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 an issue with the furnace or air conditioner because the home feels uncomfortable. Some 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.

Common Problems That Thermostats Experience


Thermostats should not be installed where they will receive direct sunlight at any point throughout the day. Solar energy can cause the thermostat to misread the surrounding air temperature. Therefore it will not signal your heating or cooling system to run as expected. 

Likewise, the thermostat should not be positioned near entryways or frequently opened windows or heat sources. This can expose the unit to too 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.

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:

  1. Gently lift off the cover of the thermostat to expose internal components.
  2. 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.
  3. Replace the cover once cleaning is complete.
  4. Schedule an HVAC maintenance tune-up so your thermostat’s calibration can be adjusted if needed.

Power Problems

Issues with the unit’s power source are prevalent 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 about an equipment breakdown when the thermostat is actually at the heart of the problem.

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

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.

Replacement Is Needed

A thermostat should last about ten 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 adequately 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 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 in Professional Help

If you suspect any of the standard 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.

Why Trust Rusk?

We understand that when you are looking for assistance with your thermostat, you have plenty of options. However, not all HVAC companies are created equal. At Rusk, we have served thousands of homeowners over the last 150 years, making us one of the oldest and most trusted HVAC companies in the area.

 Between our experienced technicians and fantastic customer service, you will not be disappointed in your time with us. Don’t just take our word for it; check out any number of our reviews today!

Contact Us Today!

If you are tired of dealing with your HVAC systems thermostat not working how you want it, contact us today. We can set you up with a new programmable thermostat for consistent temperature setting and improved energy efficiency. Your search for high-quality HVAC system optimization ends today! We are more than excited to help you reach your goals.