The Room Temperature Doesn’t Match the Thermostat Setting – What to Do

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Have you ever asked yourself how it would have been if we didn’t have thermostats? People would have to do with the cold, with the only way of staying warm being wearing warm clothing or lighting a fire. However, what do you do when the room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting?

If the room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting, it could be because of a malfunctioning or inadequate thermostat, or a problem with the heating or cooling system. If the temperature is too cold, use more blankets and clothes to keep warm; if it’s too hot, open windows and uses fans to circulate the air.

Such a problem with a thermostat would only suggest one thing: it has a problem. But what could cause such issues? Read on as we dissect the most likely reasons a thermostat would malfunction. This article will cover how the room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting and the reasons why this may happen.

Things to Look for First If Your Thermostat Isn’t Working

There are a few things you can check first when your thermostat isn’t working.

First, make sure the thermostat is turned on and that the power is on. Next, check the batteries in the thermostat to make sure they are still good. If they are, then try changing the thermostat’s settings. If that doesn’t work, you may need to call a technician to come and look at it.

Inspect your furnace’s filter. If your air filter is clogged, air movement through the furnace may be restricted. Your furnace is attempting to raise the temperature, but it is unable to expel the warm air. This problem can be resolved by replacing your furnace filter.

Why Would a Thermostat Setting Not Match the Room Temperature?

The thermostat might not match the room temperature in two ways. First, it could be way over the room temperature and make the house or room too hot. Second, the house could be colder than the thermostat setting.

Either way, that would be uncomfortable, and it would be hard to enjoy a stay in such a room. So why would a thermostat do that? Several things could be responsible.

For each issue, we have provided the corresponding method you can use to sort it out. Some you can do yourself, but others will require the help of an HVAC professional.

  • The Thermostat Is Dirty

A thermostat’s functioning wholly depends on how it read your house’s room temperature. Therefore, if it cannot read the temperature correctly, it won’t work as it should. Dirt is a significant reason a thermostat would completely miss out on reading your house’s temperature.

A dirty thermostat will not effectively read the room temperature. It is possible since the thermostat is usually fixed in one place and will therefore easily gather dirt and dust. The dirt and dust might affect the reading of the room temperature.

How to Solve It: always keep the thermostat clean. Regularly clean it of dust, dirt, and other debris. All you need to do is open the thermostat cover and use a soft brush to remove the dirt. Be gentle while doing it to ensure you don’t damage any of the parts of the thermostat.

  • The Thermostat’s Sensor is Broken

The sensor is a crucial part of the thermostat. It is the part responsible for reading the room temperature so that the thermostat can respond accordingly. Therefore, if it is broken or has any other problem, the thermostat will completely miss out on reading the correct room temperature.

How to Fix It: Unfortunately, repairing a thermostat with a broken sensor is next to impossible, even if you can get a professional that can do it for you. You will have to replace the thermostat because sensors can be challenging to repair.

  • It isn’t Mounted at the Right Place or In the Right Way

The thermostat needs to be at the best location to ensure it accurately reads the room temperature. If, for instance, you place your thermostat next to a fireplace, it won’t accurately read the room temperature.

The thermostat needs to be in a central place in your house. And a central position means you should place it as far away as possible from things that could raise its temperature.

While at that, you need to ensure it isn’t at a tilted angle. Placing it in a slanting position could cause the components to detect the room temperature wrongly.

You can’t expect a thermostat next to the window to read the house’s temperature correctly. That’s because the window lets in cold or warmth.

How to Sort the Issue: locate the best place to put your thermostat. It should be away from things that are most likely to affect its reading of the room temperature, such as fires and windows.

Window blinds will come in handy, helping the exterior temperature from affecting your thermostat. Ideally, it would also be a good option not to use equipment that raises the temperature next to the thermostat. That counts for your hairdryer and any other equipment that heats up while in use.

Always ensure the thermostat is in a straight position with no slanting.

  • Improperly Calibrated Settings

A thermostat will often come with warming settings already installed. That, however, doesn’t mean they will always work well. Manufacturers might have set the settings wrongly, or overtime, the thermostat itself might lose the recalibrations settings.

But does a thermostat recalibrate its settings out of nowhere? Of course not. Several things could cause a thermostat to behave in that manner.

  • Power issues

Electrical issues, although rarely, might cause your thermostat to lose calibration settings and inaccurately read the room temperature. That’s more likely to happen if you have an unstable power source.

  • Battery Issues

If you have a battery-operated thermostat, chances are that there will be times the battery will run out. That could cause, among other issues, the thermostat to err in getting the right room temperature.

