If your house is too cold or too hot, the problem may be due to your HVAC thermostat. Troubleshooting your thermostat is not as difficult as you may think it is. Once you are aware of the basic issues, you may decide to do it on your own or get it fixed by a professional, but you know exactly what the trouble was. Here are listed for your benefit a few problems that might affect the normal function of a thermostat.
Check the location
Your thermostat should not be located near a bright lamp, TV, or close to an oven or any other source of heat. This is because the unit will read wrong temperatures, sending in turn wrong commands to the furnace or A/C.
Clean the unit
In case your thermostat malfunctions, it may just require a bit of cleaning. To clean the components, remove the lid and gently dust inside using a soft brush. To clean the contacts, gently slip a piece of paper in-between, pushing the paper back and forth.
Adjust the anticipator
If the furnace or air conditioner cycles on and off too frequently or too seldom try to adjust the anticipator — normally a flat pointer on a scale. In case heat stops and starts too often, move the anticipator a little higher. If it stops and starts infrequently, adjust it a little lower. Make sure you wait a couple of hours to check if the alterations are enough for your comfort.
Digital thermostats with keypads rarely fail. However, make sure you put in new batteries as and when required. Check all the wires too, and make sure everything is attached firmly to its mounting screw.
Set thermostat 5 degrees lower or higher than normal
Depending on which season you are in set the thermostat 5 degrees higher or lower.
Check the setting
Figure out if some other problem may be the cause for the device not to work correctly. Check whether the component is set correctly to ’Cool’ or ’Heat’. Ensure whether the primary circuit breaker of the air conditioner or furnace is set to ’On’.
Check wires if the system is not kicking on
Make sure that the wires within the thermostat are all in place. Choose the white and red wires if you have trouble with the furnace kicking on, or the green and red wires if the issue is with the A/C system coming on. Unscrew the wires from the specific terminals. Once you have loosened the screws, hold the wires, wrap them up together and turn on the breaker. In case the blower is turned on – for air conditioning or furnaces – the thermostat has stopped working.
With light cleaning and simple maintenance, thermostats, whether mechanical or electronic, will function extremely well. However, if you still have problems troubleshooting the thermostat on your own, it is best to call in a professional. They will help you not only to troubleshoot the issue, but also replace components that do not function.