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Programmable Thermostat Woes? Don’t Replace It Till You Try These Tips

Programmable Thermostat Woes? Don't Replace It Till You Try These TipsProgrammable thermostats are the best option for controlling the temperature in your home, and a quality one can help you keep your house comfortable while reducing your energy bills. However, programmable thermostats are also a little more likely to have problems since they have more parts and serve a more advanced function that the old analog ones. If you’re having problems with your programmable thermostat, try these troubleshooting tips before you rush to replace it.

  • Check to make sure your programmable thermostat is firmly mounted on the wall. If your thermostat was just installed, you may be having problems with an intermittent connection. Make sure the thermostat is secured properly and not loose.
  • Try checking the fuse in your thermostat. Most programmable thermostats have a fuse inside to power parts of the unit. Without a working fuse, your thermostat may not properly control the temperature in your home and the display may only function intermittently. If the filament inside the fuse is cracked, replace it with the same type, which you can get at any hardware store .
  • Replace the batteries inside your thermostat if it has one. Many programmable thermostats have batteries inside, though some work through hardwired power. Check your owner’s manual or open the unit to find out what type you have.
  • Try turning the thermostat to “Heat” or “Cool” instead of auto. Note whether the thermostat works in both settings or just one. In some cases, you may find that you have a problem with your heating or cooling system, not your actual thermostat.
  • Call a professional to help you diagnose the problem. Programmable thermostats are not always easy to understand and you may not be able to find all of the problems on your own. A technician that can diagnose your thermostat can also provide a heating and cooling inspection while they are in your home to make sure everything is working properly.

Contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for more tips on troubleshooting the thermostat in your home. We can also help you with all of your other heating, cooling and air quality needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “GreenStockCreative/Shutterstock”

A/C Acting Up? Troubleshooting Tips to Try First

A/C Acting Up? Troubleshooting Tips to Try FirstHomeowners will be flipping the “on” switch on their thermostats as the weather warms up. Usually things go as anticipated. But occasionally things just don’t go as expected. In many cases, a bit of A/C troubleshooting solves the problem but other times the problem warrants a visit from an HVAC service company. Read on for common problems and possible fixes.

  • The unit won’t turn on. The first thing to check is the circuit breakers at both the breaker box and at the outside unit. Turn it back on if it’s tripped. The next thing to check is the thermostat. Put in fresh batteries. It’s possible that it needs thermostat calibration. If a replacement is in order, an Energy Star rated thermostat is a good idea. If the unit has a condensate pump, be sure it’s not full.
  • If the larger copper line on the outdoor unit isn’t cold but the fan is running, the refrigerant is probably low. Call a service person to check for leaks and add refrigerant.
  • If there is some cooling but just not enough, check the temperature differential at two spots, where the air enters and where it exits the air handler. If it’s not between fifteen and twenty degrees, this is another indication of a refrigerant issue. If it’s much higher, try cleaning the blower wheel and evaporator coil. Also change the filter.
  • If the outside unit is making a loud buzzing, remove the panel from the outside unit and see if it is coming from the contactor (usually a square device with many wires coming out the top and bottom). Before replacing it, carefully label all wires.
  • Finally, if a brand new unit is the best way to go, select a high efficiency unit.

In many cases a problem can be fixed by the homeowner, saving money. The building code mandates that many tasks must be handled by a licensed professional. For more information on A/C troubleshooting, contact us.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “CGinspiration/Shutterstock”