The Ultimate Thermostat Maintenance Quiz

Staff

What is a home heating thermostat?

A home heating thermostat is a sensitive control instrument that responds to small temperature changes. A thermostat allows you set a temperature for your home and then it automatically controls a heating or cooling device to maintain your setting.

Does a thermostat require any kind of routine maintenance beyond adjusting it to a desired temperature?

There are some routine maintenance tasks recommended for best thermostat performance. Many people simply ignore their thermostats, but a poorly maintained thermostat can cost you unnecessary heating or cooling dollars.

What is the first thing you should do at the start of each heating or cooling season?

You can check your thermostat for accuracy with a glass thermometer. Tape a thermometer on the wall with a pad under it, near your thermostat, wait 15 minutes and check that both are indicating the same temperature within one degree.

If your thermostat is heating your home to 73 degrees instead of the 70 degrees that you have it set for, how much will that inaccuracy increase your heating bill?

An increase of 3 degrees higher than you desire can add about 7 percent to your home heating bill. That is almost one hundred dollars extra that you will pay on a typical seasonal heating bill.

What do you need to be careful of when you are cleaning dust from a thermostat?

You must be very gentle with the bimetallic strip or coil. Jarring or bending the bimetallic coil can cause irreparable damage to the thermostat and it will need to be replaced.

What should you be careful of when cleaning or adjusting a thermostat that contains a glass bulb of mercury?

Be careful not to break the glass vial, as mercury is poison and will separate into tiny balls that are difficult to clean up. Mercury will slowly evaporate but the fumes are also a health risk, if you break the bulb remove pets and children immediately and consult the web for proper cleanup procedures.

How do you level a thermostat that is equipped with a glass mercury vial?

You can use a small torpedo level to check that the thermostat is level. Do your checks with the thermostat cover off, if it is not level loosen the mounting screws, level the unit, retighten the screws while making sure that it remains level.

What should you do before you open your thermostat to calibrate, clean or level it?

Always turn off the power to your heating or cooling system before you attempt to open a thermostat. Many thermostats are safe low voltage units, but some have dangerous household current under the cover. In addition, causing the system to rapidly cycle on and off during adjustments can cause expensive damage.

When replacing a thermostat what should you do?

Always buy a replacement rated at the same voltage and compatible with your system. The best way to insure that you have a proper replacement is to take the old one to the dealer with you.

What do you need to do when you are removing wires from the old thermostat?

With the power off, always tag each wire with the terminal number as you remove it so you can put them back in the correct order on your new unit. Make sure that no wires slip into any hole in the wall as you remove the old thermostat.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

There is a sensitive little device hanging around on one of your walls that is often ignored until you are too cold or too hot. Your heating and cooling thermostat is a device that will help make you feel comfortable as well as save you money, if you know how to take care of it. Take this quiz on thermostat maintenance to ensure your home stays the temperature you choose.

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