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Top Thermostat Facts Many Homeowners Don't Know

What You Should Know About Your Thermostat

When your AC breaks on a hot summer's day or your heater turns off in the middle of a winter night, you go to check out the problem and assume there is something wrong with the air conditioner or heater. However, sometimes the cause of your heating or cooling woes is actually your thermostat.

While an unlikely suspect, a malfunctioning thermostat can cause your heating and air to stop working. Below is a discussion of how thermostats work, how you can fix one, and what you can do for HVAC maintenance to prevent similar problems.

The Thermostat’s Job

how it worksA thermostat is typically part of your AC system which is in charge of detecting the air temperature in your house. The thermostat can be programmed so when your house reaches a certain temperature, the thermostat will detect it and activate your AC or heating unit until the house is back to your desired preset temperature.

It is considered the main control for most AC units and can be programmed to be activated remotely. To install a thermostat, you’ll need to turn off your AC unit and remove your old thermostat if your house already has one.

After removing the old one, you need to separate and label the wires in the wall so you will know where they go on the new thermostat. You will then install the thermostat base and weave the wires through it. Once the base is on, connect the wires to their designated wire base on the new thermostat and then mount it on the wall. Once the new thermostat is mounted, you can turn your HVAC system back on.

Tips for Fixing a Thermostat

There are many instances where your thermostat might stop working. If your thermostat was not placed on a straight surface, the tilt can cause it to malfunction. Moving the thermostat to a straight surface or adjusting it so it sits straight can fix a balance issue. Thermostats also stop working when dirt gets in them, causing their sensitive readers to malfunction. 


Just take the thermostat off the wall and gently remove any dirt present by blowing or a similar method. A very old thermostat or its wiring can cause the temperature reader to stop working. In these cases, you should get new wiring. Also, extreme changes in temperature can cause a thermostat to malfunction. You might need to replace the thermostat in this scenario.

HVAC Maintenance Is a Key Tool

hvac maintenanceThe best way to prevent any thermostat mishaps is to perform regular maintenance on your HVAC system. Regular maintenance for the whole system can also prevent other malfunctions. Check on the system regularly to make sure nothing is going wrong.

Change your air filters on the system regularly so you don’t put as much strain on the system. Also, clean out your thermostat once a year or so to make sure you’re not getting a debris buildup.

Clear out the humidifier once a year and regularly turn the system on and off to see if it is running correctly. All of these can prevent major malfunctions down the road. Major malfunctions often require an HVAC technician.

About Lambert Plumbing & Heating, LTD

The citizens of Vancouver have been able to rely on Lambert Plumbing & Heating, LTD for two generations. With great rates for any plumbing or HVAC repair services, the company is available to the public 24/7 for emergency needs. Call today if you are in need of home repairs.