How to Fix a Thermostat?
By Steven De Nazareth
Updated: May 21st, 2019
Do you feel cold in the winter at home? Or how about those scorching summers that could keep you sweating all day? You would probably take your thermostat for granted even though it’s something that keeps the family together.
Whether you are sharing a meal or watching your favorite NFL player land that perfect touch down. Your thermostat can be regarded as among one of the most useful systems in your home.
Despite this, you need to know how important your thermostat is for your home and what it takes to ensure that your home stays warm and cozy. This can be done by ensuring that you get the most of your energy savings. You should learn how to go about the thermostat settings and how to ensure that your thermostat works well throughout the year.
Also, we’ll give you the rundown of how to repair your thermostat and all the relevant tips required to ensure that it is repaired, that the troubleshooting is done perfectly and whether you should make the switch to a Wi-Fi thermostat.
Importance of Your Thermostat
In America, 9% of the total energy consumption is used by your thermostat. This is a substantial portion of both fuel and electrical energy based on those provided to the U.S consumer. This can be controlled manually based on ventilation, settings and how it interacts with the home area network. These issues warrant a review of the current state of thermostats and this involves evaluating their effectiveness.
In this manner, you can choose your heating settings based on how it’s used. Thermostats undergo a dramatic increase in its capabilities and features which include its control of ventilation which is a response to the electricity price signals and its interaction with the home area networks.
This is the reason why you should always determine the kind of thermostat that you should opt for based on its power, effectiveness, comfort and energy savings. You need to identify areas that further provide improvement and research.
Set your thermostat in such a manner, that it either helps you save energy or keeps you and your family comfortable based on the number of rooms that it covers. There are few standards and several features that give you the best programming feature and this covers complications that are associated with the use of thermostats. Finally, this means that you need to review and research the effectiveness of modern thermostats as against repairing your thermostats, before going ahead with the replacement.
Tips To Maintain Your Thermostat
Well for one, your thermostat ensures that your home stabilizes at one temperature in every room. Also, you should fiddle with the settings in any way that will hamper the working of your thermostat.
Based on the meter reading, you would probably try and figure out what suits you best. Here are the reasons why your thermostat does not control temperature:
Switch Off Your Heating Systems
Ensure that you turn off your heating system when not in use to ensure that it there is an economical use of these systems. Similarly, you need to determine if there are several things that need to be sorted with your heater before you reprogram your thermostat.
Gently Open the Thermostat Cover
Read the manufacturer’s instructions and only then you should gently dislodge the thermostat cover.
Clean with a Vacuum or Soft Brush
Once you have carefully removed your thermostat, you should clean it with a soft brush and vacuum it. Make sure that you clean the two parallel metal strips and wipe them off with a soft cloth.
Check for Corrosion
Remove corrosion using an electronic contact cleaner. If it’s an outdated thermostat, you should consider replacing it with a newer model.
Choose a Mechanical Thermostat
When choosing a thermostat, you should use a torpedo level that then installs a thermostat that is not electronic or programmable.
Mount it at a minimum of 5 feet above the floor
You should ensure that the thermostat is mounted at a certain level so that it’s within reach. This means that it should not be placed behind a door, closet or window. If it is mounted on any of the spots, then you should consider relocating it. This ensures that it could involve rerouting wires. You need to hire an electrical contractor or heating technician to ensure that this work is complete in an apt manner.
What if Nothing Works?
Well, you should know that if none of these steps work, then you should replace your thermostat with a programmable one with the help of a technician.
How to Fix Temperature Variations?
Are you experiencing extreme cold and warm temperatures? This could be due to your gas or oil burning furnaces switching on and off. All you have to do is adjust the thermostat. Here’s how you can troubleshoot your thermostat:
Open the Thermostat Cover
If you find that these mechanical thermostats are filled with mercury then you should ensure that you use the torpedo level. This will ensure that the thermostat is at the right level and the temperatures are measured correctly.
Regulate the Heat Anticipator
In most cases, thermostats have a small lever that works along with a calibrated scale. This scale provides you with the right calibration mark that ensures that you can choose between a longer setting, in case the furnace keeps going on and off.
