Troubleshoot Programmable Thermostat Problems With This Checklist


programmable thermostatDespite a well-deserved reputation for reliability, a programmable thermostat problem can disrupt your cooling and heating comfort. Programmable units turn the task of making temperature adjustments over to customized schedules created by the user or built-in pre-programmed settings provided by the manufacturer. Household comfort can be tailored to your daily routine. Heating and cooling changes are executed more gradually than abrupt manual adjustments, maximizing energy efficiency. A faulty unit, on the other hand, can cause energy costs to increase while resulting in a noticeable decline in indoor comfort. 

Here are some troubleshooting tips if you suspect a programmable thermostat problem:

  • First check the batteries. Don’t count on the unit to display a “low battery” alert. If the installed batteries are more than six months old, turn the unit off, remove the old batteries and install new ones. Replace the battery cover and turn the unit on. If the thermostat still doesn’t respond, move to the next step.
  • Inspect the fuse. Most programmable thermostats incorporate a small filament-style fuse. Remove it and inspect the filament. If it’s burned in half or broken, replace the fuse.
  • Isolate the problem. Switch from the non-functioning cooling or heating mode to the opposite function, move the temperature settings up or down and see if the thermostat activates the other system properly. If it does, you probably have a defective internal controller board. Unless the thermostat is still under warranty, repairing the unit isn’t necessarily practical. Replace the defective thermostat with a new unit and install it according to manufacturer’s instruction.

If the thermostat issue proves to be limited to only the cooling or heating function of the system, your thermostat may not be at fault. Contact your HVAC contractor and schedule a service call to check the non-functioning system.

Contact Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for experienced advice about correcting a programmable thermostat problem.

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