How to Determine if Your Thermostat is Broken

broken thermostat

If your air conditioner or furnace doesn’t maintain the desired temperature in your home or business, there is a possibility that your thermostat is either broken or malfunctioning. A broken thermostat is more than a mild inconvenience–– it can quickly cause your home to become quite uncomfortably hot or cold rather quickly and could lead to a significant amount of wasted energy. 

It is important to keep in mind that similar issues can arise if the air conditioning system or furnace is malfunctioning due to other factors. That’s why we recommend calling a professional HVAC specialist to come out to your home to take a look at all of the potential causes of your broken thermostat to determine the best possible solution.

How Do You Know if a Thermostat is Broken?

The heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system in your home or business is controlled by a thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, your furnace, whole-house fan, and AC unit are probably not functioning as they should either.

Some of the most obvious signs of a broken thermostat are:

-The thermostat display screen is blank or unresponsive when trying to adjust the temperature

– The display on the digital screen seems faded or partly faded

– The heater or air conditioner does not respond when adjusting the thermostat.

– The furnace or AC remains running without stopping even once the desired temperature has been achieved

-The temperature differs from one room to the next

We encourage you to call FiveStar plumbing experts if you are experiencing any of these issues with your heating or cooling system or you are thinking your HVAC may need servicing. We can come out and analyze the problem in-depth and answer any questions you may have. Why isn’t my house keeping the temperature on the thermostat? Why is my thermostat not turning on my AC system? No matter the problem, we have the answers.

How to Troubleshoot your Thermostat

The following steps are designed for digital thermostat troubleshooting. However, we will cover the troubleshooting steps for older analog thermostats below. Here are the steps you can take to repair your broken thermostat before calling the professionals from FiveStar.

Check the Power Circuit:

Check to ensure that your thermostat components are connected to a working electrical  line. Double-check your circuit breakers for the possibility of them being tripped. If they have been flipped to the off position, simply switch them back the other way and see if the thermostat functions the way it’s supposed to.

Try Replacing the Batteries

Digital thermostats are typically powered up by AA or AAA batteries and when they are worn out or running low, they will need to be replaced with a new set. This simple step may solve the issue in one fell swoop.

Clean Your Thermostat

Dust, build-up, and other dirt or debris may collect inside the thermostat causing its performance to decrease.Some thermostats can be opened easily to clean the inside, while others will require a screwdriver to remove the faceplate. 

To clean your thermostat, gently brush the inside with a clean, dried paintbrush or something similar. Compressed air will also do the trick if you follow the safety guidelines printed on the can. Always cut off the power to the thermostat’s circuit and remove any batteries before attempting this.

Troubleshooting an Analog Thermostat

If your thermostat is a bit older or outdated, (typically controlled by a dial) stops working properly, there are a few steps you can take to find out what might be causing it. Once you open it up, you will locate a metal strip in the shape of a circle or coil. Try to gently push it in either direction to see if that does the trick. 

You may need to follow some additional directions in the user manual, specifically for setting it to the correct amperage setting. Although, it doesn’t sound like an easy feat, it really only takes a couple minutes.

Should I Replace a Thermostat Myself?

If your thermostat needs to be replaced and you want to install an upgraded one with more advanced technology, then it’s time to think about getting a new one. Home and business owners with some level of electrical skill and a comprehensive understanding of how thermostats work may be able to save the money on installation and labor costs by replacing the thermostat themselves.

Before you begin, it is important to keep in mind the main reasons why this isn’t always recommended and should be better left to the professionals.

  1. Risk of potentially expensive errors: If your thermostat is installed incorrectly, it may not be reliable and may not work to its highest potential. In the long run, an error like this could cost you more money in the long run than having it installed by a professional from the get go. 
  2. Wiring safety: High-tech thermostats with more advanced technology oftentimes have complex wiring. If you are not familiar or knowledgeable on the wiring and electricity components, you could break the thermostat, or worse–– injure yourself. 

Warranty requirements: A new thermostat may come with specific warranty stipulations that require the unit to be installed by a certified HVAC technician. In this case, there is a possibility of voiding your warranty if you try to do it on your own.

If Your Thermostat is Not Working, FiveStar Can Help

If you think you have a broken thermostat, there’s a strong possibility there is an even bigger underlying issue at hand. It could be a wiring issue or a problem with the air conditioner or furnace itself. Let FiveStar take the guessing out of it and get you and your home back up and running in no time. 

Get a professional HVAC specialist to your residential or commercial building quickly so they can assess the situation and provide you with an honest, flat-rate estimate on the spot.

Don’t suffer when we are standing by to get your home or business’ heating and cooling systems working better than ever. Give us a call at (615) 382-8131 or contact us for an appointment by clicking here and start chatting with an expert today!