When it comes to the underlying causes of various potential air conditioning issues in your home this summer, one culprit often escapes the proper level of investigation: The thermostat. This item, which serves as the “brain” of your HVAC system, is not impervious to malfunctions or other issues – but in many cases, the problems that result from it seem like they might come from another source, making it more difficult to get to the bottom of things and make the proper repairs.
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re happy to provide a wide array of AC tune-ups, maintenance and related services, including for issues that may quietly trace back to issues with your thermostat. In this two-part blog series, we’ll begin by going over a few of the most common such issues and their thermostat-centric roots, then look at many of the underlying issues with your thermostat that could be causing such problems.
Common Thermostat-Related Issues
Here are some of the possible AC issues that, while they may have other causes and may often be attributed to other culprits, may trace back to problems with your thermostat:
- Short cycling: When the AC shuts off and turns on in rapid succession, far too quickly to provide adequate cooling without heavily straining the air compressor. This raises your bills and shortens your system’s lifespan.
- Uneven cooling: Issues of calibration or connection can lead to issues with ACs distributing cooling evenly throughout a home.
- Blower fan: If blower fans either won’t start or run constantly without ever stopping, no matter, how you adjust the thermostat, this is likely a wiring issue that traces back to the thermostat.
Our subsequent sections will dig into some of the underlying thermostat issues that may lead to the above issues.
Like many other products, older thermostats that may have worn down will have a greater variety of issues than newer ones. In addition, older manual thermostats are by far the least amenable to quality modern cooling – they limit your ability to program in temperatures based on time and location, for instance, plus often simply don’t work as well. Strongly consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat.
One of the simplest thermostat issues for models that use them: Batteries. Such thermostats will give a basic low power warning when they’re losing battery power, and it should be very easy to pop open the cover and install new ones.
A sneaky thermostat issue that some homeowners don’t consider is the placement of the component itself. If the thermostat sits in direct sunlight, for instance, it will often think the room is much hotter than it actually is, and will provide far too much cooling. If it sits right near a cooling vent, on the other hand, it will assume the temperature is lower than reality and will not cool adequately.
For more on common thermostat issues and how they impact your air conditioner, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.