How To Tell When Your AC's Thermostat Is On The Fritz


If you rely on your central HVAC system for cooling, then you know that small white box on the interior wall of your home is the brains of the operation. Your thermostat tells your AC system when, how much, and how long to cool your home. Everything's great when your thermostat's able to give your AC system its marching orders, but things can go wrong if it suddenly malfunctions.

Thermostats can fail in a variety of ways, which makes proper diagnosis and troubleshooting essential. If you can't get your AC system to function properly, here's how to tell if the thermostat is the culprit.

1. The Thermostat Display Is Frozen or Blank

One telltale sign that something's gone wrong with your thermostat is a display that's either completely blank or frozen. If resetting the thermostat—usually by removing and reinserting the batteries after a few seconds—has no effect on the thermostat, the entire unit will likely need replacing.

2. Thermostat Adjustments Have No Effect

Another sign that your thermostat is on the fritz is an inability to properly adjust thermostat temperatures, sometimes even when the display shows your desired temperature. No matter how high or how low you set your desired temperature, the thermostat refuses to operate accordingly.

Before throwing in the towel, make sure your thermostat is actually set to "COOL" instead of "HEAT." In many cases, the wrong setting can cause your thermostat to be non-responsive at certain temperature thresholds.

3. Battery Changes Don't Help

A low battery charge can sometimes make the average thermostat behave in strange ways. Fortunately, most thermostats display a "low battery" light or icon somewhere on the display, giving you plenty of time to buy a fresh set. If a battery replacement fails to clear up a thermostat's strange behavior, then it's up to a professional to check further.

4. The AC System Runs Constantly

Remember how it was mentioned earlier that the thermostat is the brains of your AC system's operation? One sure-fire sign of a failing thermostat is an AC system that runs without end. Unless the thermostat sends the right signals to the HVAC unit, your AC system could run forever—or at least until it overheats and breaks down from the stress and strain.

If this happens to you, you'll need to find a way to shut off your AC system entirely until a professional can make the proper diagnosis and repairs. In most cases, you can turn off the HVAC system at the circuit breaker or at the switch box located outside near the outdoor condenser cabinet.

Contact an HVAC company that provides air conditioning repair services to learn more.


15 March 2019

Streamline Your HVAC System

As a DIY enthusiast, I started doing everything I could to make my household appliances more effective then ever before. I insulated my attic, worked on cleaning the vents around my kitchen appliances, and eventually turned my attention to my air conditioner and furnace. Unfortunately, the process of taking care of my HVAC system was more intense than I had originally anticipated. I realized that I needed to read about air conditioners and furnaces before I started tinkering around. I made this blog to showcase all kinds of different articles that talk about HVAC, so that you can become a more informed homeowner.