AC Thermostat Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners

There are a couple of things that can happen when you turn to your thermostat in the heat of summer and crank up the AC. Ideally, a steady supply of cold air will begin issuing forth from the central air vents located throughout your home. If everything in your HVAC system is working properly, this is exactly the result you’ll enjoy. But you might end up with problems, even if you’ve done your part to maintain and service your equipment. When you turn on the AC you may get air that is only lukewarm, a flow that is weaker than usual, or worse, no airflow at all. Or it could be that you have no display on your digital thermostat, or it won’t seem to stay at the temperature you set, instead reverting back to prior settings or running constantly without registering a change in temperature. And when these mishaps occur, you may want to do some troubleshooting on your own rather than blowing the dough to call your HVAC technician unnecessarily. Here are a few troubleshooting tips to try first when your AC or thermostat is giving you trouble.

The first thing to do is check the components of your system. If your thermostat seems to be working, take a look at your AC unit. If you get close and don’t hear it running, or if it’s making funny noises, it’s a good bet your unit is to blame for your cooling woes rather than your thermostat. But if your AC unit is humming along just fine and doesn’t seem to be leaking fluid out the bottom (although remember that excess fluid could just be condensation on the unit), problems could be springing from a faulty or out-of-date thermostat.

The easiest way to address such issues may be to call in your HVAC technician, but if you’re looking to spare some expense, start by checking your air filters. If they are filthy they could be responsible for limiting airflow or taxing your system. And they’re simple and relatively inexpensive to replace. From there you may want to try pulling out your thermostat manual to see if perhaps you’re programming your thermostat incorrectly. User error is a definite possibility that you’ll want to rule out before you call in the pros.

However, you might also need to replace batteries in a wireless system. If the thermostat is hooked up to your electrical system, though, your troubleshooting should start by checking the breaker to see if it has blown. And then you’ll want to be sure to turn off the power before your start monkeying with your thermostat. This will help to protect you from electrical shock. At this point you’ll probably need either an online tutorial or professional help to get through common issues like cleaning contact points, repositioning sensors, or even setting a schedule in your programmable thermostat. And if your thermostat problems turn out to be issues with your AC unit, you’ll almost certainly want to call in the pros to check refrigerant levels, make repairs, and give your equipment a good once over to make sure everything is in ship shape and working like a dream.

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  5. DIY Electrical Repair Safety Tips for Homeowners