Is Your Thermostat Compromising Your Home Heating?

When most people think of heating issues, they automatically assume the problem is with the furnace itself. While this is common, it isn't the only cause of heating problems. Sometimes, the issue is with the actual thermostat -- the device on the wall you use to control the heat settings on your furnace. Fortunately, thermostat issues are usually an inexpensive and quick fix. Read on to learn more about what can go wrong with your thermostat.

Out of level

The thermostat must be perfectly level to function properly. Even a slight issue can result in a misreading, which means your home will not heat to the temperature it is set to. When there are issues with the level, your heat will still come on, but it will either turn off before your home reaches the desired temperature or will continue to run until the home is several degrees above the desired temperature. Leveling issues most commonly occur if something has hit the thermostat or if there has been any recent ground movement. You can quickly check the level by placing a fluid-filled or digital level on top of the thermostat. If it is out of whack, remove the cover and adjust the screws that fasten it to the wall until you bring it back to level.

Electrical failure 

There are several causes for electrical failure. It could be a problem in the thermostat itself, in the wiring of your home, or within the fuse box. Unless you have a digital thermostat, it may not be obvious that the thermostat is getting no power. Instead, you just realize that the furnace isn't popping on. You can use a multimeter to check for electrical flow. If there is no power in the thermostat but power is still coming from the wall wires, then you need a new thermostat. If the wiring is dead, first check the fuse box and flip the fuse if necessary. If you still can't get power, it's time to call in an electrician or HVAC technician.

Outside influences

Heat or cold from outside of the thermostat can also affect the reading, which means your furnace isn't popping on when you need it to. A common issue is that a heat producing appliance is placed too near the thermostat, such as a computer tower or an incandescent light bulb. Move this appliance, and the problem is solved. Another issue is if the thermostat has been placed on a wall that backs to the exterior of the home instead of being placed on an interior wall. Exterior walls tend to feel colder than interior walls, which can affect the thermostat readings. 

For more help with your heating system repair, contact an HVAC service in your area.