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How to Know if Your Home's Thermostat Needs to Be Replaced

October 6, 2016 | Blog

How to Know if Your Home's Thermostat Needs to Be ReplacedWhen your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump stops pumping out conditioned air unexpectedly, it’s understandable that you’d fear there may be a serious and expensive problem with your HVAC equipment. Before you panic, it’s wise to rule out a malfunctioning thermostat. By taking the following steps, you can determine if a thermostat replacement is all that’s necessary to restore the flow of heated or cooled air in your home.

Change the Temperature Setting

In some cases, adjusting the temperature setting up or down is enough to start up the HVAC equipment. For cooling, dial it down by five degrees. For heating, turn it up instead.

Verify That the Thermostat is Receiving Power

Go to your home’s main electrical panel and find the circuit breaker that powers the thermostat. Turn it off, then on again. If your thermostat also has batteries, replace them to see if that helps.

Check the Mode Setting

Take a look at the mode switch and make sure it’s set on “heat” or “cool” to match the season.

Inspect the Interior

Shut off the breaker again and remove the thermostat cover to look inside. Check that all of the electrical wires are properly attached to their mounting screws. If you find any loose wires, reattach them. Then, using a soft brush, gently clear away any dirt or dust. Take a cotton swab dipped in electrical contact cleaner and wipe the metal contacts. Flip the breaker back on and adjust the temperature up and down again to test the thermostat.

Circumvent the Thermostat

If there’s no response, shut off the thermostat’s breaker again. Then, take the unit off its mounting bracket and carefully disconnect the wires attached to the back. Take the white and red wires and twist them together. Flip the breaker back on to see if the furnace starts. Repeat these steps with the green and red wires to test the air conditioner. If either components starts up, you’ll know that the thermostat is faulty and needs replacement.

If you need help with a thermostat replacement in your Coastal Bend home, contact us at CCAC.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.

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