My thermostat has always been hard to read. It's old -- like 1990s old -- and it has a touch screen that requires a stylus, that amazingly is still with it, even though it is not attached by a string like the pens at banks. Ever since I moved in, back in August of 2009, I've always found it difficult to read. The light has to be right, you have to be looking at it at the right angle, etc. Somehow, though, I figured out what I need to push at the beginning of winter and the beginning of summer to keep this place at my optimal temperature. Although it allows programming for certain hours of the day, I couldn't see the screen well enough to try to accomplish that, especially without an instruction manual, and although there is a brand name on this thermostat, there is no model number, and it is so old I can't find anything like it online. (This is the best part about buying a house -- you have no idea what previous owners installed.)
Recently, it's gotten even harder to read. I could barely see it, but luckily I knew generally what area of the touchscreen to press to get my a/c on, and it's all been good. Yet, still annoying. Why couldn't I read my thermostat? Did I need a new one? Could I install a new one myself if I bought one at Home Depot? All of these thoughts kept running through my mind. Then, out of the blue (and I don't know why, an act from a sympathetic God maybe?), something occurred to me.
Could it possibly need a new battery? Could this thermostat, that looks adhered to the wall, possibly come off, and have a battery inside?
I decided to find out on Sunday. Upon closer inspection, I realized there were slots on the outside, which indicated that it was possibly capable of popping off the wall. I pushed them in, and it popped up, showing a whole lot of circuit boards inside. I won't lie, I panicked when I saw this initially, because I was afraid it was broken. Circuit boards are scary. I hated EE201 in college. But then, there they were -- two double A batteries. Since I have practically a lifetime supply of batteries, I popped in some new batteries, and somehow managed to align the thermostat to the wall, perfectly into the slots. Best of all, the a/c continued to crank, so I didn't break that. (If it's even possible to break it by doing this, which is unlikely.)
And? I can read the screen perfectly now. This is amazing stuff, and I can't even believe I didn't think of this before. Honestly, I never thought it might have batteries in it. Maybe that's dumb -- I don't know -- but I have had no experience with thermostats prior to this. When you are renting, you just call the landlord about this kind of stuff. (And everywhere I rented in the past had either highrise controlled heating/cooling, or a really old dial type thermostat. This is my first experience with a touchscreen.) So, maybe now I can actually figure out how to program it, since I can actually see the screen!
I'm very proud of myself for figuring this out. I also successfully changed the lightbulbs in my garage door opener over Memorial Day weekend (I got up on a ladder and everything), so that's another success. You have to understand -- I just don't do this kind of thing usually. It's funny because I'm in an amazingly technical field and have an engineering degree, and can spar with the best of the experts at a technical deposition, but anything actually hands on technical related to my house terrifies me. I'm always afraid I'm going to break something. Yet, I never have. Maybe I should have more faith in my abilities. (LOL, like changing a couple of lightbulbs and a battery is a technical ability! But hey, it works now!)