Thermostats are one of the most important components in any HVAC system. A malfunctioning thermostat can result in any number of problems, including increased Bay Area utility bills which is even worse in a time of higher energy costs. Your thermostat may malfunction because of dust accumulation or aging wiring. But, before you call the professionals to repair your thermostat, there are a few quick DIY troubleshooting tips that can help you fix it.
1. Thermostat Should be on the Right Setting
This is one of the most obvious troubleshooting tips. But, it is also the most common cause for thermostat discrepancies in a household with multiple people. Someone may change the thermostat setting thinking it is too hot or cold. You should also make sure the thermostat is set to “cool” in summer and “hot” in the winters.
Try setting the thermostat to “Auto” from “On” if you think the air conditioner unit is constantly running. This will make sure the heating/cooling system doesn’t constantly run. The blower in “Auto” mode will only blow air out of the vents.
2. Keep the Thermostat 5 Degrees Up or Down
You should consider setting the temperature 5 degrees higher than normal if it is summer and 5 degrees lower if it is winters. This won’t change anything in your comfort level, but will put less burden on your HVAC unit. You should hear a click whenever you change the thermostat settings. You should also wait to check if the supply registers blow air out or suck in air.
3. Check Batteries in Electronic Thermostats
You may need to replace the batteries in digital thermostats. This takes care of the problem in most cases. Make sure you replace the batteries in your electronic thermostat every year.
4. Clean Mechanical Thermostat
You may want to clean your mechanical thermostat. These thermostats come with a little lever for moving temperature. These thermostats can begin to malfunction if dust settles over it. Use a cloth or a small brush and clean the thermostat from the inside. You may want to take off the cover and clean out the insides completely.
5. Check the Wire Connections
Remove the thermostat cover and check all wire connections. This is to make sure that all wires are connected firmly to their mounting screw. It may be time to hire a professional if your thermostat is connected but is not working the way it is supposed to. The HVAC technician will open the thermostat and check all wires individually to determine which one is fault. You may want to get in touch with a certified HVAC technician since working with live wires can be dangerous.
Signs of a Broken Thermostat
Thermostat can be broken when it is unresponsive and has no power. Batteries may require replacing if there is no change in your home temperature even after adjusting the temperature. Wiring defects in the thermostat are usually the cause for an air conditioner not turning on.
Air conditioner units may switch on and off frequently if the thermostat is not calibrated properly or the wiring is frayed. Another sign that there is something wrong with your thermostat is that different rooms have different temperatures. Fluctuating temperatures point to a broken or faulty thermostat.