Your air conditioning will only run as well as its parts function.

When any single part breaks down, the air conditioner stops pumping out the cold air you need efficiently.

Your thermostat keeps your air conditioner running efficiently and properly.

It is the brains of your entire HVAC system.

When it breaks, your air conditioner may still blow cold air, but it won’t do so efficiently.

A basic AC thermostat calibration will keep the brains of your HVAC system healthy.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about AC thermostat calibration.

What Is AC Thermostat Calibration?

If a thermostat is not properly calibrated, the sensor in your thermostat is not reading your home temperature correctly.

Thus, you could be feeling a temperature of 75 in your home when your thermostat says the temperature is 72.

Improper calibration means your thermostat will not be cooling your home to your desired temperature.

Even the most energy-efficient HVAC system won’t run properly if your thermostat has problems.

Effects of Not Calibrating

When your thermostat is not reading your home temperature correctly, it runs unnecessarily.

Thus, a proper calibration will increase energy efficiency in your home and ultimately save you money while keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.

When you have your thermostat calibrated, you will see your energy bill drop throughout the warmer months.

You also avoid expensive air conditioning repairs caused by constant wear and tear on your air conditioning unit.

Overworking your AC will damage parts to the system, and a properly working thermostat will prevent this type of damage.

Frequency Of Calibrating

The frequency of calibration ultimately is up to you, but plan on having the thermostat calibrated no fewer times than once a year.

Some businesses will have their office thermostat calibrated daily to ensure a comfortable environment.

Since you have fewer hands touching your thermostat, an annual calibration usually works best.

Methods for Calibrating

Calibrating your thermostat takes skill. You can call a professional to calibrate it to make sure you have the best-working thermostat.

If you’re the DIY kind of person who wants to try to calibrate the thermostat on your own, you need to follow these precise steps.

Check For Inaccuracy

Before you fix your thermostat, you need to make sure it’s broken.

So first you need to check your thermostat for accuracy.

Begin by letting the air conditioner run for 15 minutes.

Compare the thermostat’s temperature reading with an indoor thermometer.

If the temperatures are the same, then you do not have a problem.

If the temperatures vary by as little as one degree, then you can calibrate your thermostat.

Check your thermostat for accuracy at least once a month during the hotter months of the year.

This will ensure your air conditioning unit is running efficiently.

Clean the Thermostat

Next, clean your thermostat.

Remove the thermostat cover to clean the inside.

All interiors of thermostats look different, so work carefully and with a delicate touch.

Use cloths and soft brushes to clean the thermostat components.

Some people will even use a new dollar bill to clean the magnetic connections in the thermostat.

The dollar bill is soft and yet very thin so it can reach between these delicate parts.

Never use a vacuum cleaner or a can of compressed air to clean inside your thermostat.

The pressure is too strong for these delicate parts.

Plus, if there is a broken part, you do not want to suck it up into your vacuum.

Adjust The Mercury Vial

If you have a mercury vial, you may need to straighten it.

Use a level to make sure the vial is straight, and handle it with care.

If you’re nervous about touching a vial of toxic mercury, then call a professional at this point.

They have specialized tools and the expertise to make sure your mercury vial is straight.

Adjust The Calibration Screw

If you do not have a mercury vial, then you have a calibration screw.

This screw sits inside a curled piece of metal in your thermostat.

Determine what size screwdriver you need, and then gently turn the screw back and forth until you open the contacts.

Then wait a few seconds and close the screw so the contacts are closed.

This open and close motion will reset the contacts and ensure you have good connections.

Check All Wiring

If the thermostat still isn’t working properly, inspect the wiring.

Dirt and corrosion can cause disrupt connections.

Use a cotton swab to remove the dirt and then check the wiring again before you close the thermostat.

Check Temperature Again

Once you’ve cleaned the thermostat, checked the wiring, and adjusted the mercury or the calibration screw, you should re-check the temperature.

Once again, let the thermostat run for 15 minutes to recalibrate.

Then take another reading.

Your temperatures should match up now.

If your thermostat is still off, you can repeat the steps or you can call in a professional.

The HVAC pros understand how to calibrate a thermostat since they do this every day.

They also can tell immediately if your problem is the thermostat or something else.

Calibrate, Save, and Relax

A basic AC thermostat calibration will ultimately save you money and leave you with a more comfortable environment.

Your air conditioner will run efficiently, and you can sit back knowing that you’re saving money while enjoying the creature comfort of cool air pumping into your home.

Do you need a trusted and experienced ac and thermostat repair company?

Give us a call or contact us through our website.

We have committed ourselves to provide the best in service and customer satisfaction in the Pheonix and East Valley area.

We believe so much in our service that we offer a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty with every new install we perform, assuring our customers that we’ve done the job right the first time.

Customers have come to us for over 70 years for their heating and air conditioning needs.

So you can trust us as well.

Give us a call today. We’d love to help you out.


Looking for the top HVAC company in the Greater Phoenix area to keep your AC System running & safe? We can help! Contact the Surprisingly Affordable HVAC experts at Scottsdale Air Heating & Cooling to get more information here: 480-359-7141 OR you can request service online here.

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