The thermostat is the brains of your home’s HVAC system and is responsible for controlling both the cooling and heating systems, or simply the furnace if your home lacks central air. It does so by detecting the temperature of whatever room it’s in and comparing it to the temperature setting you have chosen. If the room rises above or dips below the desired temperature setting, the programmable thermostat will relay a message requesting heat or cool air.
Modern digital thermostats are usually quite reliable, but they do run into problems and fail from time to time. A faulty thermostat can cause your furnace or HVAC system to malfunction or stop working altogether.
No one deserves to be uncomfortably hot or cold in their own home, so let’s take a look at five fail-proof ways to recognize whether or not your home’s thermostat is working as it should or needs professional repair.
1. Check the Battery Light and Display
When diagnosing a potentially malfunctioning thermostat, the first and most obvious order of business is to check the battery light and display. If the display isn’t working, or if the battery light indicator on the thermostat is flashing, simply try replacing the batteries in the thermostat. If it still isn’t working after new batteries have been installed, you can call a professional thermostat repair technician or move on to the next step.
2. Check the Temperature
Even though the air coming from your home’s heating and air conditioning ducts may seem hotter or older than it should be, you should take its temperature with a thermometer in order to properly diagnose the problem. The temperature of the air coming out of the ducts should be within a degree or two of the thermostat’s temperature setting.
If the air coming out of the ducts is hotter or colder than it should be, check to see if the thermostat is set on Auto or Fan. If it is set on Auto, the temperature sensor or thermostat itself could need replacing.
3. Adjust the Temperature and Check the Vents
Another surefire way to determine if your thermostat is malfunctioning is to simply adjust the temperature setting on the thermostat to lower or higher. Then, check to see if air is coming from the vents.
If the vents don’t come on, have your spouse or friend stand next to the furnace or HVAC unit while you turn the thermostat off and back on. Your helper should hear a click when it turns back on. If he or she doesn’t hear a clicking sound from the relay, the thermostat is more than likely to blame.
4. Check the Outside Unit
Most people forget all about the air conditioning units on the outside of their home, but you can evaluate this unit to tell whether or not your thermostat is malfunctioning as well. If air is blowing from the ducts inside your home and the outside unit is not running, there may be an issue with the thermostat or the relay switch connecting it to the air handler.
If you have a programmable thermostat, try resetting it following the instructions in the manual if you have it handy. If not, or if resetting the thermostat doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to call a thermostat repair technician to properly diagnose and fix the issue. Our professional, experienced techs will quickly diagnose the problem and have your home’s heating and air system working like new.
5. Check the Wiring
Lastly, check to make sure the thermostat is set to Cool or Heat, depending on the season and your temperature preference. Also, check the main circuit breaker for your home’s HVAC or furnace and see if it’s correctly flipped to the ON position.
If it is, flip it to the OFF position and remove the thermostat cover. Once the cover is removed, check the wires and make sure each one is correctly attached to the right mounting screw.
If there are loose screws or wires, it’s a wise idea to call a professional for help. With years of experience dealing with wires and thermostats, our knowledgeable service techs will be able to safely and correctly button up your thermostat’s wiring and fix the issue.
Preventing Thermostat Malfunctions
Many homeowners invest in a heating and cooling system but fail to maintain it properly with regular servicing and upkeep. Like your car, your home’s heating and cooling system needs proper maintenance and care in order to work properly.
A regularly maintained and properly functioning heating and cooling system will keep your home cool, comfy, and cozy for years to come.
In addition to keeping your home warm and cool, a well-maintained HVAC system will save you money and provide you with better air quality as well.
By having the filters regularly replaced and the coils regularly cleaned, you’ll save a considerable sum on your electric bills and enjoy much cleaner, healthier air.
Most heating and cooling systems will need an occasional emergency repair. However, a well-maintained unit will be much less likely to fail when put to the test during the winter and summer months.
Keeping your system regularly serviced and inspected by an HVAC and thermostat repair pro will allow you to breathe a sigh of relief in knowing it will work like a champ when you need it to the most.
If you have problems with the thermostat or HVAC system in your Orange County, CA home, call the experts at Dial One Sonshine at (714) 613-1016 today!