Thermostat problems and their impact on your AC

Thermostat problems and their impact on your AC

The temperature has a great effect on your health. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, it will harm your well-being. So, a well-functioning air conditioner is important for you to get the temperature inside your house. Though every component is crucial for the functioning of your AC, the thermostat is responsible for helping your AC in maintaining the temperature that you want for your house. Any issues with the thermostat will lead to problems with your AC and your indoor temperature. We are going to discuss some thermostat problems and their impact on your AC.

Problems with thermostat

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Some of the problems that you can face with your thermostat are:

  1. Power issues: The thermostat of your AC can face problems or malfunction due to problems with the power supply. If there is a frequent power supply issue and your thermostat starts acting up, first change its batteries. Always go for lithium batteries over the alkaline ones as they are less reliable. In case changing the batteries doesn’t work, check for any loose or damaged wiring, especially around the switches. Faulty wiring can be responsible for power issues, affecting your thermostat. It is also advised to check your fuse box or electrical panel for any malfunctions or damage. Get it replaced if you see any issues with it. The wiring and the electrical panel can have some high voltage wires that may be dangerous, so it is always better to contact a professional to get these things fixed.
  2. Heat anticipator: The heat anticipator balances the thermostat to prevent it from switching the AC on or off too often when the room temperature is close to the temperature set on the thermostat. If your thermostat never reaches the temperature set by you and the air inside your house is hotter than you want, you may have to adjust the heat anticipator of your thermostat. To do that, you just have to remove the thermostat cover and then move its adjustment lever closer or away from the current setting. If the anticipator is not working properly, it may even cause the thermostat to cycle on and off frequently. It may lead to your entire system turning on and off too much leading to system damage. You can adjust the anticipator lever until you get the right temperature.
  3. Positioning: The positioning of the thermostat in the house plays a vital role in the performance of your AC. If the thermostat is located near any heat source, be it direct sunlight or any other source, so that it can read the right temperature of the house and the air conditioning can work accordingly. If the thermostat is not placed at the right position in the house, your house will be either too hot or too cold as the thermostat will act as per the temperature near it. Therefore, it is best to position your thermostat somewhere in the center of the house, so that it can work as per the average temperature of the house. 
  4. Dust and grime: After being used for a certain period, dust and grime get collected inside the thermostat, causing it to malfunction. Once dirt builds up inside the thermostat, it fails to read the correct temperature of your indoor air. In case you face this issue, you can remove its cover and then clean the dirt with a soft brush or a piece of paper. Remember to check and clean the dust and grime from the wires, switches, and fuses too. If you are not sure about cleaning the thermostat on your own, you can always contact an expert for it.
  5. Replacement required: Like any appliance, your thermostat also has a limited lifespan. Especially if you have an older thermostat in your house, lose its effectiveness after some time, or even get broken. If your thermostat is too old, you may start facing problems like decreased sensitivity, connectivity issues, difficulty in cleaning the dust and grime, etc. If your thermostat is too old, then you need to replace it with a new one. Consider upgrading your thermostat and getting an advanced, programmable thermostat, also known as a smart thermostat. These smart thermostats help in conserving energy and costs.
READ ALSO:  How to choose the best air filter for your HVAC?

Impact on AC

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Following are the effects of a malfunctioning thermostat on your AC:

  1. Short cycling: Short cycling refers to when your air conditioner turns on and off too often and fails in heating or cooling your house properly. This issue causes the air conditioner to run continuously leading to high energy consumption and higher strain on the compressor. A malfunctioning thermostat can disrupt the cooling process of the air conditioner before it reaches the set temperature as the thermostat fails to analyze the right temperature. Some of the negative impacts of short cycling are severe wear and tear to the compressor, higher energy consumption, a spike in energy bills, and decreased lifespan of the AC. 
  2. Uneven cooling: If your house has an uneven temperature even when your AC is running, it may be either because of a faulty connection to the air conditioner or a miscalibrated thermostat. If your thermostat is not positioned correctly inside your house or if the temperature is not correctly calibrated on the thermostat, it may cause some parts of your house to be too cold or too hot. The difference in the temperature will be most noticeable in the areas farthest from the air conditioner. 
  3. Blower fan problems: If the blower fan of your AC doesn’t stop or runs continuously, it is best to check the wires that run from the thermostat to the AC. The blower fan may also fail to start at all, in case of issues with the wiring. Also, check the switch or the breaker if you start facing problems with the blower fan of your system. 
  4. Loss of cooling: In case you notice that your AC is running, but the air is not cool, the first thing to do is check the thermostat. If your thermostat loses connection with the compressor, it will fail to send signals to AC for cycling. A thermostat can lose signal either because of dead batteries, tripped switch, or fuse issues in the electrical panel itself. 

Top recommended smart thermostat:

  1. Google Nest Learning Thermostat – Programmable Smart Thermostat for Home – 3rd Generation Nest Thermostat – Works with Alexa-Stainless Steel
  2. Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat for Smart Home, DIY, Works With Alexa, Energy Star Certified, ST55
  3. Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004 Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat, 7 Day Programmable, Touch Screen, Energy Star, Alexa Ready
  4. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat (RTH6580WF), Requires C Wire, Works with Alexa
  5. Honeywell Home RTH221B1039 RTH221B Programmable Thermostat, White
  6. Wireless WiFi Thermostat,7 Programmable
  7. ecobee SmartThermostat Smart Thermostat Voice Control, Black
  8. Google Nest Temperature Sensor 3 Pack – Nest Thermostat Sensor – Nest Sensor That Works with Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Thermostat E – Smart Home

Conclusion

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Every component of your AC is vital to its working, and when any of them starts malfunctioning or stops working at all, your AC will fail to serve its purpose. Besides affecting your air conditioner, thermostat issues can also cause health issues to you and your loved ones. So, it is important to position the thermostat correctly, and take care of it whenever you notice any problem with it. You can fix some thermostat issues on your own or contact an expert to get the work done for you. Also, always prefer the programmable or smart thermostat over the old mercury thermostat. You can control the smart thermostat even with your smart devices from anywhere and they also help in saving energy and costs.

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