Achieving a comfortable and energy-efficient home during the cooler seasons is essential, especially here in the Ozarks. 

In the Ozarks, the weather typically remains mild, but occasional bursts of super cold temperatures can catch residents by surprise. 

While not a constant concern, these cold spells remind Ozark dwellers of the importance of reliable heating solutions for their homes.

And unfortunately, when thermostat issues arise, they can really disrupt your home’s temperature control. At F&S Master Air, located right here in Springfield, MO, we understand the importance of maintaining your home’s comfort in our climate.

In this second part of our series on thermostat issues, we’ll recap the most common thermostat problems encountered by homeowners, then provide practical solutions to help you stay warm and cozy.

Let’s dive into the troubleshooting and solutions for these common thermostat problems. (In each case below, we are assuming that the furnace checks out OK, and is therefore not the source of the issue.)

1. Problem: Furnace Won’t Start at All

Solution: There could be a number of solutions to this issue: 

  • Check Thermostat Settings: Ensure it’s set to “Heat” and at the desired temperature.
  • Replace Batteries: Fresh batteries can resolve power-related issues.
  • Inspect Wiring: Look for loose or damaged wires and (carefully!) reconnect or replace as needed.
  • Calibrate the Thermostat: Refer to the manual for recalibration instructions.
  • Check for Display Issues: Ensure the digital display functions correctly.
  • Reset or Restart: Follow the manual for a reset if available.
  • Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat: If yours is old, consider replacing it with a modern, reliable smart thermostat.
  • Professional Inspection: If issues persist, consult an HVAC technician for a thorough diagnosis and resolution.

2. Problem: Heater Can’t Reach Set Temperature

Solution: To address this issue, consider the following steps:

  • Calibration: Check your thermostat’s calibration to ensure it accurately reads the temperature. Consult your thermostat’s manual for calibration instructions.
  • Placement: If your thermostat is exposed to drafts or direct sunlight, we recommend calling a professional HVAC tech, or electrician, torelocate it to a more suitable spot for accurate readings.

3. Problem: Heater Keeps Running After Reaching Set Temperature

Solution: If your heater continues running, try the following:

  • Thermostat Settings: Ensure your thermostat is set to “Auto” instead of “On.” The “Auto” setting will make the heater run only when needed.
  • Wiring Inspection: Examine the thermostat wiring for any loose or damaged connections. Faulty wiring can cause continuous heating because the thermostat isn’t communicating correctly with the furnace. An HVAC tech or electrician can confirm and/or repair if you are unsure.

4. Problem: Thermostat Short Cycles

Solution: If your thermostat short cycles, follow these steps:

  • Thermostat Location: Have a professional relocate the thermostat away from vents or drafty areas. A more stable location can prevent rapid temperature fluctuations.
  • Sensitivity Adjustment: Some thermostats allow you to adjust their sensitivity. Lower the sensitivity settings until the furnace stops short cycling.

5. Problem: Uneven Room Temperatures

Solution: To address uneven room temperatures, consider:

  • Thermostat Zoning: Explore thermostat zoning solutions that allow you to control different areas of your home independently, redirecting heat where it’s needed.

6. Problem: Thermostat Displaying Incorrect Temperatures

Solution: If your thermostat displays inaccurate temperatures, try the following:

  • Recalibration: Consult your thermostat’s user manual for recalibration instructions to ensure it accurately reads the temperature.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your thermostat clean from dust and dirt. This includes behind the thermostat, as well as on or around. Careful regular cleaning can improve its accuracy. Avoid any kind of wetness coming into contact with exposed wiring!

Is It Time to Replace Your Thermostat? 

Knowing when it’s time to replace your thermostat with a new one is essential for maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. 

Here are some signs that indicate it’s time for a thermostat replacement:

  • Inaccurate Readings: If your thermostat displays the wrong temperature, it might need replacement due to calibration or sensor issues.
  • Short Cycling: Frequent on/off cycles can strain your HVAC system, indicating a malfunctioning thermostat.
  • Unresponsiveness: If it fails to adjust to your commands or doesn’t activate your HVAC system, consider a replacement.
  • Age: Thermostats typically last 10-15 years; an aging one may need an upgrade.
  • High Energy Bills: A faulty thermostat can lead to increased energy costs.
  • Lack of Modern Features: Older models lack convenience features like programmable schedules and remote access.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you’re constantly repairing your thermostat, it’s time for a more reliable replacement.
  • Home Renovations: Consider an upgrade when renovating to match the latest HVAC technology.

If you’re in the market for a new thermostat system, we routinely recommend the Rheem EcoNet Control Center. You may want to check that out, especially if you’re renovating and need to upgrade to a more dependable/efficient system. 

In Conclusion

In conclusion, common thermostat problems can disrupt your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. 

Understanding these issues and knowing how to troubleshoot and implement solutions is crucial to maintaining a cozy indoor environment. 

If you encounter thermostat troubles this season, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at F&S Master Air. We’re here to help you troubleshoot and find solutions to keep you warm during the colder months!