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7 Ways to Troubleshoot a Faulty Thermostat

By April 4, 2020August 26th, 2020One Comment

Troubleshoot a Faulty Thermostat

Your thermostat plays an incredibly important role in the function of your heating and cooling system. It acts as the brain and inevitably controls the performance of the entire system. That is why you need to know what to look for and how to fix simple problems with a faulty thermostat. While it is the “brain” of your system, it is relatively easy to see if it is malfunctioning. Here are three sure signs.

1. If It is Unresponsive

The most obvious problem is if it is unresponsive. However, even this has varying degrees. If you have a digital unit, the screen may be blank. It may also not respond when you attempt to change settings. The final part of unresponsiveness is when the switch does not activate to send a signal to the furnace.

2. System Cycles Unreliably

Your system may also cycle unreliably. This could come in three ways. The first is that it may turn on and off unexpectedly. This causes undue wear on the system and a lot of wasted energy.

Your system may fail to engage at all. Several things may cause this, including a faulty thermoregulator. The same thing is true for if the system will not shut off after reaching the desired temperature.

3. Hotspots in Your Home

If you find areas of your home that are hotter or cooler than others are, these are the hotspots. These areas can be caused by the system cycling unexpectedly. When it is constantly starting and stopping the air in the house does not heat and cool equally. (continue below)

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Troubleshoot Your Faulty Thermostat

Common Thermostat Issues

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Simple Solutions to Fix a Faulty Thermostat

Fortunately, not all problems mean you have to replace your unit. Here are seven simple and quick steps to solve your problem. If they do not work, you may want to consider bringing in a NATE certified technician in Clarksville to troubleshoot your system.


1. Check The Power

The first and most obvious solution is to check the power. Many units run on batteries, so checking the power is simple. Either pull out the batteries and test them or simply replace them. If you have a digital unit, there may be an indicator on the panel to make it even easier.

If your unit is hard-wired into your electrical, you will need a voltmeter or multimeter to check to the power. If the power coming in is not adequate, you will want to consult with a licensed electrician in Clarksville to find the source of the problem.

2. Review the Settings

Double-check all of your settings on your unit. The first is, of course, the temperature setting. Also, check to make sure the setting for either heat or air conditioning is in the correct position. Finally, check to make sure the fan is set to auto.

3. Clean Your Thermostat

This device is often overlooked during regular cleaning, and dust can settle on top as well as inside. To clean it properly you want to be sure to clean the outside, and then pull the face off. Brush any dust from the inside by gently using a soft brush, such as a small soft paintbrush. This ensures there is nothing to affect the internal function.

4. Evaluate the Location

It is possible to install your unit in the wrong place in your home. If mounted in a sunny area it can cause it to register a higher ambient temperature than the house. The same is true if it is mounted near the stove or in a bathroom.

If it is mounted near a doorway, it can cause a draft effect, registering a lower temperature in the winter. Be careful of where you mount it to ensure it accurately reflects the ambient temperature. If you need to move your device, you are best to work with a professional electrician or HVAC technician.

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5. Consider How It is Mounted

In addition to looking at where it is mounted, how it is mounted can affect its performance. Specifically, you want to check that it is level to gravity. This could make it look off to the wall, depending on how the wall was built. However, being level is important to ensure the temperature switch works correctly.

6. Adjust the Anticipator

Every household unit has a critical component called an anticipator. This is what helps the device run in cycles rather than constantly switching on and off. If the system cycles unreliably, it could mean the anticipator needs to be adjusted.

7. Reboot Your System

If your system will not turn on or turn off, you may need to reboot the system, including the thermostat. First, locate the breaker for the HVAC system, and turn it to the off position. Wait for about 60 seconds, and then turn it back on. While it is off, unplug the batteries for your device as well. If your unit is hardwired, be sure to kick the breaker for that as well. When you restart them, turn the device back on first, and then turn the rest of the system on.


Call an Experienced Professional if Your System is Malfunctioning

Do you have an extremely old system? Are you seeing or hearing things that weren’t there before? If you suspect that the system is not working properly, you should call a professional as soon as possible.

A few signs that the system is in trouble include abnormal noises or smells, an extremely cold home, expensive bills, and frequent shutoffs. Regardless of the concern, an experienced professional can solve the problem and perform the necessary repairs before an emergency occurs.

Prevention and maintenance costs are much more reasonable than having a costly repair later. Whether you live in Clarksville, TN or somewhere close by, the professionals at DOC Heating and Cooling are ready to help. The highly-trained technicians are available 24/7 for emergency calls and for regular maintenance to help keep your heating & cooling system running smoothly.

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Whether you live in Clarksville, TN or somewhere close by we are ready to help. Our highly trained technicians are available 24/7 to keep your heating & cooling system running smoothly.

One Comment

  • I had no idea that a faulty heating unit component could spike your monthly energy bills. I like your idea of finding experts who fix your heating unit and prevent these issues from resurfacing. I’ll consider your suggestion of finding a heating contractor if I purchase a boiler for my home someday.

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