is your heating bill excessive – even for winter? Compare your bill from the same moth(s) last year. If it is noticeably higher – it could mean there are problems with your HVAC efficiency.
  • If your thermostat is having difficulty reading the proper temperature, it can cause your heating system to work overtime. Cycling several times within a short window can wreak havoc on your electrical bill – and compromise household comfort.

Outdated Thermostat

  • How long have you owned your current thermostat? As with any electronic gadget, even a high tech thermostat will eventually become obsolete. Many thermostat designs contain a date code on the back of the detachable face plate.
  • Modern thermostats generally have a lifespan of about 10 years, but might need to be replaced sooner due to constant innovations in technology. Now you can program/control your HVAC from your phone with certain brands. Smart thermostats that are Wi-Fi enabled, can even anticipate weather and temperature changes.
  • If you are still using a manual (standard mechanical) model, you should consider replacing it. Even newer manual thermostats (made within the last ten years) are vastly inferior to the latest digital designs. However, if you are intimidated by electronic systems, or just don’t want to spend a lot on a new model, there are some highly-rated mechanical thermostats that are solid performers. Just make sure that you do some research before investing in a simple mechanical design.
  • By replacing your outdated thermostat, you’ll not only save money on electricity but you will enjoy more programming options. New thermostats can be programmed for maximum control and comfort.

New Climate Control System

  • It would seem to be an obvious tip that when you replace your HVAC system you should replace the thermostat as well. With some homeowners, this is not always the case. Some choose to keep their current model for a variety of reasons. An older thermostat might not be able to communicate with a new HVAC system as accurately as it should.
  • If you have recently purchased a new climate control system, but chose to keep your old thermostat, there might be problems with both efficiency and comfort.
  • Problems with the old thermostat might not have been noticeable early on as a new HVAC unit should be markedly different than the previous one. The HVAC technician who installed the new system should be consulted first before deciding on a plan of action. 

Ensure Health and Comfort in Your Seattle Home this Winter!

Keep your household both healthy and comfortable this winter by ensuring your thermostat is working properly. If you are experiencing any of the problems mentioned above, consider replacing your current thermostat. New high tech models are available in a range of price points and can make a huge difference in HVAC efficiency. The professionals at Blue Flame are certified to install all types of thermostats – and can help you choose an energy-saving model for maximum control. For help from our expert team, fill out a service request form on our site or call us today at (206) 388-5667!