Cool weather is around for another month or two. That means early mornings are chilly, and frost is glistening on the rooftops. It also means if your thermostat isn’t working – you’re going to be colder than you’d like. A quality thermostat should last upwards of 10-15 years, but often homeowners don’t consider it a factor while purchasing a home. Even when renovating a house, thermostats are most certainly an afterthought.
Here are some steadfast signs that your thermostat may need to be inspected before it’s too late:
1. You Still Use a Mercury Thermostat
Mercury thermostats were invented in the 1700’s by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. They still do a great job in telling the temperature in any given environment, and are used often in meteorology. However, mercury is incredibly dangerous. In 2012, it was officially banned in several countries. Even if your mercury thermostat is working, consider changing it to an upgraded one for health and safety purposes. If the glass breaks, mercury could spill out, causing health risks for you and your family.
2. Swinging from Hot to Cold
When a thermostat is malfunctioning, the temperature may swing from hot to cold (and back again) at an alarming rate. This will cause some discomfort in your home, and hike up your heating bill. Who wants to be sweating one minute and then freezing the next? If the thermostat is reading information incorrectly, it is sending it to your heater (or air conditioner) and your system keeps readjusting itself accordingly. Get your system checked out before it causes more issues throughout the house.
Which type of heating system do you have? Depending on the heating system, your thermostat may be incompatible. If your home has traditional heat pumps, for example, heat pumps often don’t work well with programmable thermostats due to the energy it takes to turn them on and off. The same idea goes for radiant heating systems as well. If everything is fairly new, but for some reason keeps malfunctioning, this could be the culprit.
4. Upgrading Your System
Now that we’re in 2018, there are many advancements in thermostats that help you save money and energy in your home. Technology isn’t for everyone, but if you upgrade to a newer model, you’ll save yourself the headache and financial strain of potentially fixing an outdated and broken system at a later time. Having a “smart” system helps you turn off things remotely if you’re not at home, or monitor your overall usage to avoid overspending. If you wait until something breaks, it could take a specialist to find certain parts for your outdated system, depending on how old it is.
Having a working thermostat is a no-brainer. We don’t think about it until it malfunctions on us – and by then it could lead to bigger problems within the household. Figure out what works best for you (something simple, or high tech) to meet you and your family’s needs. Turning up the heat when it’s chilly outside is one of life’s greatest luxuries, so make sure your thermostat is working for you, and not against you.