How to Clean Your Thermostat

by | Apr 30, 2020 | HVAC Blog

While you’re busy sanitizing everything, take a moment to clean your thermostat!
While nothing beats thoroughly washed hands for cleanliness, cleaning frequently handled electronics as well as your thermostat, is an important step in stopping the spread of illness.

Sanitize your thermostat the same as you would your tablet, phone or remote.
A little disinfecting wipe once a week is a good thing. The key is to squeeze out all the liquid so the cloth is only damp, making sure there is no moisture accumulation on the device.

Oasis recommends using:

  • A soft non-abrasive cloth
  • A mild, ammonia-free cleaning solution.

There are two types of residential thermostats, each requiring a slightly different approach.

  • A programmable electronic thermostat will have a digital screen.
  • An electro-mechanical thermostat will have a dial and buttons.

Cleaning an Electronic Programmable Thermostat

Nexia Thermostat

Honeywell, Nest, Nexia & Trane are only a few of the brands of electronic thermostats available in the US.
Some thermostats, like Nexia, have a “Clean Screen” feature.
Gives you 30 seconds to wipe it down while the touchscreen is deactivated. Prevents you from inadvertently changing the settings.


If you have a Nest or other thermostat without a “Clean Screen” option:
Gently wipe the display and sides of the thermostat, making sure no drops of moisture accumulate around the ring or in the grill at the bottom of the display.

If you think your thermostat isn’t working properly or if you have any questions about how your system is functioning now that the weather is hot, call Your Oasis Comfort Specialists: (520) 648-1755

What about Cleaning Your Electro-mechanical Thermostat?

Cleaning an electro-mechanical thermostat has additional advantages over cleaning an electronic thermostat: You can realize improved Energy Efficiency! One of the most common reasons for electro-mechanical thermostats to function poorly is dust or dirt accumulation on its mechanical calibration parts. The extra energy it takes to cool and heat your home controlled by a dirty thermostat can increase your fuel bill as much as 7%. For example, if the thermostat is set for 70’F, it may actually be 73’F because dirt interferes with its operation. Cleaning an electro-mechanical thermostat yourself is a low-cost way to help improve efficiency. By maintaining a clean thermostat, you also lengthen its lifespan and make it less likely to malfunction.

How to Clean Your Electromechanical Thermostat

  1. You’ll need: A clean, soft paintbrush or compressed air, and a Q-tip, alcohol, batteries and a level.
  2. Remove the Thermostat Cover: Clean out all the dust, dirt, bugs, and buildup. Some covers have screws, some slide, and most of them simply snap off. It’s very important to not touch any of the interior parts with your fingers.
  3. Clean the Contact Points: Turn your thermostat up until the contact point closes. Now floss a soft piece of paper between the contact points. Blow it clean.
  4. Clean the Bimetal Coil: Use a soft, clean paint brush to brush away any dust from around the metal coil. Blow it clean.
  5. Clean the Switch Contacts: Clean the switch contacts with a Q-tip moistened with rubbing alcohol.
  6. Use the level: Make sure the thermostat is exactly level on the wall.
  7. Replace the batteries before putting the cover back on.


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