If your heating or cooling system won’t turn on, it could be caused by your HVAC system or it might be an issue with your thermostat. Unfortunately, your thermostat won’t last forever. The good news is that most thermostat issues are relatively easy to diagnose and fix. Some thermostat problems have a quick fix while others will require a complete replacement. If you think you have a thermostat issue, troubleshoot the problem using this quick guide.

Troubleshoot Thermostat Problems

The first step is to determine if you have a thermostat issue or if it is a problem with your entire HVAC system. Before you start troubleshooting, make sure that all filters are clean and hoses to and from the system are not worn. Then use this list of the most common thermostat issues and fixes:

Problem: The heat, cool, or fan settings run constantly.

Solution: This may be a mechanical error or it may also be due to operator error. Turn the power off to the HVAC system and look for shorts in the wiring, thermostat, or the heat, cool, and fan system. Inspect each connection to see if they are shorted or touching. You should not see any bare wire under the terminal screw or block.

If all of the wiring is fine, then you may be dealing with an operator error. Check to see if your thermostat is set to “Fan On” or “Fan Auto.” Fan on will keep the fan running continuously, whereas the Fan Auto setting will only run the fan when the system is heating or cooling.

Problem: The system is not cooling.

Solution: There can be a variety of reasons why a cooling system is not working. Before you jump to conclusions, check for thermostat related issues. Make sure that the system is set to cool at a lower temperature than room temperature. After a few seconds, listen for the system to turn on.

If that doesn’t work, you may want to check for a loose connection to the thermostat or system. Turn the power off, and inspect the system and thermostat wires to ensure they are securely attached.

Problem: There is no heat.

Solution: Again, this could be a number of problems, but it doesn’t hurt to check for thermostat issues first. Make sure that the system is set to heat and raise the thermostat setting so that it is several degrees higher than the room temperature. The heat should click on and begin heating in a few seconds. Again, check for loose wiring after turning the system off.

Problem: The thermostat setting and temperature on the thermostat thermometer disagree.

Solution: If you find that your thermostat setting does not match the actual temperature, there is a good chance that this can be fixed with a minor adjustment. Most digital thermometers can be adjusted plus or minus 5 degrees. Check the manufacturer handbook for the proper way to adjust your thermostat.

Not sure if it’s a thermostat problem or something else? Call us today, and we can inspect your thermostat and HVAC system to find the root of the issue.