Installing and Maintaining an HVAC System

Installing and Maintaining an HVAC System

How to Troubleshoot Your Thermostat: Five Tips

Aaron Kennedy

If your heating breaks down, you may feel cold and uncomfortable. You can call a heating repair professional immediately, but you may want to do a bit of troubleshooting before you make the call. To rule out your thermostat as the culprit, work through these steps.

1. Make Sure Digital Thermostats Are Responsive

If you have a digital thermostat, make sure that it is still responsive. If the display is blank or if nothing happens when you hit the buttons on the keypad, the thermostat may have short circuited or blown a fuse. Consider replacing it and see if the new thermostat gets your heater running.

2. Check the Level of Your Thermostat

Both digital and mechanical thermostats may have a small bit of mercury inside of them. The mercury responds to the temperatures in the air, and as it expands or contracts, it triggers the valves that ultimately cause the heating to turn on or off. If your thermostat is unlevel, that may affect how the mercury functions.

Grab a building level and make sure the thermostat is level. If not, straighten it, and try again. If the heater responds like it's supposed to, you've solved the issue.

3. Look for Signs of Damage

If the thermostat is level, take off the front cover so you can see the internal mechanisms. If you see any loose screws, tighten them. Corroded or loose wires are also signs of trouble. Even if you're an electrician, it's usually not worth the time to try to fix those issues—instead, opt for a new thermostat.

4. Clean the Inside of the Thermostat

You may also want to clean the inside of the thermostat.  Dust, debris, oily residue from the kitchen and other substances can build up on the inside of the thermostat. All of that can gum up the works and prevent the thermostat from functioning properly.

To clean the inside, use a clean brush. A paint brush works perfectly, but basting brushes from the kitchen can also work as long as the bristles are soft and flexible. If you have a can of compressed air, you may want to use that as well. It helps push out dust hidden in nooks and crannies. Once it's clean, try again and see what happens.

5. Compare to Another Thermometer

Finally, compare the thermostat's perception of the temperature to a thermometer. If there is a significant difference, your thermostat isn't working correctly.


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About Me
Installing and Maintaining an HVAC System

Hello there, welcome to my blog. My name is Andrew and this blog is going to be about how to install and maintain HVAC systems. When I purchased a new office space in downtown Perth, I didn't have the first idea about HVAC systems. I knew that I would need one, as I couldn't expect my staff to work away in the heat of an Australian summer without any air conditioning. I contacted an HVAC contractor who advised me on the best type of system to install. He also gave me some top tips on how I could keep the HVAC system in good condition.

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