Running a central air conditioning unit is one of the fastest ways to drive up utility bills during the summer. While cooling is often a necessary evil, problems with the system can make your utility bills soar higher than the outside temperatures. And the problems can often trace back to that simple little device on the wall you use to set the temperature.
Here are a couple of ways your central air conditioning thermostat can drive up utility bills. Call an air conditioning repair company to help fix the problem and get your bills back down to a manageable range.
The thermostat contains a sensor that determines the temperature inside your home so the unit knows when to turn the air conditioning on or off to meet inputted temperature. Problems with the wiring or positioning of the thermostat can lead to faulty temperature readings that cause your air conditioner to run far more than you intended.
A good place to start is to change the batteries, as dying batteries can make the thermostat behave unpredictably. You can also open up the thermostat unit – after turning off power to the unit – and look for a small round sensor plate that's near a coil. That plate should be in front of the coil but not against it. Gently push the plate forward if it's touching the coil.
Wiring problems can also cause the thermostat to take incorrect air readings. Unless you're an experienced electrician, you should leave this job to your air conditioning service technician. The tech can ensure the thermostat is getting proper voltage and can replace the unit if there's a substantial problem.
Wiring Errors That Trigger The Heat Pump
Incorrect temperature readings aren't the only problem that can arise from faulty thermostat wiring. Wiring problems can also cause the unit to trip both the heating and cooling elements in your HVAC system at the same time.
Many central heating and cooling systems combine mechanisms in the same units so that you don't need a bunch of bulky equipment sitting around. The system is calibrated so that only the heating or cooling aspect works at one time – thus the handy "heat" and "cool" switches on your thermostat.
But a wiring issue can lead the heat to turn on with the cold. You might not notice because the air through your vents will still seem fairly cool because it's a mix and not just straight heat. However, you will notice that your interior seems far warmer than the temperature reading. If this is the case, call out an HVAC tech as soon as possible.
For more information, contact R & B Heating & Air Conditioning.