Is My Thermostat Bad?

How to Know if Your Thermostat is Bad

If your thermostat is bad or going bad you're going to want to get it fixed right away.  With a malfunctioning thermostat you'll be unable to run any part of your HVAC system, which in these summer temperatures is pretty rough.  Fortunately, there's a few easy things to check to know if your thermostat has gone bad and whether you need a professional or if you can fix it yourself.

is my thermostat bad
1) The Blank Screen of Death

If your thermostat screen is blank then there is definitely something wrong.  Normally, even if your unit is not turned on the screen should display the current temperature in the room.  This could be as simple as popping it off and seeing if it is battery operated and in need of new batteries, or it could be a major malfunction in your thermostat.


2) Your AC or Furnace Won't Turn On or Off

Your thermostat controls your HVAC unit and tells it when to turn on or off.  If the system isn't responding to these commands, it is most likely a problem with your wiring.  The electrical wires connecting to the back of your thermostat carry the electrical signal commands to your unit, but if those wires have become damaged or disconnected the signal won't reach its destination.  If your system won't come on, call a professional; if your system won't turn off automatically, try manually flipping the switch on the thermostat to off and after a few minutes back to on.  Turning it off and then on again may reset it.  If that doesn't work, call a pro.


3) Your Thermostat Displays a Different Temperature than the Room's Temperature

If your thermostat isn't reading the room's temperature correctly it won't know when it should or shouldn't engage your HVAC unit.  This tends to happen with aging thermostats and tends to require the thermostat be replaced.  Before spending money on a professional or a new thermostat, however, try verifying if it really is reading inaccurately by comparing to a different thermometer in your house.  Sometimes it just feels like your home is a different temperature than the thermostat is reading.


4) Your Unit is Short Cycling

Short cycling is when your unit kicks on and begins its heating or cooling cycle but is cut short for one reason or another.  If this is happening, while it could be your thermostat or a related electrical issue, there are a number of other issues it could be.  Short cycling can occur due to a dirty air filter or coil restricting air flow, your unit is under- or over-sized, or there is a refrigerant leak or subsequently frozen coil.  If any of these are your reason the system is short cycling, it is important to get your unit looked at quickly by a professional.  Allowing your unit to endlessly short cycle can result in permanent damage to your unit.


Thinking of Installing it Yourself?

Need a new thermostat?  Considering installing it yourself?  It's a pretty safe do-it-yourself repair item if you're so inclined, but it can get tricky.  For a little help, try watching this video.  Then if you still can't get it working give us a call.

And if you're wondering what brand to buy, we recommend a Honeywell.

My Thermostat is Working, But I Still Have an Issue

Whether your HVAC is not cooling or your HVAC is not heating, we can help.  There are a number of things that can be wrong with your air conditioner.  If you've checked out our list of easy things you can fix yourself, then it's probably time to call us.  We'll send our an HVAC repair specialist to diagnose and repair your air conditioner at a fair price.