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Why Is My Thermostat Not Working?

Why Is My Thermostat Not Working?

Temperatures in Northern Virginia are heating up, and if your home isn’t getting as cool as you want it to be, you’ll know it.  Your first thought may be that there’s something wrong with the HVAC system, but in many cases, it’s likely your thermostat is not working. Here are a few common problems and how to test a home thermostat to resolve them.

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The Temperature in the Room Doesn’t Match the Number on the Thermostat

If you believe your thermostat is not working properly, the first thing you’ll want to do is check for any debris or dust that’s blocking the thermostat from sensing the room temperature. Then rule out that the thermostat is totally level. If these things seem fine, you’ll want to consider the location of the thermostat.

If your digital thermostat is not working properly, it may be placed in a room where the temperature fluctuates. This means if it’s in direct sunlight, in front of a drafty door, or in an area isolated from the main living area, it will easily get confused about when to turn on and off. So if your thermostat is located in any of these areas, talk to a licensed HVAC technician about relocating it to a better place.

The Air Conditioning Unit Isn’t Turning On At All

Sometimes no matter how far down you crank the thermostat, the AC won’t respond.  Check the circuit breaker to make sure there’s no problem there, and replace a blown fuse if needed. Once you check these things, try the thermostat again.

If it still doesn’t respond, it may be time for a battery change. If a new battery doesn’t help, it’s time to call an HVAC company.

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You Hear the Air Conditioning Cycling On and Off Continuously

This could be a signal that the actual unit isn’t working right, but it’s best to rule out a thermostat problem first.

Make sure the thermostat is free of any dust buildup using a clean, soft brush or a can of compressed air, and check that the thermostat is level. If it relies on mercury, an unlevel thermostat could be thrown off.

The next step is to adjust the anticipator, which is the small device that controls how long the AC runs during a cycle.  If the air conditioning is cycling too frequently, move the anticipator arm one notch closer to the “longer” setting. If the AC isn’t reaching your desired temperature, move the arm one notch farther from the “longer” setting. It could take two or three hours for the thermostat to adjust to these changes, so be patient.

Call Snell Heating and Air Conditioning For Help

If none of these things seem to help, it may be time to replace the thermostat. Snell technicians can help you choose a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat that could end up lowering your energy bills, and install it promptly so you can enjoy comfortable temperatures again. Give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.