How To Tell if Thermostat Is Not Working

July 19, 2021
Broken Thermostat in Roseville, MI

The thermostat is arguably the most crucial part of your air conditioning system. Therefore, it’s likely that your AC unit won’t work as expected to cool your home if it has issues. This can be very inconvenient this summer as many regions across the U.S. are experiencing record-high heatwaves.

If you are experiencing any unpredictable behavior or cooling issues with your HVAC unit, the problem might be with the thermostat. At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been helping homeowners in the Greater Metro Detroit area address their thermostat and overall AC issues for years. Here’s our expert advice on how you can tell if your thermostat is not working and some additional insights into troubleshooting the problem.

Indications of a Failing Thermostat

Uneven Temperatures in Different Rooms of the House

Are the temperatures in the different rooms of your house different? This indicates that the thermostat reading isn’t reflective of the temperatures of some rooms in your home. If this is the case, then your thermostat might have a problem.

The AC Unity Doesn’t Turn Off

Even in the hot summer temperatures, some excessive cooling isn’t what you are looking for. This is why the AC unit is designed to switch off automatically once the thermostat detects that a desired home interior temperature has been achieved. Suppose your AC unit doesn’t turn off when a cooler interior temperature has been reached. In that case, it is an indication that your thermostat is faulty, and thus, it’s getting incorrect temperature readings. This problem can also be a result of thermostat miscalibration.

The HVAC Unit Unpredictably Starts and Stops

A malfunctioning thermostat can also lead to your AC unit unpredictably start and stop. This would mean that the HVAC system will be unable to cool down your home effectively. The cause of the malfunction can be improper temperature readings by the thermostat.

The AC System Won’t Turn On

In the many years that we have been serving the Greater Metro Detroit area, among the most frequently asked questions from homeowners is why their AC unit won’t turn on. Though this problem can be caused by the general failure of the AC unit, more often than not, a faulty thermostat is responsible. The HVAC system won’t turn on if there are defects in the wiring inside your thermostat, especially the wires responsible for sending signals to the AC units.

The Thermostat Is Unresponsive

An unresponsive thermostat can manifest in two ways: either it may not take in your temperature adjustments, or its display might not change with your inputs. Wiring defects inside the thermostat usually cause this problem.

A Dead Display

The display on your thermostat is crucial as it’s the interface through which you monitor how your AC unit is working. If the display is dead, it means that there is an issue with your thermostat.

Troubleshooting a Malfunctioning Thermostat

Once you have noticed that your thermostat is faulty, you should try to troubleshoot it before calling a qualified AC technician to have a look at it. As the top-notch heating and AC company in the Greater Metro Detroit areas, our clients have often called us worried that their HVAC unit or the thermostat has failed. Once we get there, we find out that it is a minor issue that they could quickly solve themselves. Here’s the advice we give to our clients on troubleshooting a malfunctioning thermostat.

Replace the Thermostat’s Batteries

The batteries inside your electric thermostat are supposed to last for a year. Given the long duration between battery changes, it might be hard for you to keep track of how often you replace your thermostat’s batteries. Therefore, the first thing to do when you notice that your thermostat is malfunctioning is to fit in a new pair of batteries. This might sort out issues like:

  • A dead thermostat display
  • A thermostat that’s unresponsive to inputs
  • A thermostat that won’t turn on

Check the Setting on Your Thermostat

This might seem like something obvious, but you might find that your thermostat is on “Heat” during summer or “Cool” during winter. You don’t get to change this setting very often, so you might not have done so as summer started. Ensure that the thermostat is set to “Cool” in summer and “Heat” during winter.

Your thermostat should be set to “Auto” if the HVAC system is always running instead of “On.” The latter means that your AC unit will always be running no matter your home’s temperature. On the other hand, setting your thermostat to “Auto” means the HVAC unit will only run when it needs to cool or heat your home.

Reset the Thermostat 5 Degrees Up or Down

In summer, we recommend that you set your thermostat’s temperature 5 degrees lower than what it’s indicating, while in winter, you can set it up 5 degrees higher. This troubleshooting procedure is meant to eliminate the calibration issues that your thermostat might have like:

  • The HVAC unit erratically starting and stopping
  • The HVAC system not turning off
  • The uneven temperature in the house

As you do the temperature reset, there should be a click sound from the thermostat. Once that’s done, wait a few minutes and check if your AC system is blowing out or sucking in air through the vents.

Check Your Thermostat’s Wiring

You don’t need to be an electronic guru to check your thermostat’s wiring because the device is quite simple. Moreover, you won’t be looking for any technical problems except checking whether all the wires within the thermostat are fixed in place. Try to nudge the wires with a tester screwdriver to confirm that they are firmly fixed in place.

Remember that you are not supposed to do anything technical but make observations. If you notice any loose wirings, don’t try to reattach them, as you can end up completely ruining your thermostat. Leave that work to an experienced AC technician.

Call Us to Fix Your Thermostat Issues

Now that you have tried troubleshooting your thermostat and have had no success making it work well, it’s time for you to call us, C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, to fix your thermostat issues. Whether it’s winter or summer, having your thermostat problems resolved as quickly as possible means that you can get back to enjoying the comfort of your home sooner.

You can rely on us to provide you with superior services, thanks to our dependable and qualified HVAC experts. Our staff has decades of combined experience helping homeowners like you live happily and comfortably in their homes every season. We provide 24/7 emergency service, and you can expect our experts to be working on your thermostat and other heating and cooling issues that you might have within 24 hours of you making the call.

If you need a new unit or a replacement unit, we will provide you with a free quote. This encompasses everything concerning your home comforts, like air conditioners, duct cleaning, electric furnaces, and emergency repairs. Don’t let insufficient finances keep you from enjoying your home’s comfort; at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we are glad to offer you financing options for approved credit when you want to replace your old HVAC system.

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