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The Importance of Thermostat Calibration

August 27, 2014

The Importance of Thermostat Calibration

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently conducted a study, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey, which revealed that 65% of the energy used in homes is used for heating and air conditioning and 35% is used by appliances, lighting and electronics.  Since the majority of the energy consumption in homes is based on the HVAC system, it is crucial the system is properly regulated to be most energy efficient. Your HVAC system is regulated through the thermostat that has a control element which has the capacity to sense the room temperature and regulate the system which keeps the temperature of the room at the desired comfort level.

In order for your home’s heating and air conditioning to be effective and efficient, it is important to have a reliable thermostat which has been calibrated properly. Not having a properly calibrated thermostat can not only affect the comfort level in your home, but it can significantly place an impact on your energy bill.

There are two kinds of thermostats; one has a mercury switch which moves in relation to rising and falling temperatures, and the other is a digital thermostat which utilizes a computer chip to regulate the temperature. Both thermostats rely on the same basic principle of sensing the room temperature and making the adjustments to the desired temperature. A digital thermostat can be preset to automatically make the adjustments when the temperature deviates from the preset choice, which can help save energy. Digital technology is newer technology; however, even with new technology, there is a need to make sure the thermostat is calibrated to the correct temperature.

Checking the accuracy of a mercury thermometer or a digital thermometer is as simple as utilizing a glass tube thermometer. If you believe the temperature in your home is not reflective of what the thermostat shows, take a glass tube thermometer and wrap a paper towel around it. Take the glass thermometer and tape it to the wall a few inches away from the thermostat.  Both devices should be away from any outside influences, such as an open window, a door, or a large hole in the wall. If the hole for the thermostat is too large and allows air to enter the room, this could result in an inaccurate reading with the thermostat. Once the glass tube thermometer is on the wall, check the reading after 15 – 20 minutes.  If the temperatures are the same on both thermostats, the thermostat is calibrated correctly. In the event there is a variance in the readings, call Climate Tech Air Conditioning and Heating to make sure your thermostat is operating and calibrated correctly.

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