The thermostat for a house seems like a simple enough device. When you want the house to be warmer, you raise it. When you want it cooler, you lower it. And, in many ways, the thermostat is that basic: even with the complex “smart” thermostats available today, a thermostat still operates as a switch that turns the heater, AC, and air handler on and off as needed.
But people often mistake the thermostat as a tool to overcome a deficiency in their HVAC system. For example: let’s say you’re finding it hard to keep your house warm during the winter, so you keep pushing up the thermostat higher until you get the comfort you want.
This isn’t how either the thermostat or the heater should work. Both are designed so you can set the thermostat to a single, steady temperature and receive the comfort you desire. If you need to push the thermostat higher than normal, it means you have a problem with your heating in Dover, DE.
What Might Be Wrong: Thermostat Edition
We’ll start with the possibility that the thermostat is what’s not working. Malfunctions with comfort controls are common. The temperature sensor in a thermostat might become miscalibrated, in which case it will register incorrect indoor temperatures and cause the heating system to behave oddly. If the thermostat is sensing the home is warmer than it is, it won’t turn the heater on when you need it. Raising the setting will cause the heater to eventually turn on, but this miscalibration will create more problems if you don’t have it remedied.
What Might Be Wrong: Heater Edition
The thermostat might be working fine. The trouble may be that the heating system is struggling to deliver the standard heating capacity for your house. Regardless of what is causing this problem, raising the thermostat higher and higher puts heavy amounts of strain on the heater that will elevate energy bills and may cause the heater to suffer from more problems—and eventually a full breakdown.
There are a range of possibilities for a heater losing its capacity:
- Blocked room vents around the house.
- The heater is short-cycling, i.e. shutting off before it completes a full heating cycle and distributing warm air all to all the rooms.
- The heater was improperly installed and is too small to handle the home’s heating requirements.
- A malfunction in the blower fan, causing a drop in airflow.
- The air filter for the HVAC system is clogged and blocking airflow.
- The heater is too old to continue to function at peak condition and needs to be replaced.
We don’t expect you to be able to figure out exactly what’s wrong with your heater (although we recommend checking to see if the filter is clogged and change it if it is). All you need to know is that our professionals can locate the issue, whether in the thermostat or the heater, and have it corrected.
At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., “We Take Pride in Your Comfort!” Call us for repair services 24/7.