Taking care of your HVAC system can be complicated. There are many different components, and all of them are vulnerable to different problems that can be caused by anything from faulty wiring to normal wear and tear. Your thermostat is particularly important, as it’s the part of your system that allows you to set the temperature. Every thermostat has a life span, and it’s essential that you replace yours as soon as you notice something is wrong if you want to avoid high energy bills or a costly breakdown. If you need more information, keep reading to learn about four signs that you could use a thermostat upgrade.

1. The indoor temperature fluctuates often.

There are several signs that you need a new thermostat, but one of the most is an inconsistent indoor temperature. A faulty thermostat will struggle to maintain the temperature you set on the control panel. If you set a temperature for your HVAC system and notice that it isn’t being met or that it fluctuates on a near-constant basis, there may be something wrong with your thermostat. You shouldn’t try to repair any thermostat issues yourself, just in case you cause more damage. Always call an HVAC professional to resolve the problem.

Keep in mind that there are other possible causes for temperature fluctuations that you should also explore. For example, cracks and crevices in your windows or window frames can let in outdoor air, which can affect the indoor temperature. You should inspect your windows for any possible damage at least once every few months so you can repair them or replace the windows entirely.

2. Your HVAC system won’t stop or start running.

When your HVAC system isn’t running, you’ll notice a significant change in your indoor climate, though sometimes you may also have the opposite problem. If your thermostat won’t reliably turn your HVAC on or off, that’s a sign something is wrong. This is often caused by damaged or frayed wiring that has broken its connection with the system.

3. The thermostat displays inaccurate readings.

An accurate thermostat reading guarantees that your HVAC system isn’t overcooling or overheating your home. When your thermostat isn’t displaying an accurate temperature reading, it can be an indication that there’s something wrong with the sensor. You can check the accuracy of your readings by using a portable indoor thermometer to measure the temperature indoors, then compare it to the temperature your thermostat is displaying.

4. Your utility bills are more expensive.

If your thermostat is malfunctioning, it can affect the overall efficiency of your system in a significant way, which can lead to uncharacteristically high electric bills. Your outdated thermostat could be causing short-cycling, which causes your system to run more frequently for short periods of time to cool your home rather than operating on a consistent basis.

One of the best ways to reduce your utility bills and make your HVAC system more effective is to upgrade to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled and allow you to control your home’s HVAC system via your mobile phone, smart speaker, or computer. Most thermostats make use of an algorithm that learns from your schedule and adjusts accordingly so as to use the least amount of energy possible to maintain your preferred temperature.

As you can see, there are a lot of red flags that can point to a problem with your thermostat. Keeping an eye out for them is necessary if you want to keep your HVAC system in good working order and maintain a comfortable and safe indoor environment. When you do upgrade your system, it’s best to opt for a smart thermostat. Not only will it give you more control over your HVAC, but you’ll also be able to adjust the temperature from anywhere, even when you’re not at home. The added efficiency will even help you save money, so there’s no reason to keep an outdated model.