Common Thermostat Problems Affecting Your Cooling System

common thermostat problems

Every Minnesota homeowner knows that when the temperature rises, a well-functioning air conditioning unit is crucial for comfort on those toasty summer days. If your home is difficult to keep cool despite your best efforts, your thermostat may be to blame. Before you call your HVAC technician, read our blog as we discuss the most common thermostat problems affecting your home’s cooling system.

Common Thermostat Problems Affecting Your Cooling System

Problem #1: Thermostat is placed in direct sunlight

Placing a thermostat in direct sunlight or near a heating source is a very common homeowner mistake. Thermostats mounted incorrectly can give false readings of high temperatures which causes the air conditioning unit to kick on prematurely. Over time, this can lead to excessive wear and tear on your home’s HVAC system as well as higher utility bills. Try moving the thermostat away from direct sun or heat or try blocking the sun with window treatments like drapes. If you’re still unsure of where to properly mount your thermostat, contact your heating and cooling professional for guidance.

Problem # 2: Thermostat is dirty

Like any other electrical appliance, thermostats can accumulate dust, dirt, or soot over time. A build-up of debris can result in inaccurate temperature readings and cause your HVAC equipment to short cycle or run continuously. Your system will operate poorly, and your energy bills will skyrocket. Open the front panel of the unit. Check for buildup of debris on the mechanical or electrical components and clean with a brush or compressed air.

Problem # 3: Thermostat is old or faulty

In general, thermostats are robust products that can last for years. However, they do need to be replaced. If your home’s thermostat is made with mercury, you should consider upgrading to a newer digital model. A programmable thermostat is more efficient and could save you money on utility bills throughout the year. If you already have a digital model and it’s not working properly, it could be faulty. If you notice loose or bad wiring, contact your HVAC professional right away as it could be a serious electrical issue.

Problem # 4: Thermostat’s power source is malfunctioning

Most digital thermostats use battery power for operation. Occasionally, the battery is either faulty or discharges prematurely, resulting in power failure. Some units are designed for use with AA batteries or if it has a backlight, AAA batteries. If you think the battery charger is malfunctioning due to a power issue, first check your home’s fuse box to ensure there’s not a faulty or tripped breaker. Then check the power switch in the thermostat’s charging unit. If you’re still unsure of the issue, contact your HVAC professional to schedule a maintenance appointment.

Problem # 5: Thermostat has a programming defect

Most modern A/C systems are equipped with digital thermostats with programming chips. Over time, the chips lose their programming whenever there is an abrupt power failure. If this is the case, the chip can be reprogrammed but you risk the chance of the chip failing again. If this is the case, it’s best to replace your unit altogether.

If your home’s air conditioning unit is not functioning properly and you think it may be the thermostat, try troubleshooting using the tips outlined above or contact your HVAC professional to schedule an appointment.

Family-owned and operated since 1980, Heating & Cooling Two can help service all of your HVAC needs. Contact us today to speak with a professional about upgrading your home’s thermostat or scheduling preventative maintenance.

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