We're proud to offer multiple financing options!

Learn More

Can a Faulty Thermostat Cause a High Electric Bill?

Man reading electric bill

You’ve been responsibly watching the thermostat in your home. You carefully monitor your home’s temperature at every opportunity, hoping to keep electricity costs low.

Then, the bill arrives, and the sticker shock is maddening and exasperating. You took every reasonable precaution to be energy efficient, so why is the bill so high?

If you truly did everything you could to keep the bill low – monitored the temperature, properly insulated your home, and took other well-known precautions – what else could you do?

Have you considered the quality of the thermostat itself?

What Can Go Wrong With Your Thermostat?

Thermostats detect the temperature in a specific area of your home. The reading it displays reflects the temperature at that exact spot of the house. If it detects a temperature that’s higher than your set point, it engages your air conditioner or furnace. Your system operates at a set temperature until the set point is reached. Once the thermostat determines it’s reached the proper temperature, it stops.

If your thermostat isn’t set properly, it could be triggering your air conditioning system (or heater in the winter) too often, which will cause high electric bills.

But that’s the only reason a thermostat might not function properly. If a thermostat isn’t wired correctly, the system could kick on the heat when it shouldn’t. Since anyone can buy and install a thermostat, a poorly done DIY job might produce this or another similar undesired result.

Sometimes, it boils down to location, location, location. If your thermostat isn’t in the right location, it can lead to readings that don’t jibe with the actual temperature level through most of the house and lead to unnecessary discomfort. 

Avoid areas that have temperature extremes, such as near doors that let in drafts, areas that get a lot of sunlight, exterior walls, the kitchen, or areas of the house that you don’t often use. Additionally, if the thermostat is near some source of heat, like a floor lamp, the thermostat senses heat and calls for the AC to run when it doesn’t need to. 

A broken or faulty thermostat can force your system to constantly turn on and off. This makes the system function inefficiently and will cause your electric bill to rise. 

Finally, your thermostat could be calibrated incorrectly. When this happens, the system cools lower than the temperature the homeowner selects. For example, the homeowner might set the thermostat to 75 degrees, but an accurate thermometer shows that it’s cooling to 72 degrees. It’s common for thermostats to give off a reading as much as 10 degrees warmer or cooler than the actual room temperature. 

How to Fix Your Home’s Thermostat

Instead, put your thermostat on the interior wall of a highly trafficked area. If you have a smart thermostat, be sure that doors, bookshelves, or decorations don’t obstruct it so the sensors can work properly. Also, make sure that your smart thermostat is in range of your Wi-Fi so that it can stay connected to your account.

If your thermostat’s calibration is off, try resting an accurate thermometer on top of the thermostat, find out how much it’s off, and compensate accordingly when you select the desired indoor temperature.

If that’s the case, though, you may want to consider buying a smart or programmable thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to remotely control your thermostat from your smartphone or other remote location. Some of them employ multiple sensors to monitor temperatures in different areas of the home for more balanced heating and cooling, which would eliminate a lot of the potential trouble we previously addressed. 

Thermostat Installation Services from Energy Savers

You can DIY, but we highly recommend contacting an HVAC company to install your thermostat. Proper installation is so important for your thermostat and heating and cooling system to work cohesively. If your thermostat is unresponsive or you notice display errors, poor installation might be the root cause.

Because there are so many types of thermostats available, our techs will work with you to find the best unit for you and your home. Not all thermostats are compatible with all HVAC equipment, so don’t buy one that won’t work with your HVAC system.

Contact Energy Savers Today for a New Thermostat

A faulty thermostat can cause several problems. If it doesn’t respond or doesn’t read correct temperatures, you could be stuck in a home that’s too hot or too cold. If you troubleshoot the issue and conclude you need a new thermostat, contact Energy Savers. Installing a new thermostat can resolve the issue.

Are you ready for a new thermostat in your home? If so, contact Energy Savers today! Our cooling and heating system techs will help you choose the right thermostat for your home and provide top-notch installation. No matter what HVAC issue you encounter, we can help.

Skip to content