When the heating and cooling system is not working or not working as it should be, we tend to jump to the conclusion; something is wrong with the unit itself. You’ll be surprised to know that is not always the case. Many times, the blame lies squarely at the feet of the thermostat. Nevertheless, we pay no attention to it. Have you ever wondered why that happens? It happens because we are not aware of the signs of a broken thermostat. We attribute every problem to the HVAC system because, ultimately, it is what treats the indoor air. Hence, our aim today is to help you correctly identify the situations when you are dealing with a broken thermostat.
Before we begin, it is imperative to know an HVAC system cannot work on its own. There has to be a thermostat telling it what to do and when to do it. The HVAC system only follows the thermostat’s instructions.
Signs Of A Broken Thermostat
Here are some apparent signs of a faulty or broken thermostat that could lead to heating and cooling troubles:
1. Dead Display Screen – There could be two reasons behind this occurrence. One, the batteries of your thermostat are completely drained out. As a result, the display screen is not alive. The second reason is that some wiring inside the unit has come loose or there is a circuit problem. In the first case, you can do the needful by swapping out the out of juice batteries with new ones.
Conversely, the second scenario does not present any DIY opportunities. In this case, you need trained personnel or an HVAC technician to troubleshoot the thermostat. Typically they will uncover the thermostat and check all connections. If anything appears off, they will deal with it as necessary.
2. Non-Responsive Thermostat Display – If your thermostat display is on and there are no loose wires or circuit problem scenarios to deal with, most probably, you are dealing with a hanged thermostat. Does your PC or laptop ever hang? How about your smartphone? What do you do then? Most of you will answer, switch off the device and restart it. That’s exactly what you need to do here. Sometimes, although rarely, the thermostat screen becomes completely unresponsive. If you are facing something similar, switch off the thermostat completely and restart it. If the situation is so bad that you can’t even switch off the thermostat, do the next best thing. Take out its batteries. Now, reinsert them and switch on the thermostat. Hopefully, this shall resolve the issue.
3. Mismatch In Room Temperature And Thermostat Setting – A thermostat has sensors to gauge the indoor temperature. When the indoor temperature and that set on the thermostat differ, the thermostat instructs the HVAC system to start heating or cooling, as the case may be. In due course of its operation, if the HVAC system stops without achieving the programmed temperature, there could be a couple of thermostat issues that you might be facing:
- Someone Changed The Thermostat Settings Unknowingly – It does happen, and that’s quite normal. Say while cleaning the thermostat, the setting was disturbed, or if you have kids in the house, one of them might have decided to play with it in all innocence. As we said, these things happen. Hence, right off the bat, check the temperature setting on the thermostat. If it is off, correct it.
- Clean The Thermostat – Dust can get inside the thermostat. Even though it looks properly sealed, it is a known fact that dust and grime can still get inside it. Therefore, when cleaning the house, do ensure that you dust the thermostat as well. If there is dust in your device, you will have to remove its cover and lightly brush it clean. Even though it sounds simple, we still advise that you only let a professional HVAC technician do it. The device is delicate inside, and you wouldn’t want to disturb any wires or connections.
- Problem With Sensors – The thermostat is but a device that should be handled with care. Sometimes a blunt force trauma to it can damage the sensors. If that happens, it will not be able to read the ambient temperature correctly anymore. As a result, it may signal the HVAC system to stop working even when the set temperature is yet to be acquired. In fact, the reverse can also happen. The desired indoor temperature is reached, but the thermostat fails to gauge it, and the heating and cooling system continues to work.
Self Troubleshoot Tip When The Thermostat Is Working, But AC Is Not Heating Or Cooling
If your thermostat is working fine and yet the heating or cooling is still lacking, or the HVAC system is not working at all, you can try this quick troubleshooting technique. It is known to work in most cases. The trick is quite simple. Turn the thermostat up or down by 5 degrees based on the season.
1. In summers, set the temperature 5 degrees lower than what is ideal or standard.
2. In winters, set the temperature 5 degrees higher than what is standard.
When you turn the temperature up or down, there is a click sound, and after a few minutes, you should be able to feel the air moving once again.
To Sum Up
The problem does not always lie with the HVAC system. In some situations, it is the broken thermostat that is at fault. Nevertheless, at your end, all you can do is ensure that the thermostat settings are correct and that the display is working fine. Other than that, it is best to rely on the expertise of a trained technician. So, switch off the HVAC system (to prevent further damage) and call your trusted HVAC contractor for help. Above all, ensure that you take the pains to schedule regular maintenance of the HVAC system. This small step goes a long way in maintaining its efficiency and reliability.
If you wish to schedule the repairs or maintenance of your South Florida property HVAC system, contact Aztil Air Conditioning at +1-888-729-8452. We are here to help.