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Many companies in the Greater Kansas City area have met the minimum requirements to perform HOME PERFORMANCE with ENERGY STAR assessments (energy audits).


Additionally, some members practice specific trades. Contact any of these professionals to start improving the comfort and energy efficiency of your business, and begin cutting your energy costs.

Calibrate your thermostats to ensure they are accurately measuring temperature

Tips to improve your home and lower your energy bill

A thermostat is a highly sensitive control instrument that responds to even the slightest change in temperature.


A common problem is dirt. Dirt can affect the thermostat’s calibration and interfere with its operation. For example, if a thermostat is set to heat for 70 degrees, it might really be maintaining a temperature of 73 degrees. The additional energy use can increase your fuel bill by as much as 7 percent. To prevent this, place your thermostat behind a protective, transparent box and check your thermostat for accuracy every year.

Other problems with a thermostat can often be traced to switches on the base or loose or corroded wires. Tighten loose connections with a screwdriver, and use a cotton swab to clean away corrosion.


What you need to do


Step 1:

Tape a glass tube thermometer to the wall a few inches away from thermostat. Pad thermometer with a paper towel to prevent it from touching the wall. Make sure neither the thermometer nor the thermostat is affected by any outside temperature influences.


Step 2:

Wait for about 15 minutes for the mercury to stabilize. Then compare the reading on the thermometer with the reading of the thermostat needle.


Step 3:

If the variation is more than a degree, check to see if the thermostat is dirty. To examine the thermostat, remove its faceplate, usually held by a snap or friction catch. Blow away any dust inside it. If the thermostat has accessible contact points, rub a new dollar bill between them to clean these spots. If the element is coiled, use a soft brush for cleaning.


Step 4:

If the thermostat has a mercury vial inside, use a level to make sure the unit is straight. If the thermostat is not straight, loosen the mounting screws and adjust the thermostat until it is level. Then retighten screws.


Step 5:

After cleaning the thermostat, compare it again with the glass thermometer, as detailed in Steps 1 and 2. If the thermostat is still not calibrated properly, it should be replaced.




Energy Impact Illinois - Calibrate Your Thermostats to Ensure They Are Accurately Measuring Temperature

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