Q:

How Do I Tell if My Home Thermostat is Bad?

A:

Quick Answer

The most common signs of a bad or malfunctioning thermostat are lack of hot or cold air when the device is turned on and an unlit display light. Malfunctioning thermostats occur for a variety of reasons, and in many cases, troubleshooting the issue and following up with a simple fix can alleviate the problem.

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Full Answer

A malfunctioning thermostat does not always need to be replaced. Common issues that occur with thermostats include dirt build-up, blown fuses, tripped circuit breakers and loose wiring. Dirt build-up often leads to a mismatched temperature setting which in turn can lead to overheating, over cooling, or a complete lack of hot or cold air.

Blown fuses, loose wiring and tripped circuit breakers are common culprits when the furnace or air conditioning simply does not start, and a maladjusted anticipator is one of the top reasons for a thermostat repeatedly starting and stopping. If troubleshooting and repairing minor issues does not work, replacing the thermostat is the next step. Many households are updating their old thermostats with digital versions. Digital thermostats are very affordable and even offer a variety of convenient features that include digital temperature displays, warning lights and alarms, reminder messages and touch screen capabilities.

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Related Questions

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    What is a high-temp thermostat?

    A:

    A high-temperature thermostat is a device that prevents the temperature from exceeding a predetermined limit in the monitored environment, usually as a safety feature. For example, the high-temperature thermostat on many dryers turns off the heating element if the temperature inside the unit exceeds 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Q:

    How does a Bluetooth thermostat work?

    A:

    The way that a Bluetooth thermostat works is that the user downloads an app onto her smartphone, laptop or tablet and uses the device as a remote to control the settings on her thermostat. Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart are a few examples of Bluetooth thermostats.

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  • Q:

    How can you tell if a thermostat contains mercury?

    A:

    After removing the cover plate, if a clear glass ampoule with a silver liquid inside is visible in a thermostat, the unit contains mercury. If it is a new thermostat still in the packaging, look for the chemical sign for mercury, which is "Hg," on the container.

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  • Q:

    How do you install a programmable thermostat for your home?

    A:

    To install a programmable thermostat, shut off power to the old thermostat, detach it and inspect its wiring. Label each wire with the letter of the terminal where it's attached before disconnecting them. Connect the wires to the corresponding terminals on the programmable thermostat before mounting it on the wall.

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