You Don't Have To Make The Same Mistakes

I always took my home's heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.

Potential Causes Of Thermostat Malfunctions

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Sometimes you may think that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is malfunctioning while, in the real sense, it's the thermostat that's acting up. Here are some of the things that may cause the thermostat to malfunction:

Bad Battery

Wall thermostats typically use small batteries for powering their operations. The battery power is needed to keep the settings and programs intact even when the power goes out so that you don't have to keep setting your HVAC due to power interruptions. This means your thermostat will start acting up and losing its memory when its battery power goes down. This may leave your house uncomfortable because the thermostat will not have the correct temperature settings and this will leave a mismatch between the HVAC's output and the thermostat settings.

Loose Wires

Loose thermostat wires may also mess up your thermostat settings. The wires may loosen or disconnect due to accidental damage or due to age. The thermostat wires connect the thermostat to the rest of the HVAC system; they provide the channel through which setting signals flow from the thermostat to the furnace. If the wires loosen and interrupt the signal flow to the HVAC, then there will be a mismatch between the settings in the thermostat and the operations of the HVAC.

Dirt Accumulation

The main component of a typical thermostat is a bimetallic strip. The operation of the strip is based on the idea that metals expand when heated and contract when cooled. When the temperature rises, the bimetallic strip expands and loses contact with the switch; this switches off the furnace so that it stops heating the house. When the temperature falls below the designated level, the strips contracts and makes contact with the switch, switching on the heater so that it can resume heating the house. If the bimetallic strip or switch contact is dirty, it will insulate the contacts and interfere with the operation of the thermostat.

Improper Placement of the Thermostat     

The thermostat works by reading the room temperature to determine whether it is lower or higher than the set temperature. It then sends the signal to the HVAC to adjust the temperature as necessary. This means the thermostat can send the wrong signals to the HVAC if it is reading the wrong temperature. It is fairly easy for the thermostat to read the wrong temperature if it is placed inappropriately. A classic example is if the thermostat is placed in direct sunlight, which heats it up. Another example is if the thermostat is placed next to a heat source, such as lamps or television sets.

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3 November 2017