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How a Faulty Thermostat Can Create AC Problems


Do you usually think of your thermostat as a part of the HVAC system? Or do you consider it something separate, a basic control panel on the wall that you have to adjust occasionally when somebody in the house starts complaining about it being too hot or too cold?

The thermostat is a control panel, but it’s also an essential part of the HVAC system. The thermostat connects you to the air conditioner and blower fan, but it also monitors temperatures in the house to detect and regulate how the AC works. If a thermostat has faults, such as miscalibrations or lost connections, it can create a slew of cooling troubles in your home. Often, those troubles may not at first seem like they’re coming from the thermostat, although professional HVAC technicians can track down the source for accurate air conditioning repair in Bellevue, WA.

A Few of the Ways a Bad Thermostat Creates Bad Cooling

The most common way a thermostat can affect home cooling is a simple miscalibration. Thermostats are designed to read precisely the temperature inside a home (provided the thermostat is correctly located; more on this later), but they can lose that precision and pick up inaccurate readings. If a thermostat is reading the house as 5°F cooler than it actually is, it will shut off the AC early—before it can reach the thermostat’s temperature setting. The problem can become worse for a programmable thermostat that depends on several different temperature settings. You’ll end up with a house that’s either too hot or too cool. Fortunately, it’s easy for HVAC pros to recalibrate a thermostat.

Thermostat location is more important than people think. If thermostats are put in places where they won’t read outlier temperatures rather than the general house temperature, it affects comfort throughout the building. Thermostats placed where they’ll be exposed to direct sunlight or drafts will pick up “ghost” readings that can interfere with the smartest programming. Technicians must re-locate these thermostats to more ideal places.

A thermostat has multiple connections to the HVAC system, with different connections for turning on and off the fan and the AC compressor. Losing one of these connections can cause an AC that won’t turn on … or won’t turn off! In these situations, the thermostat must be repaired or replaced.

If you notice the screen of a digital thermostat has gone blank, it might be due to dead batteries. It may also indicate an overflowing condensate pan, which will trigger a switch that will shut off the thermostat. Although this isn’t specifically a thermostat problem, it does require a professional to fix the AC.

Don’t Try to Diagnose AC Problems Yourself

The thermostat is one explanation for some of the problems above. You shouldn’t attempt to diagnose air conditioner troubles on your own, since you may miss the real cause and end up trying to repair something that isn’t broken. Only allow trained HVAC technicians to take care of a faulty AC. Our experts will quickly find out what’s wrong and then have it fixed.

S&L Mechanical Heating and Cooling offers “Quality Service for Quality Living”! Talk to us today for better cooling tomorrow.

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