July 29, 2021
Broken Thermostat in Sacramento, CA

Your air conditioning system’s thermostat is an essential component of its operation. Most thermostats last between seven and 10 years. However, as they start to go bad, there will be a few key signs that will let you know it’s time to replace your existing thermostat.

AC Constantly Running

One confusing sign of a bad thermostat is a constantly running air conditioning system. If you have your air conditioning system set to auto or run mode where it’s only supposed to kick on when the indoor temperature gets above what your desired interior temperature is, your system shouldn’t constantly be running.

If you notice that your air conditioning system continues to run even though the indoor temperature is well below what your desired indoor temperature is, it’s likely that there’s a problem with the wiring between your thermostat and your air conditioning system. Replacing your thermostat can fix this issue. It’s highly advisable to have an air conditioning expert verify that your thermostat is the problem, as a constantly running air conditioning system can have many different causes.

AC Not Turning On

When you have your thermostat set to auto mode, it should kick your air conditioning system on whenever the actual room temperature gets above what your desired temperature is. If you notice that your indoor air temperature is higher than your desired set temperature and your air conditioning system is not kicking on, it could be an indication that there’s a problem with your system.

It’s best to set your desired temperature to at least 5 degrees below what the actual indoor temperature is. If your air conditioning system still does not come on, it’s an indication that the wiring between your thermostat and the air conditioning system is faulty. In most cases, you’ll need to have the thermostat replaced by a professional to remedy this issue.

Constant Temp Shifts

If you have a programmable thermostat, you know that you can set your thermostat to different temperatures throughout the day. As your thermostat starts to go bad, it may lose some of those temperature settings. The first indication that this is happening is that you experience constant shifts in the temperature as compared to what you’re used to. When you go back into your settings, you may notice that some of your desired temperature settings have been lost.

Short Cycling

When your thermostat kicks on your air conditioning system, your system should run through an entire cycle before shutting off. When your thermostat starts to go bad, it may result in the system turning off before an entire cycle is run through. This is considered short cycling and can be an indication that your thermostat needs to be replaced. It’s best to verify the cause of this issue with an air conditioning professional to ensure that your thermostat is indeed the cause of your short cycling problem.

Faulty Readings

If your thermostat has gone bad, it’s likely that it may give off a faulty reading for your actual indoor temperature reading. If the actual temperature reading does not seem to match what the temperature in the room feels like, it could be your thermostat.

What you want to do is grab an alternative thermometer to measure what the actual indoor temperature is in your home. If that temperature does not match the reading on your thermostat, then you can be assured that your thermostat is the problem.

Buttons Not Working

If you’re dealing with a faulty thermostat, you may notice that the buttons no longer work. This becomes very obvious whenever you go to change the settings on your thermostat. If you go to change the desired temperature and your exterior buttons aren’t working or your touch screen buttons aren’t working, you want to reset your thermostat.

You can do this by going down to your electrical panel and turning the circuit breaker off for your thermostat. Wait a full 60 seconds before turning the breaker back on. Go back up to your thermostat and try to turn it on. If the buttons still are not allowing you to change the temperature settings on your thermostat, then you’ll likely need to replace your thermostat.

Display Not On

One very obvious sign that your thermostat is having trouble is that the display screen will not turn on. Typically, your thermostat will display your temperature settings and the actual temperature whenever the thermostat is on. If you notice that your screen is completely blank, it could indicate that your thermostat needs to be replaced.

You want to start by going to your electrical panel and seeing if the circuit breaker for your thermostat is tripped. If the breaker tripped, simply reset it and see if it’s too late to turn back on. If the breaker was not tripped, you may need to replace the batteries inside of your thermostat. While you’re replacing the batteries, go ahead and check the wiring to make sure that it is hooked up tightly to your thermostat. If the new batteries do not turn your system on, you’ll need to replace the thermostat.

It’s Over 10 Years Old

While most thermostats are designed to last between seven and 10 years, replacing one before the 10-year mark is in your best interest. This will allow you to plan when your system will be down and for the expense of a new thermostat. Just because your thermostat is working correctly doesn’t mean that you should just wait until it breaks.

In fact, thermostat technology has changed drastically in the last five years. With the introduction of new smart thermostats, homeowners are more capable than ever before of creating energy-efficient settings for their thermostats. If you don’t have a smart thermostat just yet, you may want to consider upgrading to one soon.

Smart thermostats allow you to program in different desired temperatures throughout the day. You can even change the temperatures depending on the day of the week. For example, if you work Monday through Friday, you can have different settings on those days as you do compared to the weekend. Smart thermostats even offer eco-friendly modes where they will track your history and make suggestions for different settings to make your air conditioning system operate in a more energy-efficient manner.

You Have a Dial Thermostat

If your home still has an old dial thermostat, it’s time that you upgrade. These older thermostats use mercury thermometers to gauge the temperature inside of your home. These are not as accurate as the newer systems that are mercury-free.

In addition, dial thermostats do not allow you to program in any sort of different temperature variations. Rather, all you can do is turn the dial to the temperature that you would like it to be inside of your home. Upgrading to a programmable thermostat can allow you to enjoy more energy savings and the freedom to have more options when it comes to running your air conditioning system.

Trustworthy AC Repair Specialist

Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning is your trustworthy air conditioner repair specialist for the Sacramento region. We provide quality cooling, heating, indoor air quality, and duct cleaning services for all of our fellow neighbors. Call us today to get your system fixed quickly and professionally.

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