  • Recently Installed Thermostat

A recently installed thermostat will certainly have calibration issues. You can, however, quickly sort out such issues, and they shouldn’t concern you that much.

How to Fix the Issue: the best way to deal with calibration issues is to reset the thermostat, especially if it is a new thermostat. If you use a battery-operated thermostat, then maybe you should consider upgrading.

If you believe it is electrical issues causing the issue, then an HVAC professional would help you.

  • Corrosion of the Inner Parts of the Thermostat

Perhaps you are wondering how corrosion could occur to the inner parts of a thermostat. Well, we’d like to tell you that it is entirely possible. Corrosion of a thermostat’s internal parts might occur due to too much dirt getting into the thermostat. 

Additionally, it could also be because the thermostat has outlived its use. If that is the case, you won’t have any other option but to buy another thermostat.

How to Fix the issue: a contact cleaner would come in handy in getting rid of minimal corrosion inside a thermostat. You, however, would find it quite complicated to do it yourself, which is why you would have to look for the help of a professional.

Other Common Thermostat Problems

A thermostat is a piece of artificial equipment and, as with all other equipment man has made, is prone to a few issues. Apart from the thermostat not getting the room temperature right, it could also have other problems. 

Thermostat problems can be frustrating no matter what time of day you experience them. That’s why you need to have some basic HVAC knowledge to ensure you know what to do when such problems strike.

  • The thermostat Suddenly Goes off

The most common cause for its malfunction is the power supply. You need to check if the thermostat still has a connection to the power. You know that if the thermostat’s display is dark.

If you are using a battery-powered thermostat, you will need to check if the batteries are okay and whether they need replacing. Also, it could be because there are some loose wires inside the thermostat.

Loose wires will need you to call in an HVAC professional. If you aren’t sure what to do, then don’t attempt to repair it yourself.

  • Constant Working Even When You Don’t Need It To

Sometimes a thermostat might go on the rampage and not respond to temperature changes. That is most likely a result of too much dirt inside. Get a brush and open the thermostat cover to check if it’s dirt that’s causing the problem, then clean it.

  • Sporadic on and off operation

Again, this can result from too much dirt accumulating inside the thermostat. If cleaning the thermostat regularly didn’t sound so appealing, we can’t emphasize it enough.

If all the solutions we have shared here don’t work, maybe it will replace your thermostat. It is common for old thermostats to malfunction from time to time.

However, you will need to get the opinion of an HVAC professional before going ahead and replacing your thermostat. You don’t want to rush to buy a new thermostat when your current one needs only minor repairs to work fine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I know if my thermostat is working properly?

If you are having trouble with your thermostat not working properly, there are a few things that you can do to determine if the issue is with the thermostat or with the wiring in your home. First, make sure that the power is off to the thermostat by flipping the breaker switch. Next, try flipping the thermostat itself. If this does not fix the problem, it may be that there is a problem with the wiring in your home. You can consult an electrician to help you troubleshoot and repair any wiring issues.

Is dirt the most common cause of thermostat malfunctioning?

Yes. Dirt is the most common cause of thermostat malfunctioning, according to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The study found that dirt and debris in the air can interfere with the temperature sensor on your thermostat, causing it to inaccurately read the temperature in your home. This can lead to malfunctions in your thermostat, which can result in excessive heating or cooling. Cleaning out your thermostat regularly will help keep it running smoothly and prevent any unwanted hot or cold temperatures from entering your home.

How do I know my thermostat is working properly?

The thermostat is a vital part of your home’s heating and cooling system. If it doesn’t work properly, your home won’t be able to maintain an appropriate temperature. There are several ways to test your thermostat, so you can determine whether it’s malfunctioning or not.

To test if your thermostat is working properly, turn it off at the breaker box and wait 15 minutes. If the room has returned to its normal temperature, the thermostat is probably functioning correctly. If the room hasn’t warmed up by the time you return, there may be a problem with the thermostat or with the electrical wiring in your home. In that case, you’ll need to call a technician to repair the wiring or replace the thermostat.

How do I fix a faulty thermostat?

This will often depend on the problem at hand. You can fix common thermostat issues by opening its cover and examining it. If it’s dirty, then a simple cleaning will help make it okay. Some issues will, however, require you to get an HVAC professional.

Final Thoughts

We hope now you know what to do whenever the room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting. Thermostats are vital in most homes, especially in the winter. That’s why you need to understand a few things about them.

With what we have shared here, that won’t be an issue for you anymore. Remember not to downplay the importance of cleaning your thermostat regularly.

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