Though mostly overlooked, a thermostat is an essential part of the heating and air conditioning system. The thermostat communicates your house heating and cooling needs to the HVAC unit. Therefore, your system is only as effective as the thermostat controlling it, so, when damaged, it can significantly affect your house’s comfort and increase energy consumption as well. Read on to know when it’s the best time to upgrade your thermostat.

1. If it’s Damaged

If you have a broken or damaged thermostat, replacing it will reduce your HVAC unit’s chances of breaking down sooner than expected. Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine if the problem is the HVAC unit or the thermostat. A broken or blank thermostat screen is one sign of a faulty thermostat. This could happen due to a blown fuse, old batteries, or tripped circuit breaker.

Additionally, try adjusting the thermostat settings by five degrees above or below the current room temperature. If it’s in the proper working condition, you should hear a click from the HVAC unit.

Also, turn the power off, take out the thermostat covers to assess the wires’ condition. If you spot any loose or disconnected cables, you might need to call a professional to evaluate the problem and recommend the best cause of action. Faulty wiring could be an indication that your thermostat has reached the end of its lifespan, calling for immediate replacement.

2. When You Want to Boosts the Energy Efficiency of Your Unit

Another signal that it’s time to replace your thermostat is when you begin to notice an unexplainable spike in utility bills. Chances are, your thermostat signals your HVAC unit to run when you aren’t at home or even after turning it off via the thermostat.

If you want to boost your unit’s energy efficiency, a new thermostat will help you achieve this goal. Modern thermostat units are more energy-efficient and will minimize energy usage at home.

3. If Your HVAC Unit Won’t Turn On or Off

The thermostat should turn your HVAC unit on and off promptly when you input a temperature change. If it fails to do so, then it’s time that you consider an upgrade. This mostly happens due to frayed wires, which compromise the thermostat’s connection with the HVAC unit. If your thermostat turns your heater or air conditioner on unexpectedly, it’s time to consider an upgrade too.

4. When the Temperature Readings Seem Incorrect

If the temperature readings on your thermostat don’t seem right, it’s time to consider an upgrade. When the thermostat reads lower or higher temperature than required, then your HVAC unit won’t heat or cool your house adequately.

First, check the placement of the thermostat. When placed in areas with high-temperature fluctuations like near the window, or a functional kitchen, the thermostat will communicate wrong temperature readings. Move it to a more stable place and if the temperature still seems incorrect, consider an upgrade. One reason this happens is if the thermostat sensor malfunctions or due to manufacturing defects.

5. If You Have an Outdated Model

The easiest way to know when to upgrade your thermostat is if your current one is beyond ten years. Older thermostat models that require you to turn a dial or slide a lever to make temperature settings are highly imprecise. They are also very inconvenient since you must change the temperature manually.

You should therefore replace your outdated thermostat to enjoy recent innovations in the market. While the digital models offer the basic thermostat services, a digital option appears more accurate.

When you buy a programmable thermostat, you can set it to adjust to a specific temperature on certain days or times, depending on whether you are home or away. Others will even learn your heating and cooling patterns and self-adapt. A programmable thermostat improves your HVAC unit’s efficiency, and you will thus save more on your heating and cooling bills.

Alternatively, you can opt for the smart thermostat with Wi-Fi capabilities so that you can control your HVAC unit remotely from your mobile device. For instance, you can set it to turn on your air conditioner when you are about to get home from work to avoid wasting energy if the house is unoccupied.

If you have an old thermostat that still uses mercury, investing in a newer model is a safe solution. Mercury is a toxic substance, and direct contact can cause kidney, lungs, and digestive tract problems.

6. When You Experience Constant Temperature Swings

If some rooms in your house appear hotter while others cooler, consider upgrading your thermostat. This problem mainly occurs when the thermostat signals the HVAC unit to turn on or off when it’s not supposed to. Hence, those rooms located at the farthest end of your house won’t receive adequate cool or warm air. Temperature fluctuations could also happen due to dead batteries, so you might need to check this first.

7. If Your HVAC Unit Runs Consistently

If your HVAC system runs continuously, it’s an indication of a problem with the thermostat. This mainly happens due to defective wiring. When the thermostat takes false readings of your house temperature, it fails to communicate to your unit to turn off. Remember that if your system runs consistently, it increases energy consumptions, spiking your utility bills. This could also cause an increased number of repairs, and constant wear and tear shorten your HVAC unit’s lifespan.

8. When You Install a New Heating and Cooling System

Any time you upgrade your heating and cooling system, do so to the thermostat too. Note that as the HVAC unit begins to wear down, the same happens to the thermostat, and it becomes harder for it to detect the temperature levels in your house. An inefficient thermostat will thus affect your new HVAC system operations, and it may not serve you as expected.

Once you buy a new system, you will want to be sure that it works efficiently to maintain maximum comfort in your house. The only way to achieve this is by upgrading the unit controller. The new HVAC unit may also come with added features, thus ensure that the thermostat can manage those additional improvements.

Summing up

Knowing when to upgrade your thermostat can be a very challenging task. You wouldn’t wish to replace it in case of some minor issues that you can repair. Still, you wouldn’t want to fix significant problems only for the thermostat to break down again shortly. Hopefully, the guide above will help you identify when to get a new thermostat. Note that there are various configurations considered when replacing a thermostat. Wiring a new thermostat also requires expertise. You should therefore leave the thermostat installation task to professionals. Note that incorrect installation can lead to electric shock, thermostat damage, and potential HVAC system issues.

If you need help with your thermostat installation, reach out to Shines Energy. We have a team of skilled technicians always dedicated to provide quick and high-quality services. Our company also deal with heating systems and AC installation, repair and maintenance services. You can depend on us for mini-split systems, ventilation, UV lights, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers services. We serve Dartmouth, NS, and the surrounding areas. Call us now to book an appointment and enjoy our incredible services.

company icon