A smart thermostat is the perfect addition to your intelligent home system. Through a compatible app or voice-controlled device like Alexa or Google Home, you can easily set and monitor the temperature in your home. There is no easier way to keep your space comfortable.
If you have never owned a smart thermostat before and are curious about their function, we are here to help. This post will tell you everything you need to know about the average life expectancy of your smart thermostat, how you will know it is wearing down and what you can do to fix it.
Advantages to Owning a Smart Thermostat
Why choose a smart thermostat over an older model? There are tons of advantages of installing a smart thermostat in your home – they make controlling your home environment convenient, simple and more efficient. Here are a few of the top benefits of owning a smart thermostat.
One of the very first reasons that people will opt for a smart thermostat over a more traditional model is for the energy efficiency. Not only a smart thermostats less wasteful, helping to make your home greener, but they will also save you tons of money on your energy bills.
With a traditional thermostat, you have to manually adjust the settings as you go. If it is cold in the morning, you turn the thermostat up, and then turn it down again once the day warms up. The problem is, heating and air conditioning systems do not react immediately to thermostat adjustments. A lot of energy and heat can be wasted in the time it takes the heating and cooling systems to adjust.
A smart thermostat can adjust to your daily routine. Through your phone or laptop, you can set the thermostat to turn up and down accordingly so that the temperature adjusts in tune with your schedule. That way, there is no energy wasted, and no time wasted waiting for the house to warm up or cool down.
A smart thermostat provides more options for programming than a traditional model. For example, the Nest thermostat, a popular brand, can be set to detect when there are no people in the house and turn off the heating or AC, to prevent wasting energy. When you come back home, the sensor will turn the thermostat on again and adjust it to your preferred temperature.
Another great feature that comes with modern smart thermostats is password protection. If you have renters in your home, for example, you can set a password on the thermostat through a smart home app so that no energy is wasted.
Another issue people tend to have with older thermostat models is compatibility with certain heating and cooling systems. Older thermostats tend to be programmed to work with specific systems.
Most smart thermostats, because they are newer, have a wider net of compatibility. Chances are that any smart thermostat will be compatible with the systems in your home. Of course, to be sure, you will want to check with the manufacturer to see which kinds of systems the smart thermostat is designed to work with.
Smart Thermostat Life Expectancy
Now that we have talked a little about the advantages of owning a smart thermostat, let’s go over how long you can expect your thermostat to last.
Of course, the exact lifespan of your smart thermostat will depend on the brand. Some are inclined to last a little longer than others. While many last as little as five years, others can last as long as twenty. Because smart thermostats are all newer models, though, you can expect them to last a little longer than your old thermostat.
The settings of your thermostat can also make a big difference for its life expectancy. The more you adjust to dramatic temperatures, either high or low, the more it will wear on your thermostat, and lifespan will be shortened.
Again, as smart thermostats are generally much newer, they will function for longer than older models – even if you are adjusting the settings to high and low temperatures often. With external factors such as brand, production and settings aside, we can say that the average life expectancy for a smart thermostat is around ten years.
Of course, your smart thermostat may last much longer than that. To be safe, though, you should count on about ten years, and look for signs of it wearing down around that time.
How to Tell that your Smart Thermostat is Breaking Down
Using a thermostat that no longer functions can be harmful to your home – not to mention your energy bill. That’s why it is important to change out your thermostat as soon as it starts to break down.
How will you know when the lifespan of your smart thermostat is up? There are a few key signs to look out for. One of these symptoms alone might not mean a broken thermostat, but if you see all of these things occurring at once, chances are it is time to replace that old smart thermostat with a new one.
It shows the wrong temperature
Most modern thermostats have a display screen that shows you what the temperature in the room is. Smart thermostats will also display the temperature on an app, or be able to read it out loud through a voice controlled device.
If the temperature reading on your thermostat does not match the actual temperature in the room, there is a good chance it needs replacing. It’s helpful to have another method of checking the temperature available in your home, so that you know when the reading is off.
Your heating or AC won’t turn on
If your heating or air conditioning unit isn’t turning on when the smart thermostat has it scheduled, it may be a fault in the thermostat. You can try manually turning the heat or AC on and off to make sure that it is not a problem with the system.
Your heating or AC stays on continuously
Another symptom of a breaking thermostat is if your heating or AC system does not turn off when it is supposed to. If you find that the heat or AC is continuously running in your home, even when the thermostat says it is not, it may be a thermostat problem.
Similarly, if you notice the heat or AC starting at random times, not according to your regular schedule, it might mean a faulty thermostat.
The thermostat is unresponsive
Finally, the most obvious sign of a broken thermostat is a thermostat that is completely unresponsive or won’t turn on.
Try manually restarting the thermostat to see if you can get it up and running again. If that doesn’t work, it’s a good sign that the thermostat needs to be replaced.
Troubleshooting a Faulty Thermostat
If you are seeing any of the signs described above, but your smart thermostat is still relatively new, don’t rush out and buy a new one. It may not need to be replaced – the problem could be something fixable. Here’s how to troubleshoot a thermostat that is having issues, and figure out exactly what the problem is.
Step 1: set your thermostat
Put your smart thermostat on the setting you would normally have it on. If it is winter, make sure it is set to heat, and if it is summer, make sure it is set to cool.
You won’t get an accurate test if your thermostat is not on a normal setting.
Step 2: turn it up (or down) 5 degrees
The easiest way to check your thermostats performance is just to try changing the temperature by 5 degrees. Adjust it according to the setting it is already on – that is, if the heat is on, turn it up five degrees, and if the AC is on, turn it down five degrees.
If the temperature adjustment doesn’t work like it should, or if the heating or cooling system is unresponsive, the problem is probably with the connection between your thermostat and your heating and cooling, or with the systems themselves.
Step 3: check the power source
For a battery powered thermostat, this will mean taking the batteries out and replacing them with new ones. If your thermostat is hard wired (most smart thermostats are) try manually turning it off and back on again.
If resetting the power source solves the problem, the issue is probably with an electrical connection.
Step 4: clean out any manual controls
If your thermostat has any manual buttons or levers, the problem could just be dust or dirt blockages. Take the cover off your thermostat (if you can) and thoroughly clean out all accessible parts with a rag and safe chemical cleaner.
A smart thermostat can be a great addition to your home. They make controlling the heat and air conditioning easy, convenient and energy efficient.
Smart thermostats are made to last, but – like anything else – they will wear down eventually. Around ten years after installing your smart thermostat, you should keep an eye out for the signs described in this post.
Troubleshoot your smart thermostat and replace it when you need to, so you can continue getting the energy saving benefits.