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How Long Will Your Thermostat Last and When Should You Replace It?

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Homeowners Examining New Smart Thermostat in Columbus, OH

If you've been using the thermostat in your Columbus, OH home for more than a decade, now is the time to replace it. Thermostats have an average lifespan of just 10 years. After this time, their performance declines, and their ability to effectively govern the activities of heating and cooling equipment wanes. Although these devices are small, relatively simple, and easy to overlook, they function as the brains of HVAC systems. The following is everything you need to know about thermostat replacement, including when to do it and why it's so important.

Industry Innovations

A lot has changed in thermostat design over the past 10 years. If you still have a standard thermostat at the helm of your heating and cooling operations, you're missing out on models that can remember and implement multiple temperature settings throughout the day. Programmable thermostats give consumers the ability to strategically lower or raise their indoor temperatures while they're asleep or away. This way, they aren't paying for heating and cooling when they aren't at home to appreciate it and when they aren't awake to notice it.

Programmable thermostats have also given way to Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostats. Have you ever wondered whether your kids have cranked your thermostat up while you were away at work? Have you ever worried that you forgot to turn your heater off before leaving for vacation? Smart thermostats allow consumers to monitor and remotely adjust their thermostat settings for any location. All you need is an Internet-connected device and your log-in information. These and other innovations have led to greater peace of mind, increased safety, and lower carbon footprints and energy bills.

Ideal Thermostat Locations Aren't Always Fixed

For optimum comfort and efficiency, residential heating and cooling plans must be well-devised and regularly refined to reflect structural building changes, changes in solar heat gains, the addition of heat-generating appliances, and countless other factors. In some homes, thermostat locations have never been truly ideal. Some thermostats are installed right near ovens and others are too close to large windows that get lots of natural light and heat. These positions make it hard for these devices to accurately read indoor temperatures. As a result, heaters and air conditioners don't always turn on when building interiors are too hot or too cold for residents' comfort. Changing out your old thermostat is an opportunity to correct its location.

If you recently revised the layout of your property or cut down an old tree that offered plenty of shade, these or other alterations could necessitate changes in your thermostat's placement. This remains true even if this device was correctly positioned before. A standard thermostat with limited functionality and less-than-stellar placement could be costing you more than you think.

You May Be Missing Out on Customized Comfort

Many consumers who are still holding onto their old, standard thermostats don't lack ambition when it comes to saving money. There are a lot of people who are already manually adjusting their thermostats to reflect their comings and goings and their more lenient, nighttime heating and cooling needs. However, even when they're good about remembering to make these adjustments, they're still missing out on the customized comfort that programmable and smart thermostats supply.

With a programmable or smart thermostat, you can set your heater or air conditioner to turn on right before you wake up in the morning or arrive in the evening. This eliminates the need to suffer in an overly chilly or excessively hot home while you wait for your heater or AC to kick into action. Programmable thermostats make it both easy and comfortable to limit your heating and cooling demands and your overall energy consumption.

Eliminate Human Error and Give Yourself One Less Thing to Manage

One of the major benefits of having a programmable thermostat is being able to limit both the potential for human error and the amount of work you have to do. Although some homeowners are using their standard thermostats as set-it-and-forget-it solutions to indoor climate control, they're doing so at the sacrifice of comfort and potential energy savings. They're also risking tremendous energy waste if temporary thermostat changes are forgotten. For instance, if you step out of the shower and crank your heater up because you're freezing cold, you may realize several hours or days later that your heater has been working non-stop when indoor heating was no longer needed.

Although programmable thermostats can be pre-set to match resident preferences, they are still flexible enough to be manually adjusted as needed. This leaves plenty of room for accommodating both changing needs and natural oversights.

How to Know Whether Your Thermostat Is Ready to Be Replaced

Aside from noting that your current thermostat has reached or passed its tenth year of service, you may notice increasingly inaccurate temperature readings. Although these can be the result of improper thermostat placement, inaccurate readings are also a common indication of age-related decreases in thermostat performance.

Older thermostats can also have a hard time maintaining consistent settings. Even older programmable thermostats can malfunction in this respect. When they do, they'll quickly shift temperatures without provocation. Finally, if your heater or air conditioner is relatively new and well-maintained but suddenly refuses to turn on, the underlying cause could be an outdated or broken thermostat.

A Programmable Thermostats Is an Easy and Inexpensive Home Upgrade

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to improve the marketability of a home that you're selling or renting, opting for a programmable or smart thermostat is an excellent choice. Although newer and more advanced thermostats are more expensive than standard options, they're relatively cheap when compared to other improvement projects. Smart thermostats modernize properties to keep them on par with current market standards. They can also be seamlessly integrated with other smart home features.

Tips on Deciding Whether a Smart or Programmable Thermostat Is Right for You

In some households, the switch to programmable thermostats can result in energy savings as high as 20%. Programmable thermostats can remember and use multiple daily settings, and they allow for manual, as-needed adjustments.

Smart thermostats take the enhanced convenience and efficiency of programmable options a bit further. These devices are Wi-Fi enabled which means that you don't have to be physically present to monitor or use them. They're also highly intuitive, learning devices that collect and store information on resident behaviors. Over time, they become adept at adjusting themselves. These devices additionally store helpful user information for energy use tracking. You can access and study this information to refine your heating and cooling plan and to further reduce your home energy bill. Smart thermostats are also highly effective for monitoring and managing zoned HVAC systems that rely on two or more thermostats.

The Lifespans of Thermostats and Heating and Cooling Equipment

Whether smart, programmable, or standard, your thermostat will give you a decade of reliable use. Your heater and air conditioner should last between 15 and 20 years, and your HVAC air ducts should be replaced every 10 to 15 years. Upgrading or replacing your thermostat when you replace your ducting or invest in a new air conditioner, boiler, heat pump, or furnace, is a great way to ensure that all of your new equipment works seamlessly together.

We help residents of Columbus, Ohio optimize their home comfort and save money. We offer air quality testing, furnace and air conditioner repair and replacement services, and preventative HVAC maintenance. We also provide programmable and smart thermostats, heat pumps, and ductless mini-splits. To schedule an appointment, contact Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros today.