Troubleshooting Your Home’s Thermostat
Whether mechanical, programmable, or Wi-Fi-enabled, your home’s thermostat is a temperature sensitive device that controls the time and duration your HVAC system operates. If you are having heating and cooling problems, try these thermostat troubleshooting tips to get your systems working again before calling a pro.
No Power, Heating or Cooling
Check to make sure the thermostat is in the mode you need, such as heating or cooling, and that the fan mode is off. Set the thermostat temperature five degrees higher/lower than room temperature for heating/cooling modes. If your settings are fine, try these thermostat troubleshooting tips:
- Power — If the thermostat is battery operated, put in fresh batteries. Check the circuit panel for a tripped breaker.
- Wiring — Check the wiring on the back of the thermostat to ensure they are connected firmly to the terminals.
If you hear a rapid clicking noise from the HVAC system and it won’t turn on, you may have a failed capacitor. Additionally, there could be a faulty relay preventing your HVAC systems from receiving a signal from the thermostat. Capacitors and relay switches are problems in the electrical parts that should be handled by your HVAC technician.
Another problem that may be blamed on the thermostat is short cycling. This is when your furnace or A/C turn on and off too frequently. There are several reasons for short cycling:
- Ghost readings — Heat-producing appliances, doors, and ceiling fans can affect thermostat readings. Your thermostat should be centrally located away from appliances, fans, and entry doors.
- Dirty components — A clogged filter and dirty heat exchanger can obstruct airflow to the point that your HVAC system overheats and shuts down. Once it cools, it powers on again only to quickly turn off. Check the air filter. Schedule preventive maintenance to have your furnace checked and cleaned.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our 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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