Your thermostat is an essential piece of machinery. You need it to work properly in order to adjust the temperature in your home.
Unfortunately, like any piece of machinery, a thermostat won’t last forever. Replacing yours before it stops working may be vital in avoiding significant discomfort in your home. You don’t want to be stuck without cold air in the middle of a heatwave because you didn’t know when and how to replace a home thermostat.
The following information will help you avoid this unpleasant scenario. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I replace my thermostat?” (and wondering how to go about doing so), keep these points in mind.
When Should You Replace Your Thermostat?
Knowing when to replace your thermostat requires being on the lookout for early warning signs of a problem. However, because many of these warning signs can occur when your HVAC system needs attention, it may be necessary to coordinate with professionals if you’re having trouble diagnosing the issue. Experts with the proper experience will help you determine if your thermostat or HVAC system is the cause.
That said, the following signs often indicate it’s time to replace a thermostat:
An AC Unit that Won’t Turn on or Off
When you adjust your thermostat, it sends a signal to your AC unit telling it to turn on and start cooling the air. However, if there is a wiring problem, the AC unit won’t receive the signal. This is often the case when an AC unit doesn’t turn on despite the thermostat being adjusted.
On the other hand, there are also cases when an AC unit won’t turn off. You can determine if the thermostat is to blame by placing a thermometer nearby. Check it after two hours. If the temperature matches (or is very close to) the temperature you set, but the AC is still running, it could mean your thermostat isn’t registering the change in temperature.
The Thermostat is Unresponsive
Does your thermostat respond inconsistently (or not respond at all) when you try to operate it? If so, it could be a power issue. Replace the batteries first to see if that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, you may need a new one.
Programmable Settings Are Lost
Are you reading this to learn how to replace a programmable thermostat? Then you likely already know the convenience of pre-programmed settings. Unfortunately, when a programmable thermostat needs to be replaced, usually the first warning sign that something is wrong is losing those settings. Consider replacing your unit if this is happening.
Does the temperature throughout your home vary substantially? Does it seem like some rooms are randomly cooler or warmer than others? This can indicate the thermostat is malfunctioning, turning the HVAC system on and off despite no one manually adjusting it. Although this is another issue that could be related to a problem with the HVAC system itself, it’s not uncommon for a thermostat to be the culprit in these situations.
How to Change a Home Thermostat
You may be able to solve some of the problems listed above without replacing the thermostat entirely. Again, if there seems to be a power issue, you can replace the batteries first to determine if that helps. You should also check the thermostat settings to ensure they haven’t been changed. Sometimes, the cause of the problem is that simple.
If those methods don’t work, you may need to replace your thermostat. It’s also worth noting that you might want to take this step even if yours is working properly. If you don’t currently have a programmable thermostat, you’re missing out on the opportunity to save a lot of money on energy bills each year. Consider making the switch to reduce spending in the long run.
The specifics of replacing a thermostat may vary from one model to another. You need to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm you’re doing the job correctly. Again, because replacing a thermostat also involves some degree of basic electrical work, you may want to contact an expert if you’re not comfortable with the process.
In the meantime, if you want to understand how to replace a thermostat in your house, the following steps outline the basic procedure:
Remove the Old Thermostat
Always start this job by turning off the power to your HVAC system. Once you have, remove the old thermostat body by unscrewing the mounting screws. Loosen the mounting screws to remove the base as well. Use masking tape to ensure any wires don’t fall into the wall cavity and label the low-voltage ones (this helps you identify screw terminal locations later) before disconnecting them.
Install Your New Thermostat
Begin by separating the base from the front of your new thermostat and installing the base first. Insert the low-voltage wires into the appropriate openings on the base, and mount it to the wall with the included mounting screws. Connect the low-voltage wires to the screw terminals.
Check to ensure the thermostat body doesn’t need batteries before installing it. Insert them first if it does. Then push any extra wire into the wall opening and use mounting screws to connect the rest of the body with the base.
Test Your Thermostat
Next, simply turn the power back on to your HVAC system and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for programming the unit. Test your new thermostat according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to confirm it’s working correctly.
Get Expert Help
All that said, it’s important to remember once more that some of the problems associated with a thermostat that needs to be replaced may also indicate the need for HVAC repairs. If you think this is the case, we can help. Easy A/C proudly serves homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area, making sure they feel comfortable all year long. Call us at 813-COLD-AIR (813-265-3247) or contact us online today to learn more about what we can do for you!