Faulty Thermostat: Is It Beyond Repair?

The thermostat is an essential part of any HVAC system. Thermostats control heating and cooling systems in homes, offices, and other buildings. Even the best thermostats need maintenance and occasional replacements. While the most common reason for a thermostat to break down is simply age and wear, there are times when it might be beyond repair.

The Importance of the Thermostat
There are two types of thermostats: mechanical and digital. Thermostats control the temperature in your home or office by switching power on and off for heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. The best thermostats (such as smart thermostats) learn about your schedule and surroundings so that you can get comfortable with just a few adjustments each day.

A faulty thermostat can cause your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to work inefficiently, or not at all. This can be a significant problem if you use a programmable thermostat that is set incorrectly or hasn’t been programmed properly. When this happens, you may notice higher utility bills than usual, and it could also mean a high cost in wasted energy.

Signs Your Thermostat is Failing
If your thermostat doesn’t change the temperature when you adjust it or makes any other strange noises, then it may be defective. You may also notice that when you change the temperature a few degrees up or down, your AC or heating unit will kick on and off repeatedly in an attempt to maintain the set temperature. This means that your current thermostat isn’t communicating with your HVAC equipment in the way it needs to. If this is the case for you, don’t despair – there are several affordable options for fixing or replacing damaged thermostats available today.

Assess the Situation
When your thermostat starts malfunctioning, there are a few troubleshooting steps that can be taken to determine why it won’t regulate or display its temperature. First, make sure it is powered on, and all settings are correct. Next, turn the temperature a few degrees in either direction and listen for the HVAC to power up. This will help determine if it is actually registering outside air temperature or receiving communication from your home’s system.

Clean the thermostat and contact points to ensure connections are solid. Check all wires and test connections for your thermostat – make sure they’re not loose, corroded, or worn out. If you cannot determine a cause, it’s best to get an expert opinion. Some common problems include a blown fuse, a tripped breaker, a corroded wiring connection, or a broken mechanical switch.

Repair or Replace
Thermostats often have a lifespan of around 10-15 years. If yours is older than that, it’s probably time for a replacement. A busted thermostat can be frustrating and hard to fix, especially if it’s an older mechanical one. The cost to repair this type of system can be very high and may not be worth the expense. Some repairs, like new batteries, are easily done by homeowners; other repairs are intensive and require professional renovations or replacement.

For those homeowners still using a mechanical thermostat, it may be time to consider upgrading, regardless of your current model. Analog thermostats can be out of date and could pose a safety risk due to old wiring. New digital thermostats are more advanced, allowing you to control your HVAC systems remotely and automatically. The best part about digital thermostats? They’re easy to program and communicate with other smart home products and your cell phone.

If you’re not sure what the problem is with your thermostat or how to fix it yourself, call in the pros. Whether it’s advice or labor you need for your thermostat problems, contact Hoot Heating & Air today.