Common AC Thermostat Issues

Posted: 2018-08-09

Your air conditioner’s thermostat, though a small device, plays an important role in cooling your home. If it’s not functioning properly, it can affect your overall indoor comfort. Simple thermostat problems can also reflect more serious issues with the AC system and if neglected, can cause unnecessary burden and discomfort.

Four Seasons Air Specialists is a licensed HVAC company in Lino Lakes MN that has decades of experience when it comes to repairing cooling systems, including thermostat issues.

Below are some of the most common air conditioner thermostat troubles.

The AC Stops Working

If the thermostat’s display is not lit, it cannot signal the AC to turn on. Simple reasons can cause your thermostat to not get power, including dead batteries, a tripped circuit breaker, or a blown fuse in your electrical panel. If you are sure it’s receiving power, turn off the thermostat breaker and inspect its interior components. If you notice a buildup of dust, dirt, or soot, clean them carefully because a coating of debris on those mechanical parts can affect the thermostat’s normal operation. A can of compressed air or a soft brush can help you in eliminating the dirt.

In addition to cleaning, you may also need to check other obvious problems such as loose wiring or screws that need to be tightened, If certain parts of the wires seem to be corroded, you may need to check your owner’s manual and look for a wire replacement guide. If there is no available information, you can simply replace the thermostat.

If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure it is mounted level on the wall. A torpedo level can help you achieve that. Your thermostat should be mounted about five feet from the floor, in an area where it can easily sense an air sample that is consistent with room temperature. Avoid placing it in areas such as corners, behind a door, in a closet, near a window or door. More importantly, keep it away from heat-generating appliances such as gas stove, refrigerator, and other similar devices. Also, avoid placing it in areas with direct sunlight or crafty windows as they can affect proper temperature regulation.

Thermostat Setting and Room Temperature Don’t Match

Before calling a cooling specialist, you need to check whether the thermostat is able to keep the room at the correct temperature or not.  After confirming that the thermostat is clean and level, get a small thermometer and tape it on the wall next to the thermostat. To avoid heat or cold transfer from the wall, place a paper towel behind the thermometer. 15 minutes should be enough to ensure that the temperature is stabilized and has a correct reading. Then, compare it with your thermostat’s reading. If the numbers are more than one degree apart, it is likely that your thermostat is not giving an accurate reading. This will help the AC technician identify the problem more quickly and should be able to rectify the problem immediately.

The Thermostat Turns the AC On and Off Frequently

As mentioned earlier, it is important to have the thermostat sit level and keep it clean. Dirt and improper placement can trigger short cycling (turning the unit on and off). This issue and nearly continuous operation can greatly affect your AC’s energy efficiency.

In addition to these problems, a poorly calibrated anticipator can also make your system turn itself on an off. The lengthen the cooling cycle, try moving the anticipator arm in single notch increments on the thermostat’s dial. If you’re not comfortable doing this, you can call your local AC professional to do it for you.

Need Help? Ask the Cooling Pros

If you suspect that your thermostat is not working properly and is causing you to feel uncomfortable at home, follow these simple steps and see if the problem can be fixed on your end. For more complicated issues, call Four Seasons Air Specialists. We have teams of qualified cooling professionals that are factory trained and are seasoned to properly diagnose and identify thermostat issues (and any other cooling concerns for that matter). We have over 40 years of solid experience and use the right tools to fix any cooling-related issue. Our goal is to continue to be your preferred Lino Lakes AC repair company. It is our pleasure to restore the comfort of your home.