Tips for Troubleshooting Your Thermostat Problems
A problem with the thermostat is inconvenient when you need cooling or heating, but it’s better than having a more expensive problem with the air conditioner or furnace. There are actually many things that can disrupt a thermostat’s function. Use this guide for troubleshooting thermostat problems before you call your HVAC tech.
- Power – If your thermostat is battery operated, replace the batteries. For wired thermostats, check the circuit panel for a tripped breaker.
- Wiring – Check the thermostat’s wiring connection by removing the housing and back plate. If you recently installed a thermostat, check the wiring schematic.
- Relays – Thermostats communicate with the heating and cooling equipment via relays. For example, the “W” wire turns on heating, and the “Y” wire turns on cooling. If the wires in the thermostat are correctly and snugly connected, you may have a faulty relay switch. If you hear a rapid clicking noise, a faulty capacitor on the outdoor unit is to blame. Call your HVAC tech for both problems.
- Incompatibility – Thermostats must be compatible with the heating and cooling system, as well as any advanced features such as variable-speed operation. If you use a heat pump for cooling and heating (e.g. dual-fuel heating), make sure the thermostat is heat pump compatible.
- Ghost readings – Thermostats should be installed away from anything that may interfere with temperature readings. Direct sunlight, nearby registers and grilles, heat-producing appliances and entry doors can cause ghost readings, so relocate the thermostat if necessary.
- High energy bills – High energy bills can indicate incorrect thermostat readings or inefficient thermostat settings. Energy Star suggests temperature settings of degrees during the cooling months and 68 degrees during the heating months. Use a digital thermometer to measure room temperature next to the thermostat to see if readings are the same.
For more details about troubleshooting thermostat problems in your Wilmington home, contact Sobieski Service, Inc.
Our goal is to help customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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