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Warning: Your Thermostat Might Be Broken — and Here's Why

Let’s face it: a broken thermostat is the worst — but it might not be broken, actually. When it comes to your thermostat, there are a variety of negative factors that can hinder your unit’s overall performance, leading you to believe that it may be defective. If you’re not sure whether your thermostat is broken, or a certain external factor is depleting its performance, then here are some common factors to keep in mind:

Where is Your Unit Placed?

When a central heating/cooling unit is installed in a home or business, there are many factors that come to mind before the thermostat is attached to the wall. Although many units are installed in the correct area, some are not — but what determines the right versus the wrong area? To simplify the process, think of your thermostat as a thermometer (and yes, that’s where the name came from)! When you expose a thermometer to a cold climate, the temperature will drop on the device. However, when you bring this temperature into a warm environment, the liquid inside will begin to rise, indicating a higher temperature. Before your thermostat processes your temperature request, it will detect what the current room temperature may be — and this is why the location is rather important. If a thermostat is placed near a drafty door/window, then it will always decide that your room is colder than it actually is — but if the thermostat is placed away from all windows and doors (i.e. the middle of a hallway), then it will read your room’s temperature accurately and will then function as desired.

Did you Change Your Filters?

Another common occurrence, when it comes to ~broken~ thermostats, are dirty unit filters. Just like a blocked plumbing pipe, having a gunked up filter within your home’s unit will send mixed (and inaccurate) signals to your thermostat — which will make your heating/cooling unit not function as desired. To simplify the process, think of your air filters as the windows in your home. When a window is closed, no air will come into your home — but when a window is open, air will spill in as desired. If an air filter is covered in filth, then it won’t let hot/cool air seep through. However, if your air filters are changed/cleaned when needed, then your thermostat will begin to function properly and will provide the desired temperature you’d like.

If you run into any problems with your HVAC unit this holiday season, do not hesitate to reach out to the professionals here at Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Your local Knoxville plumbing, heating, and cooling technicians are experts in their field and they’re here to help YOU when you need it the most!