Can I Fix My Thermostat Myself?
The thermostat is an essential part of running an air conditioning and heating system in a home. If you don’t have a working thermostat, you won’t have the heating or cooling you need (or you may have a system that won’t shut off!). When you find that no matter what adjustments you make to your home’s thermostat, the HVAC system isn’t responding the way it should, it probably means it’s time for a repair.
But can you handle fixing the thermostat on your own? Let’s take a closer look into that.
The trouble might not be the thermostat at all
From the start, something to know about HVAC systems is their complexity makes it tricky to find out exactly what’s wrong with one when it starts to malfunction. It’s easy to assume that a furnace or air conditioner that refuses to turn on when you adjust the thermostat is the fault of a thermostat that’s lost its connection. And it might be.
But there are numerous other possibilities, such as a broken blower fan motor, a bad electronic relay, or overflow in the AC condensate pan. Making the assumption of the thermostat’s guilt in the matter—well, no good detective would jump to that conclusion, and nor should you. But since you’re not a professional HVAC detective (i.e. a licensed HVAC technician), you’re unlikely to get to the bottom of the problem.
There are simple checks to make to see if there really is an issue
But before you call for professional assistance, you can do a bit of troubleshooting that won’t endanger the HVAC system. First, check the circuit breaker panel. You may see a display on the thermostat, but that doesn’t mean the circuit breaker for the AC or furnace hasn’t tripped. This is a common cause for an HVAC system refusing to turn on. Reset the breaker and try the system again. If the breaker trips once more, call for repair service.
Next, turn the thermostat to the opposite setting from the one you want. If you want air conditioning, for example, turn the thermostat up to the highest heat. If nothing happens after a few minutes, then the problem is probably with the thermostat.
If you have a digital thermostat (and we hope you do—they are much more accurate) with a blank screen displaying, change the batteries. This usually only involves prying the front cover off. You might also try using a dry paintbrush to dust over the components when the cover is off.
If you still can’t get the HVAC system to operate, then this is as far as you can go with fiddling with the thermostat on your own. It takes a technician to handle further thermostat repairs—and in many cases it’s more economical to replace the thermostat with a new, more effective unit. The technician will also be able to determine if something else aside from the thermostat is the problem.
If you are looking for heating and air conditioning repair or a new thermostat installation in Cary, NC, you want to leave the work to HVAC professionals. Our technicians offer fast, quality service, and they install excellent smart thermostats.