HVAC professional checking thermostatWondering how to tell if your home thermostat is bad? Does it seem like your home thermostat’s temp is wrong? Maybe it doesn’t seem to signal to the furnace? We’ll walk you through how to test a home thermostat, a few common fixes, and what you’ll need to consider if it’s time to buy a new thermostat.

How to Test a Home Thermostat

The simplest test to check if your home thermostat is working is to change its setting by a single degree, up or down. Does the heat or air conditioner kick in to adjust for your change in temperature? You should hear them make a noise, and not just the noise of your fan starting up. If not, it’s not working. If so, it’s probably working.

This test won’t catch some problems, like a thermostat that reads the wrong temperature, but it’s a good place to start.

If you have a smart thermostat, it may have its own troubleshooting mode you can use from here. The manual (or a local HVAC technician) should have details on that.

If you don’t have a smart thermostat and your thermostat doesn’t seem to be sending a signal to your furnace or air conditioner or displays the wrong temp, there are a few things you can try.

  • Change the battery
  • Check that the thermostat is set to “on”

Next, some home thermostat test guides have you turn off the breaker to the thermostat and open it up to test out the wiring. You can do this, but there’s not much point.

If the wiring is broken, you need an HVAC professional to replace your thermostat. If the wiring isn’t broken, the problem is with the air conditioner or furnace, and you need an HVAC professional to troubleshoot them. Don’t waste your time by waiting to call a professional.

New Thermostat Options

If you’ve been told that your thermostat is broken beyond repair, or beyond cost-effective repair, it’s time to choose a new thermostat. If you haven’t done this in a while, you may be surprised at how far thermostat technology has progressed. Here are your options:

  • Smart thermostat: Smart thermostats let you change your home’s temperature from your phone or computer. They can help you save money by not heating or cooling your home when you’re out to work. If you come home early, the thermostat will heat or cool your home back to your ideal temperature before you arrive.
  • Programmable thermostat: These thermostats allow you to add a heating or cooling schedule, but they don’t have any other features.
  • Basic thermostat: This is your run-of-the-mill thermostat that doesn’t even have a program option.

How Long Does a Home Thermostat Last?

We offer Ecobee smart thermostats in part due to their long life. They should last 10 to 15 years, and come with a three-year warranty. In that time, you can save a significant amount on utilities with the Ecobee’s energy-saving features. Plus, you don’t need to learn how to test this home thermostat, it keeps track of itself and even alerts you to potential problems with your furnace or air conditioner.

You can learn more about Ecobee smart thermostats here or call us any time to schedule your repair service.