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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).

 

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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.

 

Links

 

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

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