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  • Writer's pictureBrian Harm

Is it your thermostat or is it a broken heater?

How do your furnace and thermostat work together?

Your furnace supplies all of the heat to your home. The thermostat tells the furnace when to turn on and off. Most likely, you’ve programmed your thermostat with your desired temperature. The thermostat and furnace work in conjunction to maintain the comfort level of your home.

Is it a broken heater if your furnace isn’t keeping you warm enough?

Usually, you program your thermostat for each season and leave it alone. But, if you are suddenly noticing that your home is not as warm as you are used to in the colder months, you may initially be concerned about a possible furnace repair. While the problem could be a broken heater, it could also be with your thermostat.

How can I tell whether the problem is my furnace or thermostat?

A furnace repair can be costly depending on what the problem is. If your furnace is running and just not keeping your home warm enough, check the thermostat first. It could be a simple fix. Here are some ways to see if your thermostat is the problem, and maybe avoid a costly heater repair.

Turn the thermostat off. Before looking into any issues with the thermostat, make sure it is in the ‘off’ position.

Check the batteries.

If your thermostat runs on batteries, they should be changed out at least once a year. You can pop the cover off and change the batteries. Always check the owners’s manual to make sure it runs on batteries. You could damage a hard-wired thermostat by trying to pry the cover off.

Look for corrosion around the batteries or wiring.

If you take the cover off, take note of any corrosion buildup around the battery terminals or any of the wiring. This could indicate the the thermostat needs to be replaced.

Dust and dirt can corrode the sensors.

The sensors that measure the air temperature can get dirty over time reducing their accuracy. You can clean around the thermostat and, if opened, clean or vacuum out the inside.

It may need to be calibrated.

Over time, especially if your thermostat is an older model, the temperature sensors may need to be calibrated. A professional experienced with heater repair will be able to make sure the calibration is accurate.

Test the system.

Turn the thermostat to ‘heat.’ With someone else standing by the furnace, adjust the temperature a couple of degrees higher. You should hear a click on both the thermostat and the furnace. If not, the thermostat may need to be replaced.If you aren’t happy with the performance of your heating system, give us a call at Ashley Heating. Family owned and operated since 1920, our team of highly trained service professionals will be able to handle all of your home heating needs. Let us show you how we have earned our reputation of reliability and integrity.

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