Thermostats are potentially the most-used components of any air system as these are the command centers that deliver prompts to air conditioning units. These components often come in contact with skin, and can accumulate oils, grime, and dirt from everyday use.
They tend to be a hotspot for bacteria as well, which is why proper cleaning is a must to make sure your thermostat is sanitized. It is a good idea to clean your thermostat frequently, and sanitize it daily for proper home maintenance.
Effects of an Unmaintained Thermostat
- Dust getting stuck between the buttons;
- Jammed buttons;
- Malfunctioning thermostat;
- Thermostat is dusty.
How to Clean a Thermostat: A Step-by-step Guide
Step 1: Turn the Power Off
First, turn the power off to your thermostat. You wouldn't want to keep clicking random buttons while you clean it! Remove the batteries, or block the power source from your thermostat momentarily.
Step 2: Dismantle the Thermostat from the Wall
Dismantle the thermostat from the wall. Remove the thermostat cover, and unscrew the thermostat. This will enable you to clean the thermostat better, and achieve a more thorough maintenance of your thermostat. This also gives you the chance to reinforce the thermostat mount on the wall.
Step 3: Dust the Thermostat
Remove the thermostat cover, and use a soft paintbrush to dust out the loose grime from the thermostat. This will prevent the dust from accumulating through the cracks and gaps between the buttons, and will make it easier to clean the thermostat later on.
Alternatively, you can use a sticky slime to clean an electromechanical thermostat. These are specially made to clean electronics by getting into the nooks and crannies that cleaning tools cannot get through. Use with caution, however, as you may end up getting cleaning slime stuck between the buttons.
Step 4: Wipe a Soapy Water Solution
Create a soapy water solution using dish soap and warm water. Oil and grease from fingers can pass onto the thermostat, and dish soap can help break down the oils. This soapy water solution is gentle enough to use on a dirty thermostat, and effectively removes grime, dust, and oils. The soap may kill bacteria as well.
Take a soft cloth or sponge, and use it to wipe the solution over the thermostat. Do not spray or submerge the solution on electronic thermostats as the liquid may cause the electronic thermostat to short circuit. Avoid wiping loose or corroded wires.
If you have a smart thermostat, use the solution to wipe the LCD screen, and clear it up. If the LCD screen continues to look blurry, a quick wipe with a soft cloth dipped in white vinegar should do the trick to clear the screen, and remove oils left behind by fingerprints. Make sure smart thermostats are powered off to avoid accidentally activating the touch screen.
Step 5: Clean Thermostat Cover
Clean the thermostat cover. These are often made from plastic, and can be detached from the thermostat. If the thermostat cover does not have any electrical or mechanical components, then you can safely submerge the cover in soapy water, and scrub to clean it. Otherwise, wipe it down with the same cleaning solution as the rest of the thermostat.
Step 6: Sanitize the Thermostat Contact Points
The contact points and switch contacts of your thermostat are the buttons and parts that are most used. These come in contact with skin more often than other components. Clean your thermostat buttons with a sanitizing solution daily to kill germs, and make your home a safer space for you and your family.
To do this, simply spray rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth, and use this to wipe down the buttons and other contact points on your thermostat. Make sure your thermostat is powered off when you do this.
Step 7: Dry, and Place Back on the Wall
Let everything dry before placing the thermostat back on the wall. Restore the power to your thermostat, and you should be able to operate your air conditioner with improved efficiency.
Keep the Cold Air Flowing
HVAC maintenance requires professional cleaning and inspection every 4-6 months for the best care. Stop stressing over your air conditioner when you get routine maintenance with Luce Aircon - we make owning an air conditioner easy!
Check out more air conditioner maintenance and cleaning tips on our blog!