At Comfort Systems in Wichita, KS, we’ve seen a lot of advancements in HVAC technology since we first started in 1996. Improved HVAC efficiency, newer sensors, the phasing out of refrigerants, improvements in compressor designs, smart HVAC devices, and HVAC zoning systems are just some of these improvements. However, like all new technologies, there are always those minor issues to address.

We’re often asked to help troubleshoot thermostat problems. Whether yours is battery-powered, manual, or programmable, here is some insight into the most common thermostat problems and how to troubleshoot them.

1. Can’t Change the Temperature Setting

This is a common irritant. You keep pushing buttons to change the temperature, but nothing happens on your thermostat. There are a couple of reasons why this might happen.

First – you or someone in your family – may have inadvertently locked the thermostat. How often have you argued with a loved one about it being either too hot or too cold? It often happens and someone may have locked the thermostat or used the child lock setting.

Second, if your thermostat is battery-powered, then the batteries may be dead. If it’s not battery-powered, then there could be a tripped circuit. Either way, without power, the thermostat wouldn’t work. Try replacing the batteries or checking your circuit breaker.

2. Frozen Thermostat Screen

Sometimes the thermostat screen freezes. Numbers and letters seem to flash on and off, or you just can’t seem to go to another screen. However, frustratingly pushing buttons in a vain attempt to unfreeze the screen won’t do anything. A simple solution is to reset the thermostat.

It’s not uncommon for someone to encounter this issue when they’ve been out for a while. A power outage can easily interfere with your thermostat’s signal communication with your HVAC system. Your system should have a reset button. If resetting it doesn’t work, then you could try cutting off the power to the thermostat through the circuit breaker and then resetting it.

If your thermostat is battery-powered – and the reset didn’t work – then remove the batteries and wait 20 seconds before replacing them.

3. Room Temperature Doesn’t Match Thermostat Setting

This problem often occurs on older thermostats. The room temperature is either lower or higher than the temperature set on the thermostat. Often, it’s because the thermostat hasn’t been cleaned in a while or has never been cleaned. Over time, the wires and sensors can become damaged or dirty.

Start by opening the thermostat by removing its cover. You might just notice some dirt, debris, or dust in and around the wiring. In worse cases, the wires, metal, and electronics have corroded. If there is corrosion, then the problem could be faulty wiring, which means there’s poor contact with the wires.

You can use a hand-held vacuum or a small brush to remove the dirt and dust. This often helps clean sensors that have dust or dirt. However, in the case of electrical wire corrosion, this is best left to a Comfort Systems HVAC technician. Unless you’re an electrician yourself, it’s best to avoid messing around with corroded wires.

4. Heat and AC are Running and the Thermostat Won’t Turn On

If your AC and heat are running at the same time, then it’s most likely a problem with how the thermostat is communicating with your HVAC system. Today’s thermostats are designed to shut off the heat or AC once the desired temperature is reached. If that’s not happening, then there’s probably something wrong with the thermostat that needs to be inspected by a Comfort Systems HVAC technician. However, before calling, make sure you or someone else hasn’t left the auto fan on as your AC’s blower will just continue to circulate the air.

In cases where your thermostat won’t turn on, start by checking the power source. If you’ve done that – and cleaned all the dirt and debris inside the thermostat – then you probably have a faulty thermostat that needs replacing.

Book an Appointment with an HVAC Specialist Today at Comfort Systems

At Comfort Systems, we’re used to thermostat problems. Some are easy to fix. Some point to more serious problems. Either way, we have HVAC specialists to help with any thermostat issues you’re facing.

If your thermostat is on the fritz, and you just want it solved by a knowledgeable and friendly expert, contact us now.