Save Money on Repair Bills
Knowing how to fix your thermostat on your own can help you save money on expensive repair bills. Many times, a heating or air conditioning problem is caused by the thermostat, not a faulty unit. Here are a few tips on troubleshooting and repairing your thermostat at home.
Fix your thermostat: Heat or air conditioning will not turn on
Check the thermostat to make sure it is receiving electrical power. If not, check your main breaker to see if you have a blown fuse. Change the fuse and reset the breaker, then test your thermostat again. Some thermostats are battery-powered, so check the batteries if this applies to your home. If your thermostat is getting power, make sure it is not so dirty or dusty that it interferes with the system’s operation. Clean the thermostat and try the heating system again.
Fix your thermostat: System shuts off at the wrong temperature
Make sure the thermostat is level on your wall. A crooked thermostat may give an inaccurate reading and shut the heating or air conditioning system down at the wrong temperature. Check that the anticipator is set properly and the thermostat is calibrated. Some thermostats may also lose the user programmed settings if there is a power outage or power surge. If the range stop is not working correctly, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
Fix your thermostat: System turns on and off intermittently
The most common cause of an inconsistent heating or air conditioning system is a dirty thermostat or short in the wiring. Open up the thermostat and vacuum out any dust or debris so that all of the wires and terminals are clean. The anticipator could also be set incorrectly, which would cause the thermostat to switch the system on and off at the wrong times.
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Fix your thermostat: How to clean a thermostat
Simply cleaning your thermostat can reduce many of these common heating and air conditioning problems. First, shut off power to the thermostat at your home’s circuit breaker panel. Take off the thermostat’s cover. Most of the newer plastic models can just be snapped off by hand, but some thermostats must be disassembled with a screwdriver. Using a soft brush, clean off the metal coil located inside the thermostat. Unscrew the retaining screws and remove the body of the thermostat. Clean the area between the lever and contacts with a thin piece of paper. Reassemble the thermostat, making sure it is level on the wall.
Fix your thermostat: Adjusting the anticipator
You can also adjust your thermostat’s anticipator yourself instead of calling a serviceman. Shut off power to the thermostat and remove the cover. There should be a label showing the proper amp setting for your particular thermostat. Check your owner’s manual if this label is not present inside the thermostat cover. Set the anticipator at the proper setting for your heating and air conditioning system. An air distribution system should be placed at the exact amp setting listed, while a water distribution system should be placed at 1.4 times the amp setting.