If you are experiencing heating problems, the thermostat is one of the first places to check for a malfunction. Below are some of the thermostat issues that can create heating problems.
The thermostat requires electricity to operate. The electrical power can either come from the batteries or from the main electrical supply. Therefore, if your thermostat operates on batteries, it might malfunction if the batteries are dead. For example, a thermostat with dead batteries might fail to keep its settings or programs.
Loose Electrical Connections
The thermostat can also malfunction if its electrical wires are loose or disconnected. A disconnection means the thermostat is not getting any electrical power while loose wires mean the thermostat is getting intermittent electrical power. Such issues can mess up with the accuracy of the thermostat's readings. Tightening the loose connections usually solves the problem.
The thermostat has metal contacts that break and complete the electrical circuit to stop and trigger active heating as needed. Dirt and debris (including corrosion) can accumulate on the contacts and insulate them, thereby preventing the flow of current. This is likely to be the case with an aging thermostat or a thermostat in a dusty house (for example, during renovations). Fortunately, cleaning the thermostat will typically get rid of the problem.
Wrong Date and Time
If you have a programmable thermostat, then you may also experience a heating malfunction if the thermostat date is incorrectly set. Many thermostats automatically update their times and date based on the location input. Therefore, if someone accidentally input the wrong location, the thermostat will set the wrong date and time, and your house's temperature might not be as comfortable as it should be.
Heat Anticipator Maladjustment
The heat anticipator is an electrical device that determines the temperature at which the thermostat switches off the furnace burners. This is critical because the furnace burners don't stay lit all the time; they only burn when active heating is required and switch off once the desired temperature is attained. However, if the heat anticipator has malfunctioned, it might switch off the burners before the designed temperature is reached. As a result, your house might stay cold even though the furnace is operating as usual.
Wrong Thermostat Placement
Lastly, your thermostat can trigger inefficient heating if the thermostat is incorrectly placed. If you place the thermostat near heat sources or cold air drafts, it will read the wrong temperature. This may cause the thermostat to switch off the burners at an incorrect time or keep them burning for longer than necessary, and trigger.
Contact a heating system maintenance service for more help.