It’s happened to many of us at one time or another. You go to turn on your thermostat, and lo and behold, you find that the thermostat is not working. Unfortunately, when your thermostat doesn’t do its job, you may struggle to adjust the temperature of your home, let alone turn on your AC. 

In this article, we’ll cover a few common signs your thermostat is not working, as well as how you might be able to address those issues. Let’s get started! 

1. Your thermostat won’t signal your AC to turn on.

As mentioned previously, one sign your thermostat isn’t working properly is that your AC won’t turn on. If your air conditioner itself is in good condition, there’s a good chance your thermostat is simply failing to signal your AC to turn on. 

There are a few potential reasons this is happening. First, you’ll want to check whether your thermostat display is on. If it’s not, there’s a chance that your thermostat needs new batteries. For thermostats that don’t use batteries, check the thermostat’s power source.

In addition to power, check if your thermostat is dirty or has any loose wiring or screws. Especially for older thermostats, dirty or clogged internal components can prevent your thermostat from adequately doing its job.   

2. The thermostat setting and room temperature aren’t the same.

Another common sign that your thermostat isn’t working is that the thermostat setting and room temperature aren’t the same. For example, if you’ve set your AC to 75 degrees, and it feels much hotter, your thermostat is most likely failing to accurately read the room temperature.

Generally, there are two main causes of this issue: your temperature sensors are (1) in a poor location or (2) need to be replaced. As in the name, your temperature sensors are responsible for identifying the temperature of your home.

Before you run out and replace your sensors, the first thing to do is check where they are located. If they are located in the sun or near warm appliances, for instance, your sensors may not the correct temperature. You can try moving these sensors to a better location to see if your home will reach the thermostat setting.

If that doesn’t work, you may want to consider replacing your sensors or purchasing additional sensors. If you purchase multiple sensors, place them throughout your home. This will improve your chances of your thermostat identifying the correct temperature. 

3. Your HVAC system is operating continually or short-cycling.  

A third sign your thermostat isn’t working is that your HVAC system is either (1) operating continually or (2) short cycling. If this is happening, you’ll want to be sure to take a look at your thermostat ASAP. This is because continual operation or short cycling can damage your HVAC system.

One potential cause of these issues could be the location of your thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, much like your temperature sensors, your thermostat should be “on an interior wall away from the direct sunlight, drafts, doorways, skylights, and windows.”

In addition to location, you’ll also want to consider if your thermostat is calibrated correctly. Calibrating your thermostat helps to ensure that there is only a slight difference between the room temperature and your desired temperature. Depending on the model of the thermostat you have, you may be able to re-calibrate your thermostat yourself—an HVAC technician can also help

In either case, you may want to consider referring to the installation instructions for your specific thermostat. Moreover, you may want to consider contacting an HVAC professional.

Need Help with Your Thermostat?

We hope that this article gave you some answers as to why your thermostat may not be working. Please note that these are just some of the potential issues you may be experiencing with your thermostat. In this way, if you are still unable to identify the root cause of your AC troubles, you may want to (1) replace your thermostat entirely or (2) reach out to an HVAC professional for assistance. 

At Edge Heating & Air, we offer thermostat replacement to full HVAC system installations. Whatever your heating and air conditioning needs may be, our team of expert HVAC technicians is here to help.

Give us a call at (951) 304-9658 or schedule your service online.


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