How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
How long does a home thermostat last?
Monday, February 15, 2021
You can expect a residential thermostat to last 10 to 25 years, with an average of 15 years. Here’s a few signs that it’s time to replace your thermostat:
1) Actual room temperature and thermostat don’t match.
2) Display image garbled on digital thermostat.
3) System won’t turn on or won’t turn off.
4) Thermostat screen blank or unresponsive to controls.
Sometimes a light dusting of the interior components, especially for an analog thermostat, will bring it back to life. And corroded terminals at battery-powered thermostats can also cause an otherwise functional thermostat to stop working, along with damaged thermostat wires or wire connections. A tripped breaker in the panel is yet another reason for a dead thermostat.
There is one more possible solution if you have a combination gas furnace and electric air conditioner, and have recently replaced the air filter. Did you have to remove the bottom panel of your furnace/air handler to change the filter behind it? There is a safety switch along the top of the panel opening that shuts off both the system and thethermostat when the panel has been removed or is loose. Check to make sure that the panel is securely back in place so that the switch is not activated. The switch can be a lever-type, like the one shown below, or a pop-out button.
Eventually none of these fixes will work and it’s time to replace the thermostat. But it may be worth it to you to upgrade to a new, smart thermostat just for the energy saving features, such programmable temperature settings for time-of-day, and ability to control the system remotely from your phone.
Also, see our other blog posts What does "AUX HEAT" and "EM HEAT" on my thermostat mean? and What is the difference between the "ON" and "AUTO" settings on my thermostat? and Why does the "AUX HEAT" (auxiliary heat) light keep coming on at my thermostat, even when it's not that cold outside?
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
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