Thermostat Problems: Setting the Differential

Have you ever felt like the temperature the thermostat was reading wasn’t the actual temperature that it was in the home? Many homeowners will find that the temperature in their home fluctuates between uncomfortably hot to uncomfortably cold as the furnace or air conditioner cycles on and off. This could be caused by a number of problems, but for many, the issue can be traced back to the thermostat. Either the thermostat is placed in an area of the home that doesn’t represent the most accurate temperature for the home overall, or the differential is set inappropriately.

Thermostat in the Wrong Place

If the thermostat is exposed to some other factor that can affect the way it reads the temperature it could cause the thermostat to turn off the heating and cooling systems inaccurately. Direct sunlight, being installed on an exterior wall or being placed too close to a supply vent can all affect the way your thermostat controls the heating and cooling units. Check the position of your thermostat and if you feel it is being exposed to any factors that can add extra heat or cold to the thermostat, have the unit moved!

Resetting the Differential

If the thermostat is in the right spot, you may just have a problem with the settings. The differential on the thermostat is often set too high causing huge temperature swings in between cycles. The temperature differential is either set at one, two, or three degrees. This means that when the furnace is on, the home can heat up to three degrees above the set temperature before the thermostat will shut the unit down. The furnace will then not turn back on until the temperature in the home drops three degrees below the set temperature. This is what causes the discomfort and it can be fixed with a simple adjustment. Not many of us are HVAC experts and if you are having trouble getting to the bottom of your thermostat problems, contact your favorite pro for some help.

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