Crucial Thermostat Issues That Can Lead to HVAC Problems

Over 76 million Americans have central heating and air systems installed in their homes. Most of the rest will have a furnace and use other forms of air conditioning.

If your home has a furnace or central heat and air system, you probably know where the thermostat is. Thermostats are complex components of every HVAC system. Having thermostat issues can be frustrating and will make your HVAC system fail.

In this article, we will cover 7 thermostat issues that can cause your HVAC system to fail.

Thermostat Issues

Most thermostats work great for a long time. They’re a tried and true piece of technology. If your thermostat is not working, it will probably need to be replaced.

1. Positioning in the House

You will have thermostat issues if your thermostat is not correctly placed in your home. You don’t want your thermostat to be in direct sunlight, and it should be no more than 5 feet from the door.

Having it placed in the right spot is critical because the thermostat is what controls when your HVAC system operates. In sunlight, for example, the thermostat will read the house as much warmer than it is, and your air conditioning will run constantly or your heater not enough.

This is also true if your thermostat is too close to a heat source of any kind. Make sure that the thermostat is centrally located and away from heat sources and direct sunlight. If it isn’t, contact an HVAC professional to have it moved.

2. Thermostat Needs Cleaning

A common thermostat issue that usually results in the temperature never reaching what you have it set for. Grime can build up inside a thermostat. When this happens, the thermostat doesn’t correctly gauge the temperature of the air in your house.

Older thermostats can be cleaned by dusting inside the cover. To clean the contacts, use a piece of paper and move it between the contacts in order to get the grime off.

If you don’t want to risk doing either of these things, you could always see about getting maintenance or protective service. This way an HVAC professional will make sure your system is operating correctly.

3. Thermostat Is Not Level

This is a big problem on older thermostats, especially as houses settle and shift. If the thermostat is not level it won’t work as intended. Mercury bulb thermostats require that they are level in order to function properly.

If your thermostat is not level, the thermometer in them will not operate the right way. This will make the thermostat almost useless as it won’t keep up with the correct temperature in your home.

4. Your Thermostat Is Old

Older thermostats have a lot more problems than newer ones. Like all parts of your HVAC system, thermostats are not going to last forever. The older a thermostat is the higher a chance it will be broken.

Consider replacing the thermostat with a modern, programmable thermostat. This will alleviate any sort of problem you might be having and will ensure years of good operation.

5. Some Thermostats Need Batteries

If you are getting a low power warning from your thermostat, you should replace the batteries. Open up the cover and pop in new ones and the problem might be taken care of.

Without proper power to function, the thermostat won’t work. Like any piece of electronic hardware, the thermostat needs its batteries to function. Without charged batteries, the temperature will not be monitored and the HVAC system won’t receive the message to turn on.

6. Improper Installation 

A lot of people try to do things themselves. This can have great benefits, but HVAC systems are not easy to work on without experience and training. HVAC systems can be difficult for a non-professional to repair.

The clear sign improper installation is your problem is if the wires are loose and not tightly affixed to your thermostat. Don’t try to pull the thermostat out by yourself. Doing so can cause more damage and could even cause electrical issues in your house.

If a previous homeowner tried to install a new thermostat, it’s possible they didn’t wire it correctly. Unfortunately, this will usually fry the thermostat. You should never try to repair or replace a thermostat unless you have experience with them.

7. Program Defects

Modern thermostats are like anything modern, they are computerized. While most modern thermostats will work for years upon years with no troubles, some are not correctly programmed.

If you begin to experience problems with your thermostat and you can’t explain what is happening, this could be your problem. The only solution to a defective thermostat is to have it replaced. With most of these components, there is no mechanical solution to repair them.

Don’t try to replace the thermostat yourself. Instead, contact a professional HVAC repair person like us down at Guy’s Air Conditioning and Heating.

Thermostats and HVAC

How a thermostat works depends a lot on what type of thermostat you have. The older the thermostat, the more likely you are to experience a problem. You don’t have to wait for your thermostat to break.

If you have an old thermostat and want to head off any problems before they happen, get it replaced. Getting a new thermostat will prevent you from having common thermostat issues and can even lower your heating and cooling bills.

Professional HVAC Repair Is the Way to Go

Having a professional HVAC repair person check over your thermostat and make sure it is working is the easier solution. Most thermostat issues come down to the age of a thermostat and the build-up of grime and regular wear and tear.

A new HVAC system can cost thousands of dollars to replace. Don’t try to do anything to your HVAC system unless you’re experienced and know what you’re doing. Contact us here at Guy’s Air Conditioning and Heating and we can get you fixed up and ready for whatever the seasons have to offer.