Blog Know Your AC: Thermostat

A photo of someone adjusting their thermostat

Tiny yet extremely important, the thermostat is the control center of your entire HVAC system. It’s the helm, the reins, and the joystick if you will. It tells your system to start working harder or slower, warmer or cooler. It’s also where you most commonly interact with your HVAC system, maybe several times a day.

With your thermostat in control of the temperature in your home, you probably want to stay on its good side, right? In this edition of Know Your AC, we’re telling you everything you need to know in order to maintain a healthy relationship with your thermostat.

What is a Thermostat?

No, we’re not mocking you. We’re just being thorough.

A thermostat is a device that automatically regulates a system’s temperature by switching heating or cooling mechanisms on or off as necessary. You probably know your thermostat as the small box on an interior wall of your home where you go to turn temperature up or down.

How Does a Thermostat Work?

The word thermostat comes from the Greek word thermos, meaning standing or stationary. Your thermostat’s goal is to maintain the temperature in your home at a desired level.

A thermostat works by sensing the air temperature and switching the HVAC system on when the air temperature falls above (air conditioning) or below (heating) the thermostat setting. Once the temperature reaches the desired setting, the thermostat switches the system off again.

Thermostats run at a consistent pace until they have reached their goal temperature. Their output is not proportional to the difference between actual temperature and the set temperature, so turning your AC setting down really low is not going to make your home cool down any faster. In other words, if it is 75 degrees in your home and you want it to reach 71 degrees, turning the thermostat down to 68 degrees is not going to make your AC unit work harder. It will run at full capacity until it has reached the appointed setting, and then stop.

Where Should a Thermostat be Placed?

Thermostats require a free flow of air to accurately sense the temperature in a room, so it is important that nothing is blocking them. Curtains or furniture should not cover your thermostat. There should also be no heat-emitting devices, such a TV, placed close to your thermostat. Any of these things could throw off your thermostat.

Thermostat on the Fritz? Call Us!

As you’ve learned, the thermostat is a critical component of your HVAC system. If it isn’t working properly, your system may not be able to reach the temperature you desire. Call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Largo today at (727) 245-0378 to have a professional technician quickly diagnose and repair your thermostat! And visit our website to see what else we can do keep you and your family comfortable in your home!