Troubleshooting Your Thermostat
5 Common Thermostat Issues & How To Fix Them
Your thermostat is like the brain of your heating and cooling system. When this device stops working properly, your home may become uncomfortable quickly. Here are five common thermostat issues and the troubleshooting tips to try before calling a professional HVAC company for help.
Why Is My Thermostat Not Reaching the Set Temp?
- Dirty sensors: Thermostats use temperature sensors to tell when to turn on the HVAC system. Over time, dust, dirt, and lint can find their way into the thermostat housing and block the sensors. To fix this problem, remove the cover and clean the parts inside using a soft-bristled brush.
- Damaged sensors: If your attempts to clean the sensors don’t work, they may be damaged, resulting in a higher or lower readout than the actual ambient temperature in the room. You’ll need help from a professional to fix this issue.
- Poor thermostat location: Is your thermostat exposed to direct sunlight, heat from an air vent, or drafts from an old window? You may need a professional’s help relocating your thermostat where it can get a more accurate temperature reading.
Why Won’t My Thermostat Let Me Change the Temperature Setting?
- Locked unit: Check if the child lock setting is activated. You’ll need to disable it before you can change the temperature.
- No power: If the thermostat isn’t working at all, there could be a power issue. Try checking the circuit breaker box or replacing the batteries.
- Bad wiring: The thermostat may be unresponsive if the wiring has gone bad. Remove the cover and check inside for loose, detached, or corroded wires. If you spot any problems, contact an HVAC technician for assistance.
Why Are My Heating and Cooling Systems Continuously Running?
- Auto fan: Check the thermostat setting. The fan may be set to “auto,” which means the blower circulates air continuously. To change this, set the fan to “on” so it only operates when the furnace or air conditioner is running.
- Faulty thermostat: There could be an internal fault with the thermostat. Call a professional for help diagnosing and repairing the problem.
Why Is My Thermostat Blank?
- Dead batteries: The first troubleshooting tip for a blank thermostat is to remove the cover and replace the batteries. If the screen powers on now, you’re good to go.
- Tripped breaker: For hardwired thermostats, the issue could lie with a tripped circuit breaker. Check your electrical box and reset any tripped breakers you find.
- Tripped safety switch: Check around your furnace or air conditioner for a safety switch. It may have tripped by accident. However, if you notice excess moisture or high temperatures within your system, call an HVAC professional to schedule an inspection.
Why Is My Thermostat Not Turning On?
- Incorrect settings: First, check that your thermostat is set correctly. If you want to heat your home, make sure it’s set to “heat.” If you want air conditioning, make sure it’s set to “cool.”
- Overheated HVAC system: If the HVAC system runs briefly, shuts back off, and won’t turn on again, the equipment may be overheating. Try replacing the filter and opening all vents to improve airflow. Also, be aware that air conditioners can take at least three minutes to turn on again after shutting off to avoid damaging the compressor.
- Broken thermostat: If no other troubleshooting tips do the trick, your thermostat may be broken and require a replacement.
Schedule Thermostat Replacement Services
Hopefully, these troubleshooting tips worked, and your thermostat is operating normally again. If not, Conditioned Air can set things right. Call us the next time your thermostat stops working, and we’ll diagnose the problem and recommend a cost-effective repair. If an upgrade is the better choice, we can install an energy-saving programmable or smart thermostat. With over 80 years of experience, you can trust our team to recommend the best options for your budget and comfort needs.