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How a Bad Thermostat Can Give You a Hard Time in Winter

setting-thermostatWinter can be a cozy time in your home if you have a powerful and reliable heating system at work. You may not have realized, however, that the heater is part of a larger HVAC system that cares for household comfort. The thermostat is an integral part of that system—and if it’s not working right, or it’s outdated, it can mean a drop in comfort, a rise in bills, and even a heating system that won’t turn on at all!

Thermostat problems can be tricky to diagnose, since often they seem like something is wrong with the actual furnace, boiler, or heat pump, or perhaps trouble with the ductwork. This is why we recommend you contact our team of professionals to look into the problems you’re experiencing. If the thermostat is the problem, we can fix or replace it so everything is back to normal once more.

The Trouble with a Temperamental or Tortured Thermostat

What can go wrong with the thermostat? Quite a few things! Let’s take a look at how a thermostat gone rogue can make turn a winter wonderland into a winter wasteland.

  • Uneven heating: If a thermostat is miscalibrated so it reads incorrect temperatures in the house, it will cause the heating system and blower fan to turn on and off at the wrong times. This can mean parts of the house becoming stuffy while others won’t receive adequate heat. This might also occur because the thermostat is in direct sunlight or next to a draft and is picking up “ghost” readings.
  • Higher energy bills: Because a thermostat is the control panel for the heating system, the place where you interact with the heater, it has an effect on energy bills. If you attempt to conserve energy by setting the thermostat at 68°F during the day (our recommended temperature), but the thermostat activates the heater at the wrong time, it can mean a rise in energy bills without receiving extra comfort.
  • Short-cycling malfunctions with the heater: Here’s where a bad thermostat can end up creating damage to the heater itself. If the thermostat causes the heating system to turn on and off rapidly, never completing a heating cycle, it’s called short-cycling. This is terrible for the heater, since it puts immense extra strain on it. The heater will suffer more repair issues and may break down years early.
  • No heat, period: If the thermostat loses its connection to the heating system, you won’t be able to turn the heat on at all. That’s a problem! There’s also a reverse of this issue, which is when you can’t turn the heater off, and that’s just about as bad a problem.

Please do not attempt to solve a thermostat issue by purchasing a new thermostat online and installing it yourself. The technology of the new thermostat may not work with the rest of the HVAC system and can end up damaging it. Always look to licensed HVAC experts for whatever work your heating system may need. They’ll have the job done right.

For all your Linden, NJ heating needs, whether a thermostat problem or a completely busted furnace, look to our experienced professionals.

Air Creations, Inc. serves Central and Northern New Jersey. “We Do It Right” since 1987!

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