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Can I Fix My Thermostat Myself?

 Technician repairing thermostat.

The thermostat is essential to 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 as it should, it probably means it’s time for a repair.

Can you handle fixing the thermostat on your own? Let’s take a closer look.

The trouble might not be the thermostat.

The complexity of HVAC systems makes it tricky to determine what’s wrong when it starts to malfunction. It’s easy to assume that a furnace or air conditioner that won’t 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 many other possibilities, such as a broken blower fan motor, a bad electronic relay, or overflow in the AC condensate pan. There’s no reason to assume it’s the thermostat’s fault. But since you’re not a licensed HVAC technician, you’re unlikely to get to the bottom of the problem.

There are simple checks to see if there really is an issue.

But before you call for professional assistance, you can do some 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 not turning on.

Reset the breaker and try the system again. If the breaker trips once more, call for repair.

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’re 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, this is as far as you can go 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 can also determine if something else besides the thermostat is the problem.

If you’re 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 install excellent smart thermostats.

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