A broken thermostat is more than an annoyance—it can quickly mean your house gets uncomfortably hot or cold, and it often leads to substantial energy waste as well. The most common signs of a broken thermostat are:
- Thermostat display is off or is non-responsive
- Turning on the heat or AC does nothing
- The heat or AC will come on, but either stays on nonstop or cuts out before the temperature setting is reached
In general, any time the AC/heat doesn’t deliver the desired temperature, it could mean your home has a broken thermostat. But similar problems can also occur if the AC or furnace themselves have an issue, or even if the ductwork in your house is leaking. That’s why we recommend some simple DIY steps so you can determine for yourself whether the thermostat is broken—and fix it in minutes.
How to troubleshoot your thermostat—and possibly fix it in minutes
For most of these steps, we’re going to assume you have a digital thermostat. However, well also cover tips for the older analog thermostats (that look like an actual dial you turn) below.
Here are the steps to follow in order to try to fix a broken thermostat:
- Check the power circuit. Are the thermostat and the AC/furnace receiving power? Check your circuit breakers and make sure.
- Try replacing the batteries on the thermostat. This simple step alone resolves many thermostat issues.
- Clean it. Some thermostats open easily so you can clean the inside. Others will require that you unscrew the faceplate. Dust, nicotine buildup and other dirt inside can all affect your thermostat’s performance. To clean, brush the inside gently with a dry, clean paintbrush or similar soft tool. (Compressed air also works, but follow all safety instructions on the can.) Always cut power to the thermostat’s circuit and remove batteries before doing this.
If you have an older, electromechanical thermostat (the “dial” kind), there are extra steps you might take. When you open it up, you’ll see a metal strip, often in the shape of a circle or coil. Try lightly pushing it—in either direction—and see if that solves things. You may also need to follow additional instructions in your user manual, specifically for setting it to the proper ampere setting. This sounds complicated, but it only takes a few minutes.
Thermostat Not Working?
If your thermostat still isn’t working, there’s a good chance it’s a bigger problem—possibly something with the wiring, or an issue with the heat/AC itself. Let Ambient Edge help you. We can get a professional to you quickly, give you a flat-rate estimate on the spot, and get your home heating and cooling working smoothly. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Give us a call at 888-628-5890 or fill out the form to your right and talk to a pro today.