For the end user, HVAC systems are simple to use. All you must do is set the temperature you want in your home, and the HVAC system does the rest. So, when your thermostat tells you that your home’s comfort level is at the temperature you’ve set, you should be able to believe it. However, there are a variety of reasons why your thermostat’s temperature reading might not match your home’s indoor temperature. Here’s an explanation of those reasons and what you can do about them.

A Dirty Thermostat

One common reason for thermostats to provide inaccurate temperature readings is if they’re dirty. Excessive buildup of dirt and dust in and around your thermostat can interfere with its ability to measure the air temperature correctly. The solution to the problem is to give your thermostat a thorough cleaning, preferably using a can of compressed air for the job. That should dislodge any dust or dirt without harming the thermostat itself.

An Improperly Located Thermostat

Another reason that a thermostat might display an incorrect temperature has to do with where it’s located in your home. If it’s too near a return air vent, for example, its reading might be affected by the heated or cooled air coming from the vent. The same thing goes for thermostats located near windows, kitchens, or anywhere else that normally has a higher or lower temperature than the rest of your home.

If your thermostat is in the wrong place, your best bet is to call an HVAC technician here at Element Air LLC to have them relocate it. They’ll know where to place your thermostat for optimal performance. They’ll also have the tools and know-how to relocate the wiring that connects your thermostat to your HVAC system.

If you don’t want to relocate your thermostat, you could also purchase a smart thermostat with a remote sensor. That will allow you to place a temperature sensor in a more appropriate location and instruct your HVAC system to use that as its reference point. With some smart thermostats, you can even use multiple remote sensors. Then, you can program your thermostat to give preference to the sensor closest to you at any given time, ensuring your comfort throughout your home.

A Miscalibrated Thermostat

Although it’s not common knowledge, thermostats require calibration if you want them to work properly. So, if your thermostat isn’t reading an accurate temperature, it may be miscalibrated. The good news is that calibrating your thermostat shouldn’t be very hard, no matter which kind you have.

If your thermostat has a screw and coil system, you’ll have to start by removing its cover and using a wrench to keep the thermostat’s dial straight. Then, use a screwdriver to turn the screw back and forth until you feel the thermostat’s contacts open. A few seconds later, turn the screw until the contacts close again.

If your thermostat uses a mercury switch, you’ll need to make sure that it’s level. To do that, you can remove the thermostat’s cover and loosen the thermostat’s mounting screws. Then, use a level to check the thermostat’s alignment, fix it, and re-tighten the mounting screws.

Lastly, if you have a digital thermostat, it likely has a programming mode that controls its calibration. To fix your issue you’ll need to use a thermometer to take a baseline temperature reading near your thermostat. Then, access the calibration mode and change the temperature offset setting to match the difference between your thermostat’s reading and the thermometer.

A Malfunctioning Thermostat

Thermostats, like all other devices, don’t always work as intended. So, age, wear-and-tear, and simple manufacturing defects can be reasons for them to display an incorrect temperature. When this happens, the simplest solution is to purchase and install a new thermostat. Of course, if your thermostat needs replacement, Element Air LLC can help. We can install your new thermostat and make certain it’s properly calibrated to provide optimal comfort in your home.

Count on the HVAC Experts

If your thermostat’s showing an incorrect temperature, you now know most of the common reasons for it. However, it is always possible that a malfunction in your HVAC system itself is the root cause of the problem. Either way, Element Air LLC can help. We offer complete HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services throughout the Louisville, KY area. With 25 years of combined experience, there’s no HVAC issue our technicians haven’t seen and solved. So, if your thermostat needs replacement or service, or your HVAC system isn’t working as it should, contact Element Air LLC today for help!

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