Is your heating a cooling system not working correctly? Does it say one temperature but you know the room is warmer or cooler than it indicates? Before calling your local AC service and repair company, you can check the usual suspects, and see if your thermostat is the problem.

How to Determine if Your Thermostat is the Problem

Problems with the thermostat are often the culprit when it comes to heating and cooling systems not working as they should. Many times, the problem is that the thermostat needs to be adjusted, batteries are dead, or other simple fixes.

Use this guide to determine if the thermostat is the problem and the solution.

Do you have power?

If you have a wireless thermostat, the first thing to check is if it has power. Power problems are a common source and an easy fix that you can do yourself. Here are a few ways to determine if the power to your thermostat is the problem.

  • Does your thermostat have power?
  • If it doesn’t, try replacing the batteries.
  • What kind of batteries are you using? Alkaline batteries run out of juice more quickly and may cause inconsistencies and failures in your system. AA lithium batteries are a better choice.
  • If it’s not the battery, check the power switch. Many homeowners mistake it as a light switch and turn it off.
  • Check the fuse or circuit breaker to see if they are in the “on” position.

Do your components match?

Correctly matching your thermostat to your heating system is necessary for proper operation. The type, capability, and capacity of your furnace determine the thermostat you need. Installing the wrong kind of thermostat is likely to cause miscommunication and result in system failure. Consult with an AC installation company, or take your old thermostat with you when shopping for new or updated equipment.

Is your wiring secure?

If your HVAC system stops working, it’s a good idea to check your thermostat wiring. Loose connections, disconnections, and faulty or aging wiring can cause the thermostat to lose its connection to the central heating and air conditioning system. If you suspect this is the problem with the thermostat, tighten and replace wires as necessary or consult with a knowledgeable service professional.

Is the heat anticipator appropriately set?

  • Non-digital thermostats have a device called a “heat anticipator.” It tells the thermostat when to shut on and off. When it’s not functioning correctly, it may cause your unit to cycle more frequently, and you’ll need to adjust it. Use an amp meter to determine the proper setting. Sometimes, giving the anticipator a light push in both directions will be enough to solve the problem. Learn how to adjust your heat anticipator here.
  • Digital and programmable thermostats have built-in anticipators that set automatically. Usually, they require no adjustments.

If you’ve already done all three of these, and you’re still experiencing problems, call your local AC service and repair company. If you’re in the Northwest Arkansas area, schedule a service call with Advantage Air & Service at (479) 361-8647. You can depend on us to assist you with all your heating and air conditioning needs.