What Are the Signs of a Bad Thermostat?
The thermostat is the brain behind your heating and cooling system. When something goes wrong, the entire system stops functioning. Here are some signs your thermostat is failing, and how to fix the problem.
6 Signs of a Bad Thermostat
If you experience any of the following issues, your thermostat might be to blame:
- The AC or furnace won’t come on: When you set the thermostat above or below the ambient temperature, you should hear a click, and the AC or furnace should kick on almost immediately. If you make changes at the thermostat and nothing happens, that’s the first sign you have a bad thermostat.
- The HVAC system won’t turn off: A miscalibrated thermostat could be the cause of this problem, or the wiring that turns off the HVAC equipment might be broken.
- The thermostat is unresponsive: If the display is dark, or nothing changes on the screen when you press buttons, your thermostat might be bad.
- The HVAC system short cycles: Short-cycling is when the furnace or air conditioner runs briefly but fails to complete a full cycle. If this happens, your energy bills could increase while comfort levels go down. Several issues could be to blame for this problem, including a bad thermostat.
- The room temperature doesn’t match the thermostat setting: This might mean the thermostat is coming on and off when it’s not supposed to. If the system is short-cycling, this could cause the rooms furthest away from the heating and cooling systems to have the most noticeable comfort problems.
- The programmed settings reset themselves: Programmable thermostats are designed to maintain their settings over the long term. If you continually find yourself having to reprogram the settings from their default state, it could mean it’s time for a new thermostat.
5 Troubleshooting Tips for a Bad Thermostat
Since thermostats are easily accessible, it should be the first place you check if you have trouble with your HVAC system. Here’s how to troubleshoot a bad thermostat:
- Check and adjust the settings: First, make sure you’re not jumping to conclusions about your thermostat. Check that the settings are correct and the temperatures you have programmed are appropriate for the season.
- Replace the batteries: If you have an electronic thermostat, remove the faceplate to expose the batteries underneath, and replace them. Make this a yearly habit to help prevent problems with your thermostat.
- Clean the thermostat: If you have an older mechanical thermostat with an analog lever to control the temperature, dust can cause a malfunction. Remove the cover and gently dust the inside with a soft brush or cloth to see if that fixes the problem.
- Check the wire connections: With the thermostat cover off, check that the wires are all firmly connected to their corresponding mounting screw. Loose wires could result in faulty functionality.
- Reset the circuit breaker: Your thermostat might have tripped a circuit. To find out, go to the breaker box and look for the furnace or AC circuit. If the breaker switch doesn’t line up with the others, flip it all the way off, and then back on again. This should restore power to the thermostat and fix the problem. If the circuit keeps tripping, you may need to have your electrical panel serviced.
Contact Us for Thermostat Repair & Other HVAC Services
We can repair or replace your thermostat and perform other essential HVAC services in your Northeast Ohio home.