Can an old thermostat cost you money on your energy bill?

Can an old thermostat cost you money on your energy bill?

If your energy bills seem too high, your old thermostat could be the culprit. Mechanical/manual style thermostats in particular may be costing you money in ways you aren’t aware of. Thermostat problems are easy to overlook and are often misdiagnosed as issues with your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioning unit.  These problems can cause extra strain on your HVAC system, using more energy, and consequently, increasing your utility bill. Let’s look at some of the ways your old thermostat can cost you money.

Misreading the temperature

Your older thermostat may be miscalibrated, no longer able to accurately read the temperature in your house, or reacting to “ghost” readings (which can happen if your thermostat is positioned in direct sunlight or in a cold draft). This could mean that your heater or AC is kicking on when it is not needed, which wastes power. Additionally, you may have hot or cold spots in your home, which can cause you to turn up the heat or AC to compensate – again using more energy than you need.


An old thermostat can also cause something called “short-cycling”, directing the HVAC system to turn off and on rapidly without fully completing a heating or cooling cycle. This puts immense stress on your unit, causing damage and cutting years off the life of your system. Obviously, this will also result in much higher energy bills.

Lost connection

If your thermostat actually loses its connection with your HVAC system, you either won’t be able to turn your system on (which could result in your house being oppressively hot or freezing cold), or you won’t be able to turn it off, which can cost you a lot of money in wasted energy.

Lack of control

One of the biggest problems with an older style of thermostat is that you lack the ability to control it 24/7, and thus miss out on energy-saving opportunities.

New digital thermostats are more accurate, energy efficient, and can be remotely programmed. You can automatically set a lower temperature in the house when you are away or asleep, for example. You can remotely adjust temperature settings – so if you are on vacation and freezing weather occurs at home, you can turn up the heat to keep your pipes from freezing. Some of these thermostats even let you control the temperature room-by-room, so you don’t waste money heating or cooling rooms you may not be using.

If you’re interested in replacing your old thermostat, please don’t just buy a thermostat online and attempt to install it yourself. The technology of the new thermostat may not work with the rest of the HVAC system and can end up damaging it. We’d love to help you install a new energy efficient thermostat to help ensure that your home is comfortable and your energy bills are low.

Schedule a free estimate today with the professionals at Advent Air. We’re committed to the quality of the air you and your family breathe every single day.