Today’s smart thermostats are a critical component of a home’s HVAC system. Sophisticated programmable features allow users to be more energy efficient by controlling when and how much they heat and cool their homes. Some systems even allow for independent control of specific areas within a home. As with any technology, however, thermostats can malfunction. When an air conditioner or furnace does not work properly, the problem may actually be with the thermostat.
The first thing to check is the settings. Settings can inadvertently get changed, or perhaps go unadjusted for the new season. If correcting the settings doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to look for other causes. Here are five indications that your thermostat is bad or failing.
1. The Thermostat Has No Power.
One of the simplest ways to check the thermostat is to change the temperature setting to see if the air conditioner or furnace turns on. If adjusting the temperature doesn’t result in a change in the air temperature in your home, the problem could be that the thermostat isn’t getting any power. Try changing the batteries or check the circuit breaker that powers the thermostat.
2. Inconsistent Temperatures.
A faulty thermostat could result in hot or cold spots in your home. The thermostat may be causing your system to cycle on and off too frequently leading to poor temperature distribution, particularly in the rooms farthest from the central unit. The thermostat may need to be cleaned, adjusted or replaced.
3. Changing the Batteries Didn’t Help.
Fresh batteries can often resolve the issue. If that doesn’t work, however, have your HVAC technician troubleshoot the problem.
4. The Air Conditioner or Furnace Runs Constantly and Won’t Turn Off.
This may be a sign that the thermostat is not calibrated correctly and, as a result, is not sending the proper signals to the HVAC system. Another issue could be a break in the wiring preventing a signal from being generated.
5. The Air Conditioner or Furnace Won’t Start.
Similar to No. 4 above, the calibration or wiring could be the culprit. Another cause may be the location of the thermostat. If it is in a place that is in direct sun, or is subject to breezes, the thermostat may not be getting an accurate reading of the ambient temperature.