If your furnace's performance noticeably changes, it may cause concern or panic for you due to the possibility of an expensive and unplanned repair. Before you panic, it is important to consider that some issues with heating are easy to fix. There are even some issues that can easily be fixed by homeowners such as changing out dirty filters.
Mechanical failures may be complex or easy repairs. Do not assume that erratic performance such as frequent cycling means that you need significant repairs. Faulty thermostat issues can mimic some of the same signs of a failing furnace. However, replacing a complete heating system is more costly than replacing a broken component such as a furnace. The following are possible heating issues that are related to failing or broken thermostats.
You may assume that your thermostat is located in an ideal location. However, if it is located near heat-producing appliances, they could cause inaccurate readings. Your thermostat may falsely sense that your home is the correct temperature. This can cause it to turn off before the desired temperature is reached. If your thermostat is located near a window, false heat detection could be due changes you made such as upgrading or removing draperies. Window repairs such as replacing broken glass could also cause drafts that can affect temperature readings and cause cycling to occur.
Dust and Grime
Perhaps you have never thought about looking at your thermostat and cleaning away debris. Dust can get trapped in and on the surfaces of thermostats and negatively impact their performance. Routine heating services will likely include cleaning debris from thermostats and other components of heating systems.
Your furnace may need new batteries. If you have replaced them recently, you should check to see if you purchased the correct type of batteries. Purchasing the wrong type of batteries can interfere with heating system performance because thermostats require lithium batteries. Standard alkaline batteries may work but require frequent replacement for optimal heating performance.
If your furnace has wiring that has aged, the wiring may need to be replaced. This is something that an HVAC technician can inspect and determine. A good connection between the thermostat and other components of heating systems is necessary, and proper wiring makes it possible. Loose wires and damaged wires can cause similar heating issues.
An HVAC contractor is a good resource to use for determining heating problems. Their heating services include thermostat repairs and replacements. They can also help you to identify if upgrading your thermostat to a smart thermostat could help make your life easier and save you money on heating and cooling costs.