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How to Detect a Faulty Thermostat

March 23rd, 2021 by Emily Mixter

How to Detect a Faulty Thermostat

A well-functioning HVAC is vital for home comfort. Any differences in your air conditioner’s efficiency are troubling, but first, inspect the thermostat before contacting an HVAC specialist. Minor thermostat issues may mimic more severe problems with your HVAC system and directly affect your comfort and the efficiency of your system.

When thermostat issues arise, they are rarely chaotic incidents with flying sparks or turning on smoke detector alarms. Most thermostat failures trigger slight or abrupt changes in the efficiency of your air conditioner. Since your unit’s performance is compromised, it easy to mistake the signs as an emergency HVAC issue when all that is required is thermostat troubleshooting.

4 Signs Your Thermostat is Faulty

Your AC Won’t Turn Off

The main purpose of a thermostat is to communicate with the AC. It transmits signals to your AC to either rise or lower temperatures. If your air conditioner runs continuously when the programmed temperature is reached, the thermostat’s electrical connection may be faulty. This can also indicate miscalibration, which makes the thermostat send the wrong signals to your HVAC.

The AC Won’t Turn On

The wiring between your air conditioner and thermostat may become frayed or damaged, thus affecting the connection and leaving your space cold. Wiring issues can also cause your AC to misinterpret temperature settings, thus causing irregular cycling.

Unresponsive Thermostat

As soon as you change your temperature settings, the thermostat will respond quickly to these adjustments. Usually, when you make the changes, you will hear slight clicking noises, and your air conditioner will start immediately. If your air conditioner doesn’t respond to the changes as soon as you make them, it is more than likely malfunctioned and needs replacement.

Constant Temperature Changes throughout Your Home

Unless your house is zoned and every room has a specific set of temperatures, the temperature throughout your home should be fairly consistent from one room to the next. A faulty thermostat cannot keep temperature settings; thus, you will experience constant temperature shifts within your home.

How To Troubleshoot a Faulty Thermostat

Test the Settings

You should always ensure that your thermostat is programmed on ‘cool’ in the summer and ‘heat’ in winter. If your air conditioner is continuously running, it may be programmed to ‘ON.’ You should program your air conditioner on ‘AUTO’ so that your air conditioner isn’t always running.

Turn the Thermostat 5 Degrees Up or Down

Switch the heat up 5° higher than normal during winter and then 5° lower than normal during summer. After doing this, you will hear a click sound made by your AC.

Change the Batteries

An easy and simple way of fixing thermostat issues is replacing bad batteries. If you have a digital thermostat, you should regularly change the batteries at least once every year.

Clean Your Thermostat

Remove debris and dust around your thermostat. This protects the electrical and mechanical parts from damage. Dust the inside of the thermostat cover using a dry cloth or small brush.

Check the Wiring

You should check your wiring to ensure it’s firmly connected. If there is nothing wrong with the wiring and your AC still is not working, you should contact an HVAC specialist.

If none of the above troubleshooting tips help you, consider contacting an air conditioning expert to inspect your system further. Call Thornton Heating Service for all your heating and cooling needs, including thermostat replacement.