If you’re wondering why the room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting, there could be a variety of causes.
The most common cause is a bad location, though there are many factors to consider when troubleshooting your HVAC system.
It can be annoying when the temperature setting doesn’t match the room temperature, but there are other considerations too. Not only is it frustrating when the temperature is too hot or too cold, but you also have to think about energy usage.
A malfunctioning thermostat can drastically increase your energy bills. Because HVAC systems typically run year-round, even a slightly broken thermostat can waste a lot of money.
If you’re the do-it-yourself type of person and want to try fixing the problem on your own with the help of a business, use the following troubleshooting tips.
One of the most common reasons for a difference between the thermostat setting and room temperature is a bad thermostat location.
For example, if the thermostat is installed in a place that regularly receives direct sunlight, its temperature reading will be incorrect.
Conversely, drafts can negatively affect the thermostat reading. Sources of drafts may include windows, gaps in doors, plumbing vents, wiring holes, and chimney flues.
To correct this problem, you will need to move the thermostat’s location. If you don’t know where the best place to install your thermostat is, you will need to contact an HVAC professional.
Batteries and Corrosion
A lot of people take their thermostats for granted and forget that they need maintenance too. After all, though it may seem obvious, you will need to replace a thermostat’s batteries.
Batteries that are almost depleted can cause your thermostat to malfunction and give inaccurate measurements.
Furthermore, old batteries can cause corrosion. Corroded leads can cause a poor connection with the batteries, resulting in a malfunctioning thermostat. If you notice pale green metal on the battery leads, you will need to clean them.
To clean corrosion, you can simply take a toothbrush and a mixture of baking soda and water.
After bruising the leads, be sure to dry them before replacing the batteries. I would also recommend wearing gloves to prevent the corrosive material from touching your skin.
Your thermostat may seem broken when the room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting offset. However, it may just need to be leveled.
Many newer thermostats don’t require being level to function properly; however, many older models will cease to work right without being balanced and leveled properly.
Older models can be finicky, and if you accidentally bump or knock into them, the temperature setting can go haywire.
If you were recently moving furniture, removing wallpaper, or doing other construction tasks near the thermostat, you could have accidentally hit it. To correct this issue, simply get a level and readjust its position.
Your heating and ventilation system may simply need a new filter. Typically, it is recommended that you change the filter every 90 days, though it can vary dependent on your house, environment, and region.
More arid climates may cause dust to more rapidly decrease the effectiveness of your filter.
The length of time between changing filters also depends on the filter’s thickness. Thinner filters don’t have as much capacity to trap dirt and debris and need to be changed more frequently than thick filters.
In addition, your ductwork may simply be dirty, preventing warm or cold air to not circulate efficiently. Dirty ductwork causes your furnace and air conditioner unit to work harder and consume more energy.
If your house or property is old, it likely has windows that aren’t energy efficient. Old windows often have leaks as well.
If they aren’t sealed properly, your heating and air conditioner system may have to continually work overtime to try to meet the temperature threshold on the thermostat.
Renovating your home’s new windows is costly; however, if are replacing your windows, make sure they are Energy Star certified.
Many windows rate for Energy Star are triple-pained, which will help regulate the air temperature so that it matches your thermostat.
Furthermore, to protect against drafts that would otherwise cause your thermostat to malfunction, you can temporarily insulate your windows.
Most hardware and home supply stores have products with thin sheets of plastic you can shrinkwrap with a common hair dryer during colder seasons.
Doing so not only saves money on your heating bill, but it also protects the integrity of the thermostat’s temperature reading.
You may find that rooms on higher-level floors don’t match the thermostat reading. This could be due to poor insulation in your attic.
Many older homes lack proper insulation, allowing heat to seep in during the warmer periods and cold air to rush in during the fall and winter months.
Attic insulation, compared to other home maintenance and renovations, is fairly inexpensive. Plus, it helps save significant amounts of money in the long run by reducing heating and cooling expenses.
Most homeowners can even insulate their attics on their own if their budget doesn’t allow for hiring an insulation company.
Insulating your attic will provide a better-regulated temperature throughout your whole home.
An offset between room temperature and the thermostat setting may be due to improperly sized HVAC units. The unit itself may simply not be able to keep up with the temperature you set.
Different sizes of HVAC units are necessary depending on the square footage of your home and the environment.
For instance, a large house in an arid region will need a more powerful unit than a small house in a temperate region.
Furthermore, your HVAC unit may simply be outdated; the thermostat itself may be in perfect working order, but the physical equipment is malfunctioning.
As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever, and you may need to replace your furnace or air conditioning unit.
Troubleshooting methods for why the room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting usually don’t require the help of a professional.
However, if you have tried the aforementioned troubleshooting methods and your thermostat is still malfunctioning, you will need to reach out to an HVAC service.
Also, be aware that you may just have an old and outdated thermostat and a deteriorating HVAC system.
Chances are you won’t need to replace the furnace or air conditioning unit itself, and will only need to upgrade the thermostat unit.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.