Is Your Programmable Thermostat Acting Up? Troubleshooting Tips to Try

Posted On: May 05, 2014

Programmable thermostats allow you to program your heating and cooling system to operate at a reduced capacity when you’re away from home or asleep, which leads to lower energy bills. While most programmable thermostats work efficiently and reliably, problems can occur. Knowing what common issues to look for can resolve the issue without a call to a technician, or at the very least help you explain the problem to the tech if you can’t fix it. Troubleshooting a programmable thermostat typically involves looking for these common issues:

  • Low batteries: Change your thermostat batteries every six months, or no less than annually, to ensure efficient operation. Most thermostats give a low battery signal when they run low, but if the batteries have died completely, you may not receive this signal. Turn the thermostat to the “off” position and remove the cover to access the battery compartment.
  • Blown fuse: Most thermostats have a fuse inside. This fuse contains a filament that resembles what you’d find in a standard light bulb. If too much power goes through the fuse, the filament separates and no longer functions properly. You can obtain replacement fuses at most hardware stores or by contacting the thermostat manufacturer. If your thermostat is powered by your home’s electrical system, don’t work on a fuse without turning off power to the thermostat.
  • HVAC system: When troubleshooting a programmable thermostat doesn’t reveal the issue, keep in mind the problem may not be with the thermostat itself. If your thermostat is set to heat, switch it to cooling, or vice versa. If the opposite system works properly, then the problem is likely with your central A/C, heat pump or furnace, and not the thermostat. Contact a certified technicianto inspect and repair your system.
  • Normal wear: If troubleshooting doesn’t resolves the problem, your programmable thermostat may be damaged or at the end of its service life, and should be replaced.

If you’d like more information about troubleshooting a programmable thermostat and you live in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, or Troy, contact Ernst Heating and Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Bethalto, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Maryville, Staunton, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about programmable thermostats and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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