Troubleshooting Your AC’s Thermostat

When it comes to keeping your home comfortable throughout the warm summer months, access to a functional air conditioner is essential. If you find that your AC isn't keeping your home as cool as you would like, the problem might be with your AC's thermostat and not with the unit itself. Troubleshooting your thermostat can be a cost effective way to restore your air conditioner's functionality in the future.

Here are three simple things that you can do to determine if a malfunctioning thermostat is causing your AC problems.

1. Check the location of your home's thermostat.

The area in which your home's thermostat is located can significantly affect its performance over time. A thermostat that is located on an exterior wall, near a window that lets in a lot of sunlight, or directly in the flow of air produced by a vent or return can produce a false temperature reading.

This false reading can cause your AC unit to work too hard, or not hard enough. Contacting an HVAC technician to relocate your thermostat to a more secluded area will help you better control the temperature inside your home this summer.

2. Replace the batteries in your thermostat.

Some homeowners are surprised to learn that the thermostat controlling indoor air temperatures inside their homes rely on batteries for power.

Batteries are not designed to last forever, and when the batteries in your thermostat begin to lose their charge it can seriously affect your AC unit's ability to maintain a constant temperature. To ensure that faulty batteries don't affect the performance of your AC system, replace the old batteries with new ones at least once a year.

3. Make sure your thermostat is programmed to cooperate with your AC system.

Upgrading your home's AC unit without upgrading the thermostat can result in inconsistent indoor temperatures. Newer thermostats come equipped with back-end programming that allows them to seamlessly integrate with a variety of AC systems.

If you upgrade to a dual-speed air conditioner, modulating unit, or variable-speed system and your thermostat is only programmed to work with a single-speed system, you may find that the performance of your AC unit suffers. Have an HVAC technician check your thermostat to ensure it is compatible with your upgraded AC unit.

Being able to troubleshoot some common thermostat problems will help you keep your home's air conditioner running at optimal levels during the warm summer months.