Why Is My Thermostat Not Working?
TechXpert verified by Ken Kontra
Electrical issues, dirt buildup, and loose wires or screws are the most common causes of thermostat problems. If your thermostat seems to be failing, check for bad batteries, lost power from your HVAC to your thermostat, and loose wires that can point to a system malfunction.
Troubleshooting Your Thermostat
If your HVAC system seems to be calling it quits, the first thing you do is check the thermostat. Most often, if your thermostat isn’t running properly you might notice a blank screen or else it won’t respond to your inputs. You could be dealing with a bigger system-wide problem if:
Your HVAC is running but not heating or cooling
The set temperature is never reached
However, faulty thermostats can often be traced to one of a few common issues that are relatively easy to fix.
Is Your Thermostat Drawing a Blank?
If you see that your thermostat screen is blank, don’t jump to the worst-case scenario. Often, it’s simply a sign that something is connected quite right. Here’s where to start troubleshooting:
If your thermostat screen is dark or not running commands, first try replacing the batteries. It should come as no surprise that dead batteries in a thermostat prevent it from operating, but that’s an easy fix! Pop in a few new batteries and bring your thermostat back to life.
Another way to find out whether or not your problem is a lack of power? Check your circuit breaker. Is your HVAC unit receiving power at all? If not, it’s likely there’s a separate electrical issue at hand (so your thermostat itself isn’t the culprit). If your system has a condensate pump, make sure it is plugged in to a receptacle that is live. A GFCI receptacle will have the test and reset buttons, like what you see in bathrooms and kitchens. If the GFCI receptacle is tripped, reset it and make sure to plug the condensate pump back in.
Dirty or Worn-Out Wiring
Opening up your thermostat can tell you a lot about its aches and pains. If dirt has built up in your thermostat, it’s more likely to malfunction. Carefully shut off the power, remove the batteries, and brush away the buildup. But if you notice corroded or loose wires, it may be time to replace your thermostat.
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