Also, this is one of the major reasons when the temperature increases too high or too low between intervals when the furnace switches on and off and moves.
Once the thermostat starts stabilizing, you need to ensure it gets fixed in the new setting. After which, the heat should not drop below this level as the thermostat is set to stabilize.
Is it Still Not Warm Enough?
Quite simply you need to ensure that this adjustment is repeated as many times as possible till the problem is finally rectified.
In case, these adjustments remain unresolved then it’s time to replace your thermostat with a new one. All you need to do is ensure that you have purchased the right one and replace it.
Take a look at how simple it is to replace a thermostat:
DIY Thermostat Installation
You might want to think twice before you go-ahead and install your residential thermostat on your own. Well, this could be possible if you’re good with your hands. But, you should ensure that your contractor installs your thermostat to be on the safer side. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1 – Remove the Old Thermostat
You need to make sure that the power supply to the furnace is disconnected first. Once this is done, you need to remove the thermostat’s cover and then unscrew the screws and keep them aside in a safe place.
Step 2 – Slowly Disconnect Wires from the Appliance
Take time and carefully remove the wires from the thermostat and once complete, bend them to ensure that this does not sink the base. All you have to do is ensure that there is a small label at the end of every wire. Make a note of each wire for future reference.
Step 3 – Dislodge the Base
You need to remove the thermostat from the wall and then you need to ensure that the wires are kept in place by pen, paper clip and other objects that are used to weigh them down. Just remember, ensure that this does not slip back into the hole in the wall.
Step 4 – Take off a Half Inch Strip of the Casing
You need to ensure that each of these wires is not stripped. Also, this can be done by rubbing off the exposed copper with a material that is made for cleaning metal like emery cloth and steel-wool sponge.
Step 5 – Remove the Base from the Cover
Remove things like pens or other objects that have been used as a weight for the wires. Also, loop them through the base of th new thermostat so that it appears under the terminal block. Also, you need to reattach the weighted object to keep the wires in place.
Step 6 – Add the New Thermostat Base
Start by first placing a few paper towels into the hole in the wall which is behind the thermostat. After you get this done, you need to ensure that you use a pencil, mark the areas and check on whether it’s the right areas where you set these screws.
Step 7 – Connect the Wires
Don’t forget to check the user manual when you make the final installation. Follow the instructions and ensure that you know how to separate the wires from one another. In this manner, you need to ensure that this device provides people with a backup power supply and this gets attached to the cover.
Step 8 – You’re Set!
Switch it on and your thermostat is all set. Just turn the power back on and your work is done. Here’s a clip from Lowe’s Appliance Extended Warranty to help further explain the process.
Wiring Behind Your Thermostat
The latest thermostats require C wire to ensure that it has enough juice to power the 24 VAC power directly to the thermostat. While this is the case, you need to ensure that the power flows from the R (red) constantly. This will ensure that the circuit is complete and modern Wi-Fi thermostats can allow it to have a steady supply of power for its demanding needs. Just ensure that if you have heating and an AC then you need an 18/5, while if it’s only heating then 18/3 is sufficient. This will ensure that you can pave the way for future-proofing.
Determining the Right Thermostat Wires
After you are done detaching the thermostat from the wall, you need to look at the wires connected to it. This is a wire connected to the terminal labeled ‘C’ and this will ensure that all smart thermostats connect well.
Here’s a quick understanding of the common wire colors:
- Blue or Black – C – Common wire, may be unused by your existing thermostat. Enables continuous power flow from the Red wire.
- Red – Rc – 24VAC (dedicated to cooling call)
- Red – Rc – 24VAC (dedicated to heat call)
- Red – R – 24VAC power from the furnace’s transformer
- White – W – Heat
- Yellow – Y – Air conditioner
- Green – G – Fan
Connect this with modern thermostats to ensure that it requires a proper power source. This will ensure that this would not change any time soon. Also, you can opt to re-purpose fan wires as power wires. With the right technician, they would get these issues rectified and a new thermostat with brand new wiring will work wonders to you and your family.
