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Serving the Greater New Braunfels, TX Area

Serving the Greater New Braunfels, TX Area


The Guilty Thermostat: When It’s the Source of Winter Discomfort


When you think of problems with your household heating system, you probably think of the heater unit itself: the furnace or the heat pump. But a heating system is exactly that—a system of components that work together to provide even, efficient, and effective comfort for the house. The system also includes the ductwork, the air handler, and the thermostat.

The thermostat often gets overlooked when homeowners try to figure out why they aren’t getting the comfort they need or why the heater has shut down. But even small thermostat problems can have consequences for comfort and result in an unnecessary climb in monthly utility bills. Fixing, recalibrating, and replacing thermostats is an important heating service in San Antonio, TX we offer.

The thermostat miscalibration

This is the simplest and commonest of all thermostat malfunctions. The temperature sensor in the wall unit of the thermostat can become miscalibrated so it reads temperatures that are several degrees off. One degree either direction won’t have a radical effect on your comfort, although it increases energy bills. But larger swings will mean the heating system will run too long or not long enough. Recalibrating a thermostat is a straightforward job for professionals to do. (It requires special tools, do you can’t DIY this.)

The badly installed thermostat

If poor heating has plagued your current HVAC system for a stretch, the trouble might come from a thermostat installed in the wrong part of the house. For the temperature sensor to pick up the average temperature of a house rather than outliers, it must be located near the center of the building. If it’s too far off, it won’t control the heater they way you want it. A thermostat placed in direct sunlight or near a draft such as a window will pick up “ghost readings” that will also cause the heater to run at the wrong times.

Lost connection

The standard thermostat has five different wires connecting to the heater and air handler. These wires control when the heater and the blower motor turn on and off. If the thermostat loses one of these connections, the heater may not turn on or run continuously. If either happens, call for professionals right away. A lost thermostat connection is one possibility, but there are others. It takes training to accurately diagnose the true problem and then fix it.

The outdated thermostat

Although a thermostat won’t wear out the same way the mechanical components in a furnace or heat pump do, a thermostat can eventually fail or simply be so outdated that it doesn’t allow a homeowner to bet the most from their heating system.

We strongly recommend having our technicians install a new thermostat if your current one is a manual model (one that uses sliders and dials) or a no-frills digital model. The simple change to digital improves temperature setting precision. Programmable thermostats offer better control and energy savings. Best of all is that a Wi-Fi thermostat can be controlled from almost anywhere using an app on a phone or tablet. Wi-Fi thermostats with “smart” features add even more energy-saving features and convenient automation.

At Thayer Air Conditioning, your comfort is our #1 priority. Call for heating help—we’re already on our way!

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