Living in Modesto, CA, makes having a properly operational HVAC system an absolute must. Between average high temperatures that can soar to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and average lows that can drop to 38 degrees, your HVAC unit will get a workout. The same is true of your thermostat. If you have an older thermostat, it may be making your heating and cooling systems less efficient. It may also make it challenging to keep your home comfortable.

How Does a Thermostat Work?

Before we get into whether it’s time for an upgrade, let’s first take a moment to learn how a thermostat works. This quick primer can help you determine if you should repair or replace your thermostat.

Essentially, your thermostat’s role is to regulate how your HVAC system operates. Whenever the indoor temperature gets higher or lower than your desired temperature, it will tell your HVAC unit to come on.

The age of your thermostat can help determine if it is affecting how energy-efficient your heating and cooling system is. An older thermostat may be misreading the temperature, losing its connection, or causing short cycling. Any of these issues can cause your thermostat to waste money. For instance, if it’s misreading the temperature, you may keep adjusting your device because it feels too hot or cold in your home. This will most likely result in over-adjusting, which will result in wasted heating and cooling.

An older thermostat also means that you are not taking advantage of energy-saving technology. Programmable thermostats allow you to make a heating and cooling schedule based on your family’s schedule. For instance, you can set it to reduce heating or cooling at night or when everyone is away from home during the day.

Upgrading to a smart thermostat offers even more benefits. Many models learn your household’s daily routines, eliminating the tedious task of manually entering schedules and updating them when family members adjust their schedules. They also have other useful features, like the ability to remotely control your home’s temperature with a smart device. They even provide monthly energy usage reports. This information is useful for understanding if your energy-saving efforts are working or identifying problem areas.

So, what does all this mean for your pocketbook? An older thermostat may be costing you money because it does not read your home’s ambient temperature properly. In addition, once you add up all the energy you can save with a programmable or smart model, the wiser choice is to purchase a replacement.

What Indicates a Thermostat Needs to Be Replaced?

Even if your thermostat isn’t all that old, it may still need to be replaced. There are a variety of signs that you have a faulty thermostat.

Your Thermostat Isn’t Very Responsive

In the Modesto area, it’s possible that you’ll need to change your thermostat settings a few times throughout the day. If it’s working properly, each change to your settings will automatically cause your HVAC system to respond. However, older thermostats can cause a notable delay in their response time. This is referred to as thermostat lag. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for your heating and cooling system to kick on when you change the temperature, and you should still remain comfortable until it does. If this isn’t the case, it’s time to upgrade your thermostat.

Your HVAC System is Short Cycling

Short cycling is a term that means your HVAC system isn’t fully completing its heating or cooling cycle. In other words, when it’s 82 degrees in your house, and you set your thermostat to 78, it will turn off before achieving the desired temperature. If you keep having to mess with it to reach 78 degrees, it’s a prime indicator that you should get an upgrade. Otherwise, it’s going to end up causing your HVAC unit to have a shorter lifespan. That’s because each time it kicks on, it causes wear and tear on your heater or AC unit. Short cycling may be causing your system to shut down and start up much more often than it needs to.

Your Indoor Temperature Keeps Fluctuating

An older thermostat can experience degradation in its ability to regulate indoor temperature accurately. For example, in the summer, you may have set your thermostat to 78 degrees but realize that the system continues to run until the temperature drops to 75 degrees. In addition, when the system starts up again on the next cooling cycle, you may notice that it did not run until the temperature reached 82 degrees. While these temperatures are in the vicinity of your desired comfort level, they don’t align with the thermostat’s setting.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, thermostat inaccuracies can lead to inefficient heating and cooling, resulting in more wasted energy than homeowners realize. Uneven temperatures also decrease your home’s comfort level. A new thermostat will offer precision temperature control and save you money on monthly energy costs. It will also ensure you and your family stay comfortable during the dog days of summer or frigid days in winter.

Your Latest Energy Bill Is High

Most people have a pretty good idea of how much their monthly energy bills will cost. This can make it extremely jarring when you open your latest bill and discover it’s much higher than usual. Rather than keep paying higher bills, you should take immediate action to get your energy usage back in line. Your best bet will be a replacement thermostat, possibly one with more energy-saving features than the thermostat you are currently using.

Unresponsive Controls or Visible Wear and Tear

When a thermostat shows signs of unresponsive controls or visible wear and tear, it signals potential issues that can compromise its functionality. Unresponsive controls will hinder your ability to adjust settings accurately and may be frustrating. A cracked casing or faded buttons suggest age-related deterioration or damage, which can affect the thermostat’s performance. Upgrading to a modern, programmable thermostat with responsive controls makes it easy to use. A new thermostat will also not have the temperature regulation issues that a damaged one does, resulting in a more comfortable home.

When You Upgrade Your Heating or Cooling System

Even if your thermostat performs well, it is a good rule of thumb to replace it whenever you upgrade your HVAC system. A new thermostat guarantees it will be compatible with a new heating or cooling system. It will also allow you to take advantage of a modern AC or heating unit’s smart technology features.

Solve Your Thermostat Issues Today!

Loves Air is your expert HVAC resource in Modesto, CA. For the last 15 years, we’ve taken care of countless HVAC issues. We install, repair, and maintain heating and cooling systems. Additionally, we install whole-house fans and provide water heater, duct sealing, and thermostat replacement services. We believe in long-term relationships with our customers, so we also offer maintenance plans. If you become a Loves Family Plan member, on top of annual HVAC turn-ups, you will enjoy discounts on our products and services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced team members.

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