The HVAC system consists of several pieces that need to work together in harmony. The goal from the HVAC system is efficient performance and prevent overuse. So as to achieve that goal, the thermostat is one of the important components to the HVAC system.  In order to regulate the temperature inside your house, the thermostat tells the unit when to turn on/off. The line of communication you have with your HVAC system is done through the thermostat. A faulty thermostat that’s not responding properly can end up creating higher energy bills. Here are some signs of a thermostat going bad that are in need of repairs or replacement. 


Bad Thermostat Symptoms

Some signs that could mean you need to repair or replace your thermostat include:

  • No Power
  • HVAC System Won’t Start/Stop Running
  • The Temperature “Ghost” Readings / Fluctuating Frequently
  • Can’t Maintain Program Settings


1. Thermostat’s Screen is Dead

Some homeowners adjust the thermostat by 5-8 degrees while no one is at home to help save on energy costs.  However, if the thermostat has no power to light up the screen, then adjusting the temperature might get a bit more difficult. Generally, the screen displays the current temperature and the details related to your selected settings. Though on some models, they have digital buttons to adjust the temperature rather than physical buttons or a slider.

2. AC or Furnace Won’t Turn On/Off

Frayed and damaged wiring inside the thermostat can cause connection interruptions to the HVAC system. The thermostat sends electrical signals through the wires to communicate with the HVAC system. Signals tells the unit when it needs to start and stop running to maintain your set temperature. So if the thermostat’s connection is damaged, the unit to either run non-stop, regardless of the set temperature, or it won’t turn on at all.

3. Thermostat Doesn’t Match Room Temperature

The HVAC system uses the thermostat signals to know when to start running or turn off. Which is why the thermostat needs to have an accurate temperature reading. If it can’t, then your house will feel much hotter or colder than what the thermostat displays. In addition to using unnecessary amount of energy. Using a portable indoor thermostat, you can check your thermostat’s accuracy. The thermostat’s sensor can malfunction due to a defect or simply old age. If the temperature seems to fluctuate frequently, that is another indication of a faulty thermostat.

4. Thermostat Doesn’t Respond

An easy sign of a bad thermostat is to test the temperature settings. Wait for the system to kick on, you should either hear the unit or feel the air almost immediately. You might be in need of a replacement if there’s no response.

5. Thermostat Forgets Programmed Settings

Until you change the program, your thermostat is designed to remember and operate the program settings. Your thermostat shouldn’t forget or reset the settings on its own. If it seems to have difficulty maintaining a set temperature, have a technician check its condition. A reliable thermostat won’t have any issues maintaining a selected setting. Nor will it create sudden temperature changes.


Troubleshooting the Signs of a Bad Thermostat

The most common thermostat problems sometimes are easily fixable with a quick inspection.

  • Check the Batteries:

Newer models often powered by batteries. Simply changing out for some fresh batteries might be all the thermostat needs. Issues like blank or unresponsive screen is generally fixable with new batteries. If it still isn’t up and running then the thermostat could be malfunctioning. 

  • Check Thermostat’s Wires: 

Frayed or damaged wires can mislead the system into running without pausing for a long period of time. If this happens, turn off the thermostat and your system should turn off as well. A bad wire can keep the system running or it could mean the thermostat simply needs a recalibration.

  • Check Thermostat Location:

Location for a thermostat is important.  Thermostat sensors can be affected by external factors which can create a “ghost reading”. Factors like exposure to direct sunlight or drafts from a window or door will affect your thermostat.  As a result, this will cause the thermostat to adjust based on the temperature of its immediate surroundings.

  • Check Circuit Breakers: 

Sometimes the problem is as easy as a tripped circuit breaker. After resetting the tripped HVAC system breakers, test the thermostat again.


Thermostat Replacement Services

No one want to experience walking into an uncomfortably hot/cold house due to a non-functional thermostat. A malfunctioning thermostat cause the HVAC system not to function properly. In addition, it can also create strain on your system, excessive overuse, as well as higher energy bills.

At Satterlee, we take pride in restoring the comfort of homeowners. Furthermore, we strive to increase efficiency of their systems while helping them save money through programmable thermostats. Our helpful professional teams can assess your thermostat to determine the best cost-effective option for your home. From new thermostat installation to significantly improving air quality, our top-notch services have you covered. Contact us today and speak with one of our professional technicians. We are always happy to help!