Ever feel like the thermostat temperature and the actual temperature in your home are two different things? If the thermostat’s displaying a cool, comfortable 72 but everyone in the house is complaining it’s too hot, it may not be simply their imagination. Indoor comfort can be a moving target when there’s a discrepancy between thermostat temperature and reality.
Mercury thermometers are usually a more accurate standard to determine actual room temperature. If you have a reliable mercury thermometer, place it near the thermostat for a few minutes and then compare readings. If you note a difference between the two temperature readings, here are some starting points to figure out what’s going on:
- Thermostat is out of date. Manual thermostats utilize an inner spring mechanism that, over the years, eventually weakens and no longer properly responds to temperature changes. This may be a good time to upgrade to a new electronic programmable thermostat that automates temperature adjustments for convenience and consistent comfort, as well as energy savings.
- Thermostat isn’t level. Older manual thermostats rely on the unit installed in a level attitude to ensure that the on/off action of the liquid mercury switch inside is functioning accurately. If the unit has been simply bumped and moved slightly out of level, you may be able to simply re-position it. New digital thermostats don’t utilize a mercury switch and therefore aren’t affected by changes in position.
- Thermostat is in a bad location. A thermostat should ideally be located in a central portion of the house, away from drafts caused by exterior doors, direct sunlight through windows and A/C and heating vents. Any one of these may be influencing the thermostat and making the displayed temperature unrepresentative of actual conditions in the rest of the house.
- Thermostat needs recalibration. Most electronic thermostats have a recalibration procedure to make sure the unit senses temperature accurately. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to recalibrate the thermostat or schedule an HVAC service call to handle it for you.
Ask the professionals at Detmer and Sons about more options for dealing with thermostat temperature issues.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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