About Me

Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

When I purchased a home a few years ago, I had no idea what kind of workload I would be faced with. In addition to trying to figure out how to keep the place clean, I was also left with the challenge of tidying up the yard and keeping things trimmed. It was a little overwhelming, but I knew that I could do it with a little hard work and dedication. I started reading a lot of books and blogs about creating gorgeous things for your home and yard, and it was a great creative outlet. This blog is all about exciting, fun ways to make your home and yard even more beautiful.

Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

Tips To Maintain Your Thermostat To Help Keep Your Home Heated Comfortably In The Winter

by Alyssa Perkins

When your home's thermostat is not calibrated properly and not working right, it can have an affect on the comfort of your home and the efficiency of your home heating system. Just as you clean and maintain your furnace you should also clean and maintain your thermostat every year. If your thermostat is set at 70 degrees F, but is actually maintaining your home's temperature at 73 degrees F, the extra energy used can increase your energy bill by up to seven percent more. Here are some tips to maintain and calibrate your thermostat to ensure your home's heating system works well all winter.

Prepare to Calibrate Your Thermostat

When you tune-up your furnace at the start of the fall season, you should also calibrate your thermostat. First, tape a glass thermostat to a folded-up paper towel and attach it to the wall next to your thermostat. The paper towel should sit between the wall and the glass thermometer to help protect it from being affected by the temperature of the wall. 

Let the glass thermometer adjust to the temperature in the room for approximately 15 minutes, then check the temperature. The temperature of your thermostat should read the same temperature as the glass thermostat taped to the wall. If the temperatures are off by one degree or more, you need to clean and calibrate your wall thermostat.

Clean Your Thermostat

Remove the front of your thermostat and clean and wipe down the connection points with a soft cloth and some water. The connection points come in contact with each other when the front of the thermostat is in place, allowing the thermostat to operate normal. If these points become dirty, then a complete connection can't be made, which can cause your thermostat to not work properly. 

Using your mouth, blow off any dust inside the thermostat. Never use a vacuum on a thermostat as a vacuum's force can damage its internal components. If you see a coiled element inside your thermostat, use a soft brush to remove any dust and dirt particles stuck onto it.

Add Wall Insulation

Remove the thermostat's wall mount using a screw driver and pull it from the wall. The hole in the wall behind the thermostat should be just large enough to feed the wires through. If the hole is too large, it can allow cool air inside the walls to flow out around the thermostat and cause it to receive inaccurate readings. 

To repair this, spray an electrical fire-rated foam insulation inside the hole to fill the opening and prevent cool air from affecting the thermostat. Replace the full thermostat back onto the wall. 

Level Your Thermostat's Mounting

If your thermostat has a visible vial of mercury, using a level, make sure the mercury is perfectly level inside the thermostat. A slight variation on the level of the mercury can also cause your thermostat to not work properly. Remove the screws from the thermostat and adjust it until the mercury vial is level, then reattach the thermostat onto the wall. 

At this point, compare the temperature reading on your thermostat with the glass thermometer's reading. If the temperatures still differ, you will need to replace your thermostat with a new unit.

Replace Your Thermostat

When you have done all you can to calibrate and clean your thermostat without improvement, it is best to buy a new one. This also gives you the opportunity to upgrade your old thermostat to a digital or even a wireless thermostat. Make sure the new thermostat you select has the same voltage and electrical rating as your old one and is compatible with your furnace. 

Remove your old thermostat and disconnect the wiring from the wall. Secure the loose wiring ends onto the wall with tape. This is to help keep the wiring from falling inside the wall until you can reconnect the wiring to your new thermostat. Reattach the new thermostat wiring, following the unit's instructions. Then, mount the unit onto the wall.

Use this information to clean, calibrate, and replace your thermostat, when necessary. For more information, contact a heater repair specialist.