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Usual Signs of Thermostat Malfunction

Usual Signs of a Thermostat Malfunction

Your air conditioner’s thermostat is the brain behind the entire system. It allows you to tell the air conditioning system what to do and provides you with an automatic option so that you don’t have to be there to constantly change it. While your thermostat can be great while it is working appropriately, it can malfunction. Understanding the most common signs of thermostat malfunction can allow you to seek help from an AC professional to get the problem fixed quickly.

Display Not Working
The most obvious sign that your thermostat is malfunctioning is the display screen won’t turn on. If you’re like most homeowners, you have a digital display on your home thermostat. When working appropriately, it will display the indoor air temperature and the desired temperature that you have set.

When you notice that your display is not turning on, it’s best to head down to your electrical panel. Locate the circuit breaker for your air conditioning system and see if it’s in the off position. If the breaker has not been tripped, go ahead and reset it. You can do this reset by simply flipping the breaker to the off position, giving it five seconds, and then flipping it back to the on position.

Once you return to your thermostat, you want to see if resetting the circuit breaker fixed the issue. If not, go ahead and put in a new set of batteries. If resetting the circuit breaker and putting new batteries in it does not get your display to turn on, it’s likely a malfunction with the thermostat, and it will need to be replaced.

Inaccurate Temperature Reading
As you learned above, your thermostat displays two main temperatures. Each temperature will have a label that explains what its reading means. If you notice that the actual temperature reading on your thermostat seems to be nowhere near what the temperature inside feels like, you may have a malfunction with your thermostat.

It’s best to use a thermometer to assess the actual indoor air temperature. Go ahead and compare this to verify that it is inaccurate. If the reading is incorrect, it’s likely that your thermostat will need to be replaced. While you may be able to replace your own thermostat, it is highly advisable to contact an air conditioning professional to ensure that it’s done correctly.

AC Not Turning On
If you notice that your air conditioning system is not turning on when it’s supposed to, it could be a result of a faulty thermostat. Most often, you’ll notice this thermostat issue when you have it on the automatic setting and the temperature is much higher than what it’s supposed to be.

To ensure that the problem is with your thermostat, it’s advisable to turn the setting down to at least five degrees colder than the actual temperature reading on your thermostat. If your air conditioning system still won’t kick on, it’s likely that you have a thermostat problem, and you should contact a professional for help.

AC Running Non-Stop
Just as a faulty thermostat can cause your air conditioning system not to turn on, it can also cause it to run nonstop. Remember that your thermostat is the brain behind your air conditioning system, and when it’s not able to properly connect with the remaining system components, you’re going to experience problems. In most cases, a constantly running air conditioning system is typically an issue with the wiring inside of your thermostat.

Screen Not Responding
Depending on the type of thermostat that you have, you may be able to control the temperature with physical buttons on the thermostat or via a touch screen. If you try to alter the temperature on your thermostat and nothing changes, it could be a sign that your thermostat is not functioning. It’s not uncommon for a thermostat to have a child lock setting on it where you’re unable to push the buttons until you unlock the system. If you’ve checked to make sure that your child lock is off and your thermostat is still not changing, that it’s likely going to need to be replaced.

Short Cycling
Your air conditioning system is programmed to run through an entire cycle every time it turns on. If you notice that your air conditioning system is turning on and off very quickly, it’s likely that it’s short cycling. This can wreak havoc on many components inside of your air conditioning system. The most common reason for short cycling is a faulty thermostat. Due to the complexity of this issue, it’s best to call in an air conditioning professional to evaluate it before replacing your thermostat.

Higher-Than-Normal Energy Bills
When your thermostat is malfunctioning, it may not have some of the common symptoms that we went over above. Rather, one of the first suspicions that you may have is that you have received higher than normal energy bills. When your energy bills are high, it means that your air conditioning system isn’t working effectively.

Your thermostat could be to blame for these high energy costs. In most cases where the thermostat is to blame, it’s because the thermostat is not correctly reading the temperature. This will constantly cause your air conditioning system to overwork and consume more energy. If you think that your high energy bills are a result of a malfunctioning thermostat, you should contact an air conditioning expert to verify the problem before replacing your thermostat.

Lost Temperature Settings
One common sign of a malfunctioning thermostat is lost temperature settings. The problem with this sign is that it’s typically difficult for a homeowner to diagnose except over a long period of time. If you utilize the programmable settings on your thermostat, you have different temperatures set for different hours throughout the days of the week.

As your thermostat starts to go, you’ll notice that some of these temperature settings seem to disappear. This is typically most obvious when you notice a significant change in temperature at various times throughout the day. For example, you may have your thermostat set to return to 78 degrees in the evening hours when your family is at home. However, when you arrive home, your thermostat is still set at 88 degrees. When you log into your programmed settings interface, you’ll notice that some of them have disappeared.

A Note About Programmable Thermostats
While you may not give much thought to replacing your thermostat until you have a problem with it, you may want to. If you’re still working on a dial thermostat, you need to be upgrading to a programmable thermostat. These newer thermostats allow you more freedom in your air conditioner settings and are much more energy-efficient.

Most thermostats are designed to last between seven and 10 years. If your thermostat is approaching that 10-year mark, you should consider replacing it before it goes. This will help to save you a lot of hassle later on down the road when the thermostat does eventually malfunction.

Dependable AC Repair
When you’re in need of dependable air conditioner repair in Indianapolis, IN, look no further than Peterman Brothers. We offer cooling, heating, and plumbing services for residents throughout the Indianapolis area. Simply give us a call today!

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