There is a sensitive little device hanging around on one of your walls that is often ignored until you are too cold or too hot. Your heating and cooling thermostat is a device that will help make you feel comfortable as well as save you money, if you know how to take care of it. Take this quiz on thermostat maintenance to ensure your home stays the temperature you choose.
A home heating thermostat is a sensitive control instrument that responds to small temperature changes. A thermostat allows you set a temperature for your home and then it automatically controls a heating or cooling device to maintain your setting.
There are some routine maintenance tasks recommended for best thermostat performance. Many people simply ignore their thermostats, but a poorly maintained thermostat can cost you unnecessary heating or cooling dollars.
You can check your thermostat for accuracy with a glass thermometer. Tape a thermometer on the wall with a pad under it, near your thermostat, wait 15 minutes and check that both are indicating the same temperature within one degree.
An increase of 3 degrees higher than you desire can add about 7 percent to your home heating bill. That is almost one hundred dollars extra that you will pay on a typical seasonal heating bill.
You must be very gentle with the bimetallic strip or coil. Jarring or bending the bimetallic coil can cause irreparable damage to the thermostat and it will need to be replaced.
Be careful not to break the glass vial, as mercury is poison and will separate into tiny balls that are difficult to clean up. Mercury will slowly evaporate but the fumes are also a health risk, if you break the bulb remove pets and children immediately and consult the web for proper cleanup procedures.
You can use a small torpedo level to check that the thermostat is level. Do your checks with the thermostat cover off, if it is not level loosen the mounting screws, level the unit, retighten the screws while making sure that it remains level.
Always turn off the power to your heating or cooling system before you attempt to open a thermostat. Many thermostats are safe low voltage units, but some have dangerous household current under the cover. In addition, causing the system to rapidly cycle on and off during adjustments can cause expensive damage.
Always buy a replacement rated at the same voltage and compatible with your system. The best way to insure that you have a proper replacement is to take the old one to the dealer with you.
With the power off, always tag each wire with the terminal number as you remove it so you can put them back in the correct order on your new unit. Make sure that no wires slip into any hole in the wall as you remove the old thermostat.