Every home that has a central air conditioner or an HVAC has a thermostat. It is that small and sleek electronic device mounted on the wall from where you control the temperature inside your home. Being a device with wires and circuits, a thermostat can become faulty and malfunction. But when it does, how would you know? Well, that is the whole point of this post. A thermostat that has become faulty will not work as desired, and as a result, certain symptoms become noticeable. The symptoms of a bad thermostat are hard to ignore as they will interfere with your daily comfort level inside the house.
A thermostat is an electronic device for achieving the desired temperature inside the house. It allows homeowners to monitor the actual temperature by sensing it and regulates the heating and cooling AC equipment accordingly. A thermostat activates the air conditioner or a furnace when the indoor temperature reaches a fixed point. Once the desired temperature is reached, it circulates air until the connected equipment needs to kick in again.
Symptoms Of A Bad Home Thermostat
We spoke about the symptoms above; it’s time to see what they are. But before we do that, one small information that may come handy at some time. Usually, thermostats have a lifespan of around 10 years. If your home thermostat is nearing that time or has shot over it, you may want to think about replacing it. Coming back to the symptoms, here’s the list –
1. Thermostat Does Not Switch On – There is a display screen on every thermostat which shows the temperature setting. If the display screen is dead, it could indicate a fault. However, the screen may not be alive because the power supply to it has been cut or because its batteries are either too low or dead. Before assuming that the thermostat has malfunctioned, make sure that the power supply to it has not been switched off accidentally. While at it, you may want to check for loose connections inside the thermostat. Also, try changing the batteries. If neither trick works, you can assume the worst.
2. Air Conditioner Or Heater Does Not Start – There is a wire which connects the thermostat to the AC or the furnace. If this wire has come loose, the thermostat will not be able to regulate the temperature. Additionally, the sensors in the thermostat may be reading the temperature incorrectly. Due to this error, it does not send the required signal to the AC or the heater to cool or heat the room. In any case, the AC or the furnace will not kick in, and there will be no immediate respite. You cannot check out these problems on your own. Only a trained HVAC technician can do that for you.
3. AC Or Furnace Runs Constantly – An important job of the thermostat is to send the signal to the AC or the furnace when to switch off or cycle off. When the thermostat malfunctions, it is unable to send this signal. In the absence of the requisite trigger, the AC or the furnace works continuously and does not cycle off. The problem may arise because the wire that sends the signal is broken, or maybe the thermostat has not been calibrated correctly. Again, this is an issue that you cannot handle on your own and requires professional help.
4. Temperature Difference Throughout The Home – The thermostat maintains the same temperature throughout your home. When it develops a fault, you will notice that every room has a different temperature. Sometimes the variance may be subtle due to which you may not think about it. At other times the temperature may be glaringly different, making it hard to ignore. Now, such an occurrence does not always mean that your thermostat has gone bad. It may occur because the blower fan is sluggish, the air filters are dirty, or you may have unknowingly blocked the ducts with furniture or potted plants. To assume the worst in one go is foolhardy. First, ensure that the ducts are open and the air filters have been replaced. If it does not do the trick, call your local HVAC company to help you figure out the cause of the temperature difference.
Troubleshooting A Bad Thermostat
Here are a few things you can do on your own while troubleshooting a bad thermostat –
1. In winter, make sure that your thermostat is set on “Heat”, and in summers, it should be set on “Cool”.
2. If the AC or furnace is running continuously, it may be set on “ON”. Change the setting to “AUTO” so that the system blows air only when it is heating or Ac not cooling.
3. Turn the thermostat 5 degrees up in winters and 5 degrees down in summers. You should ideally hear a click followed by warm or cool air coming from the registers. If this does not happen, your thermostat has malfunctioned.
4. Replace the thermostat batteries often before they die out completely.
5. Take off the top cover of the thermostat and brush the inside lightly. Dust may have accumulated on the mechanical parts, making them unresponsive.
6. While the top cover is off, it would be a good time to check that all wires are intact and held in place. Tighten all loose cables.
A thermostat can go bad, but so can other components of your air conditioner and heater. Assuming that the root of the problem is the thermostat is not wise thinking. The problem may lie elsewhere. It is always better to get the opinion of your trusted HVAC technician. Since they are trained to handle all issues arising in your AC or furnace, they will look for all possibilities before passing judgment. On the other hand, due to your limited knowledge, you may overlook an important aspect. Technology does falter, and when it does, Aztil AC comes to your assistance. If you are a Florida homeowner, experiencing problems with your AC or heater, feel free to contact us anytime. Our team of elite professionals will get to your home and take care of everything.