How to Repair a Home Thermostat?
Inherent problems that prop up with your home thermostat how these solutions can help set things right. Here the best problem and solution based scenarios:
Do you get migraines or headaches at home?
All you have to do is ensure that you set your thermostat to 68 degrees and if needed, replace the thermostat to 68 degrees. The main things that you need to do is repair your current one by setting it right.
Also, you need to have a basic understanding of your thermostat, the methods of use of a wall-mounted thermostat and how it is powered by a 120-volt circuit which is anywhere between 12 to 24 volts. This can be quite difficult if the thermostat is quite thin.
Not Receiving Enough Heat?
While there are several reasons as to why this could be the problem. You need to determine that the tripped breaker does not have a loose connection while a dirty thermostat or bad battery does not prove faulty for your digital thermostat.
You need to first wipe it off and ensure that it does not trip. Once you check the battery, then you need to remove the thermostat cover and check all the wiring. Review if all the proper terminals are connected and if there are no wires that are either loose or broken off.
After which, use a compressed air cleaner for the thermostat and with the help of a soft brush, you can remove all the rust and dirt. Finally, you need to set it to its lowest setting and then once done you need to clean the coil again, if necessary. This should ensure that you get the desired temperature.
Still Not Warm Enough?
If you feel that you haven’t reached the desired programmed temperature then you need to look at thermostats that are leveled properly. This is why we have explained earlier that the torpedo level would do wonders!
Are you experiencing furnace short-cycles? Usually, the reason behind this is a loose connection. Or when there is a dirty thermostat or if there are cleaning techniques that would clear up the problem.
In a way, this is the perfect method to ensure that it reduces your heating and cooling bills by programming your thermostat.
Switching over to a Wi-Fi Thermostat
The question still remains. Would you upgrade to a Smart Thermostat? The difference is that it works on gadgets based on apps which are based on custom-installed systems. Since a lot of homes have taken to this technological marvel, it’s a matter of moving up and switching over from an outdated, non-programmable thermostat.
How Do You Choose the Right Device?
Well, if you have a larger-than-average home then you need to review if this truly reduces your air-conditioning costs. Similarly, these time zones are determined when it comes to learning based thermostats. Nest and Lyric are among the top thermostats that have made themselves a part of several homes. This ensures that it helps in determining the temperature and especially if there are minor changes to the settings. This is where even the Honeywell Thermostat comes in place with its 9580 series.
All you need to do is ensure that you have a 24v wire with a C terminal. This will ensure that there are no stacked unused wires and whether it works on a wireless network by adding adjustable units. If you’re still in doubt then you there are several product resources online that you can review or by changing it based on the iOS app store or Play Store.
What’s the Return on Investment (ROI)?
After a few months, you would see a 15-20% drop in your bills on average even through the summer months. While Honeywell may take a while to understand completely, Nest has several resources that work constantly with several rich networks. This helps in providing better functionality and software updates on-the-go. What’s outstanding is the real-time energy updates and how it relates well to your connected home and if its initial goal of energy savings makes it an amazing investment based on time and money.
Home Improvement and HomeWarrantyReviews.com
A thermostat is one of the many appliances that keep your family at comfort and ensures that you enjoy that cozy space that you call home. Why stop there! With a home warranty, all of your covered home appliances and systems would be well protected. Not-to-mention, a custom-made home warranty will let you determine which appliances you would like to be maintained all year round.
If you happen to be in the process of buying a new home, then you should use our interactive mortgage calculator. Here, you can get all the number crunching done in seconds and this will ensure that you’re on track to meet your payment schedules. However, if you experience problems with your home warranty then you can opt for the Complaint Resolution Program and always come out on top!
Did you find this article helpful? YES | NO
Thank you for your feedback!
- Free one-month coverage on purchase of single payment plans
- Over 11 years of experience in handling more than 250,000 service requests
- One of the few companies that offer coverage for roof leakages
- Covered over 1,000,000 homes across the country