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How to Tell if Your Home Thermostat is Bad or Broken

How to Tell if Your Home Thermostat is Bad or Broken

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Being a resident of the Sunshine State has its perks – white sand beaches, warmer winters, and sunshine most of the year. One of the only downsides is the intense summer heat that has residents hiding indoors. The last thing you want is for your AC unit to break during the summer. Your air conditioning not working doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with the unit itself, but may instead be the cause of a broken or bad thermostat. What are the signs of a bad thermostat, and what can you do to fix it before your AC shuts off?

Signs of a Bad Thermostat

There are some sure signs that your thermostat isn’t working correctly. If the display doesn’t light up and is unresponsive, your thermostat may be broken or need new batteries. If you replace the batteries and the display is still unresponsive, something else is causing the issue. Other symptoms of a bad thermostat include:

Related: 8 Reasons Why Your Thermostat Display is Blank

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Your Thermostat in 9 Steps

To fix your thermostat, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Batteries
  • Can of compressed air, a small paintbrush, or a soft cloth
  • Level
  • Shop vacuum
  • Screwdriver
  • Multimeter

Step 1. Turn the Thermostat On

Try turning your thermostat on. In some cases, your thermostat has simply been turned off.

Step 2. Replace the Batteries

If your thermostat doesn’t turn on, remove the cover from the wall, and replace the batteries. Types of batteries differ for each thermostat, so you should check which batteries your system requires.

Step 3. Check and Clean the Wiring

If your thermostat doesn’t turn on after getting new batteries, there may be dirt on the wiring of your thermostat that’s preventing it from turning on. Use compressed air, a clean, soft paintbrush, or a soft cloth to clean the wiring and inside of the cover.

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Step 4. Check the Balance of Your Thermostat

Sometimes, your mercury switch won’t work correctly or accurately if your thermostat isn’t level. Using a level, check the balance of your thermostat.

Step 5. Adjust the Anticipator

If your thermostat is level, try adjusting the anticipator. With the cover off, look for a small metal tab next to a scale from shorter to longer. It could be that your thermostat takes longer to reach the desired temperature. If that’s the case, move the tab away from the longer setting. Wait a couple of hours after making adjustments to see if this fixes your problem.

Step 6. Check for a Tripped Circuit Breaker

If your problem persists, it may be due to a tripped circuit breaker. Put the cover back on — if you haven’t already — and go to your breaker panel. Look for the switch that says AC and make sure that the switch is set to On. If the breaker has been tripped, your switch will be set to the middle setting. If that’s the case, switch it to Off before turning it back to On.

Step 7. Check for a Tripped Float Switch

If a tripped breaker isn’t your issue, it could be a tripped float switch. Turn your AC to Off at the breaker panel, and then go to your unit inside. Clear your drain line using a vacuum and flush the line. Turn back on your AC to see if that takes care of the problem.

Step 8. Test the Voltage of Fuses

If your drain line isn’t clogged, a fuse may have blown. Go to your condenser unit outside, and open the small box along the exterior wall. This may require a screwdriver. Using your multimeter, test the voltage of your fuses. If a fuse is dead, you’ll have to buy a replacement from any hardware store.

Step 9. Replace Your Thermostat

If your fuses are producing voltage, it may be time to replace your thermostat. Call an HVAC professional to help you determine the problem.

AC Repair Service in Broward, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie

At Sansone Air Conditioning Electrical & Plumbing, we’re here to help you stay cool and fix your thermostat or AC issues. If you live in Broward, Palm Beach, or St. Lucie, we’ll make sure your AC is in optimal condition.

Call us to hear about our specials or to schedule an appointment.

Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656