How to tell if your Thermostat is Going Bad

The thermostat is a fundamental piece of an HVAC system. On any blistering or bitter cold day, it’s never a good thing to find that your room’s thermostat is not working the way it’s supposed to. Here are a few warning signs to alert you when this crucial temperature regulator is reeling on the brink, and it may be time to call on an HVAC contractor to have a new one installed.


Try setting the thermostat at least five degrees higher or lower than the normal setting. Depending on the season, set it five degrees lower during the summer and five degrees higher during the winter.


Check if the thermostat is correctly set to “heat” or “cool” values, and confirm if the main circuit breaker for the furnace and A/C is turned on. If possible and if your own skill set permits it, turn the unit and breaker off, then check the breaker for a blown fuse. Replace accordingly. Turn everything back on again and feel out if anything’s different.


If nothing’s happening, remove the batteries/pull the plug, then open up the thermostat by pulling the cover up (most models come off with gentle hand prying). Check if there are any loose wires or terminal screws. Also, note if the wires are corroded. If you notice anything unusual within the circuitry, calling for professional assistance is highly recommended.


Tried everything and still the unit won’t budge? Then only an expert HVAC contractor can pinpoint the root cause of the problem, and only he can recommend which of the two—repair or replacement—is the better solution.


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