A man checking his thermostat with the words, "does your thermostat need to be replaced?"

Having trouble with your HVAC unit? Does the correct temperature always seem out of reach? You might want to take a look at your thermostat. The thermostat is the communication center between you and your HVAC unit. When your thermostat fails, your HVAC unit will not know when to come on and the air in your home will feel either too hot or too cold as a result. How do you know if your thermostat needs to be replaced? Here are some signs of a failing thermostat and some troubleshooting tips from the cooling and heating experts at Cote’s Mechanical, LLC:

Signs of Failing Thermostat

A failing thermostat will cause your home to feel uncomfortable because your HVAC unit is not getting the signal to come on when needed. Here are some signs to check to see if your thermostat is the root of the problem:

HVAC System Will Not Turn On

If you make changes to your thermostat and your HVAC system doesn’t respond or even turn on, it could mean that your thermostat has died. Older thermostats will make a clicking sound to indicate that they got the message to change the temperature; if you do not hear this sound or you do not hear the system coming on, it is time to replace your thermostat.

HVAC System Has Short Cycles

Your HVAC system should come on periodically throughout the day to keep your home at your optimal temperature. The thermostat is responsible for testing the temperature of the house and telling the unit to kick on when needed. If the unit begins to short-cycle (meaning that it is cutting off too early or continuously fails to complete a full heating or cooling cycle,) then your thermostat may be incorrectly reading the air in your home. This can lead your HVAC unit to work harder by doing more cycles. This leaves your home feeling unevenly heated or cooled, clearly indicating that there is something wrong with your thermostat.

Thermostat Keeps Losing Its Settings

Programmable thermostats are great for keeping your home at the perfect temperature all year long. Programmable thermostats memorize the setting you put in and keep track of your home’s heating and air conditioning cycles, making sure your home is at your preferred temperature throughout the day. However, when your thermostat keeps losing the setting, this could mean that the hardwiring is going bad. Don’t fight a failing thermostat and instead, look into getting a replacement.

Troubleshooting Your Thermostat

Sometimes, something as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or dead batteries can cause your thermostat to not work properly. Here are some troubleshooting tips to see if there is a simpler solution than getting a replacement:

Check the Batteries

If the screen on your thermostat will not light up or the screen is blank, you may want to check to see if your thermostat runs on batteries. A lot of modern-day thermostats have become battery-powered, and a dead battery could be the cause for your thermostat not working. Replace the batteries and see whether or not your thermostat comes back to life. If it does, problem solved! If it doesn’t, this probably means the thermostat itself is the cause of the problem.

Double Check Your Settings

It is easy to forget to change your thermostat settings between the winter and summer months. If the settings are not where you want them, this could be the cause of the discomfort in your home. Change the settings to your optimal temperature and then wait a few minutes to see if your unit is making the adjustments. If it is, your thermostat and unit are good to go!

Check the Circuit Breaker

If your circuit breaker has been tripped, it may be disrupting the communication between your thermostat and the HVAC unit. Simply reset the circuit breaker and test your thermostat and unit to see if it comes on.

Where is Your Thermostat Located?

The location of your thermostat can determine how effective it is at reading your home’s temperature. If the thermostat is located in a place where it is getting direct sunlight, it may read that your home is hotter than it is. This can cause major problems as your unit will work harder to bring the temperature down and cause the actual temperature in your house to be colder than you want.

Also, never hang pictures or place large furniture in front of your thermostat. This can also cause it to read the temperature incorrectly as it is only getting the air that is caught between the thermostat and your picture/furniture. This can lead to inappropriate corrections.

When Your Thermostat Needs to Be Replaced

The trusted professionals at Cote’s Mechanical can help you replace your thermostat or help you fix any issues that may arise with your HVAC unit. We are dedicated to keeping the DFW metroplex in perfect comfort. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule an appointment!