Thermostat Malfunction or HVAC Failure? Distinguishing Between the Two

A thermostat may be small, but it is a powerful device. It is, essentially, a modern HVAC system’s control center. If its sensors detect a dip or rise in indoor temperature, it will adjust your air conditioning and heater settings accordingly. This is why if something goes wrong with your thermostat, you’ll immediately feel the effects.

Many immediately assume, however, that it’s their HVAC system that’s malfunctioning. Superior Heating & Cooling is always happy to come over and provide an accurate diagnosis, but we’ll save you some time by giving pointers on how to determine if what you have is a simple, easily fixed thermostat problem instead of a bigger HVAC issue.

Perform Simple Troubleshooting

Most thermostats use triple-A alkaline batteries. If you feel a change in your indoor heating and air conditioning, it’s possible that the thermostat simply ran out of power. Replace them with fresh ones and see if there’s an improvement.

Accumulated dust may also affect the thermostat’s sensor. Gently open your thermostat’s housing and, using a soft-bristled paintbrush, clean the interior.

The thermostat’s location can affect its performance, too. Heat sources like a lamp, refrigerator, or desktop computer, can skew its temperature readings. Make sure to keep it away from these appliances.

Is It a Miscalibration?

Another common problem with thermostats is miscalibration. This is a simple malfunction with costly results: if your thermostat misreads the temperature by several degrees, it could prompt your heater to turn on and shut off at the wrong times. The readings could fluctuate, as well. This means your heater would also be working double time to compensate.

A fluctuating indoor temperature is a telling sign of a miscalibration. If this happens, give us a call. Our technicians can get it working again or recommend a replacement if they find that this is a better solution.

Seek a Professional’s Opinion

If the troubleshooting tips above do you no good, it’s possible that your cooling and heating system is indeed the source of the problem. It’s important that you call professionals to confirm this, though. If you live in the St. Louis and St. Charles Counties, our technicians can help you out.

Call Superior Heating & Cooling to schedule an appointment.

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