The thermostat inside your Cincinnati area home controls the heating and air conditioning equipment to deliver precise temperatures throughout the year, just the way you like it. When thermostats malfunction, it can seem like there is an issue with the furnace or air conditioner because the home feels uncomfortable. Common thermostat problems can disrupt the operation of HVAC equipment.  Rusk Heating & Cooling shares what to do to solve common thermostat issues and restore comfort inside your home.

1. Exposure

Thermostats should not be installed in a location where they will receive direct sunlight at any point throughout the day. Solar energy can cause the thermostat to misread the temperature of surrounding air, therefore it will not signal your heating or cooling system to run as expected. Likewise, the thermostat should not be positioned near entryways or windows that are frequently opened or heat sources. This can expose the unit to hot or cold outdoor temperatures and cause the same issue.

What to do: Have your trusted HVAC technician reposition the thermostat to an ideal central location away from windows and doors.

2. Dirty Components

When dust and dirt settle within the thermostat housing, these contaminants collect on sensors, contact points, and other internal mechanisms. This accumulation throws off calibration, one of the most common thermostat problems. Improper calibration prevents the thermostat from correctly sensing air temperatures so it does not signal the heating and cooling equipment to cycle when appropriate. 

What to do: Gently lift off the cover of the thermostat to expose internal components. Use a soft brush or a can of compressed air to clean debris from contacts and switches – be careful not to touch any components with your fingers. Replace the cover once cleaning is complete. Schedule an HVAC maintenance tune up so your thermostat’s calibration can be adjusted if needed.

3.  Power Problems

Issues with the unit’s power source are extremely common thermostat problems. Without reliable power, the thermostat cannot communicate with the HVAC system at all. You may notice your furnace or air conditioner does not run and worry of an equipment breakdown, when the thermostat is actually at the heart of the problem.

What to do: If the thermostat’s electronic display is blank, check its power source. Replace batteries if applicable, or verify the breaker has not tripped for thermostats that are hardwired. If power was the issue, restoring this connection or adding fresh batteries should solve it!

4. Loose Wiring

Wires run from the thermostat to the furnace and air conditioner, carrying signals that tell these systems when to run and when to stop. If wiring connections within the thermostat are loose, these signals can be disrupted. 

What to do: Remove the thermostat faceplate, and locate the contact points where the wires connect from the wall to the corresponding terminals. Tighten the screws as necessary to secure the connection. If these connections are tight, the wiring between the thermostat and HVAC unit could be damaged, which your technician can repair.

5. Replacement Is Needed

A thermostat should last about 10 years before needing to be replaced. If the thermostat problems mentioned above don’t explain the comfort issues you experience, this is likely the case. Critical components may be worn out or broken, preventing the thermostat from properly controlling the heating and cooling system.

What to do: Talk to your technician about installing a new thermostat. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient models such as Wi-Fi, smart or programmable thermostats, which can help you lower household energy costs. Your technician performs installation and makes sure the new thermostat communicates correctly with your heating and cooling equipment so you no longer experience common thermostat problems.

Call Rusk Heating & Cooling for Thermostat Help

If you suspect any of the common thermostat problems above yet troubleshooting hasn’t corrected the malfunction, it’s time for professional help. Rusk Heating & Cooling inspects your HVAC system and controls to diagnose common thermostat problems and provide effective solutions for better comfort. Schedule service when you contact us today.