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Thermostats, the Unsung Heroes of HVAC

Thermostats have been a staple in homes for years, yet they remain unsung heroes, rarely given a second thought as they go about their jobs. Furnaces get maintained.  Air conditioners get repaired, but the good old thermostat just keeps plugging along. So why would anyone want to replace theirs?

Hot Flashes and Cold Chills

If your thermostat is producing sudden temperature swings, it doesn't mean it has the flu. It means it's either failing to sense the ambient temperature of the room or zone it's meant to monitor, or it's sending inadequate information to the furnace or air conditioning system.

You can give it the benefit of the doubt by performing a quick check. Turn off the power to the furnace, switch the thermostat's fan from auto to run, then open the thermostat's case and switch the wire on the R terminal to the W terminal. Now switch the furnace's power back on. If starts up, the thermostat is bad and it's time to have it replaced.

Retirement Plans in the Digital Age

For thermostats, just like the best of us, the day comes when one's skills are outdated. Not that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but in some cases, retiring would suit us better. Older mechanical thermostats, just like the old mouth thermometers, rely on a glass tube of mercury to operate. Should the glass break, the hazardous mercury would not only spill onto the floor but into the air as well. So if you are still relying on a mechanical thermostat, it's time to think about retiring it and upgrading to a digital model.

Digital thermostats, since they are programmable allow you to preset the operation of the furnace or air conditioner so it can lay low during the night when you're asleep, night or at work during the day, and resume normal operation just before you rise in the morning or return home in the evening. According to the California Energy Commission, upgrading to a programmable digital thermostat can save the average homeowner from 20 to 75% in heating costs and lower cooling bills by 15 to 25%.

Choosing A Replacement

Just like all workers can not perform in all jobs, not every thermostat will work with your furnace. Ultimately it's the type of heating system in place in your home that will determine the type of thermostat you need. If you've decided it's time to replace yours, contact us so we can help you find the one that will suit your needs best.

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