602-993-0083 | Español 602-339-0784 (after hours available)

Can a Bad Thermostat Cause AC Not to Cool?

Nothing is worse than finding your home without air conditioning on a hot Arizona day. If this has ever happened to you, then you know just how frustrating it can be to perform thermostat troubleshooting, locate the problem and correct it, especially if you can’t fix it yourself and are faced with getting last-minute or after-hours repairs from a professional

Your system can fail for many reasons. A common problem with many systems may be found with the thermostat on your wall, requiring a bit of thermostat troubleshooting. Let’s take a look at some of the most common thermostat problems found in many homes which may be causing your system to fail.

Thermostat Placed Incorrectly

Many people don’t realize that it matters where the thermostat is placed. A thermostat installed in a poor location can interfere with the way the system is designed to function. In some cases, the thermostat may have been placed correctly when the system was installed, but subsequent renovations have created a problem.

It’s best to never expose thermostats to direct sunlight. Because the thermostat operates as the central command for your HVAC unit, the heat from sunlight can greatly affect the overall operation of your system. With the higher temperature created by sun exposure, the thermostat may register that the temperature is much higher than that of the area around it. 

Because your thermostat thinks it is much warmer in your home than it actually is, the thermostat will tell the HVAC unit to run when it shouldn’t, creating an excessively cooler home and running up your utility bill If your thermostat is placed in direct sunlight or near any heat source that could cause this behavior, contact an HVAC expert to relocate it for you.

Dirty Thermostat

Is your HVAC thermostat not working properly? Just like the rest of your home appliances, your thermostat may begin to operate incorrectly if it hasn’t been properly cleaned. A coat of dust, dirt, or grime can gum up the sensors and prevent them from reading your home’s temperature incorrectly. Be sure to wipe down the outer portions of your thermostat routinely and have routine maintenance performed, and note that a professional will clean the thermostat as part of the service.

If you do work in your home that may stir up debris that can get into your thermostat, be sure to cover it. Otherwise, you may find a build-up that can create problems and require additional cleaning to return your system to proper operation.

Unlevel Thermostat

If your thermostat is not sitting evenly along your wall, it may not work properly. This is especially true with those that employ a mercury bulb to detect temperature. This happens because the thermometer must be level in order to function; if your air conditioning thermostat is not working, it may be because it can’t detect the temperature at all.

If you notice that your thermostat is tilted, this can be a source of trouble for your system. The installer needs to correct the problem. If the thermostat was installed properly but has become tilted due to the settling of the home or some other alteration, you will need to contact a professional to return it to its correct placement.

Old Thermostats

Can a bad thermostat cause your AC not to cool? Yes. Just like any other appliance in your home, thermostats get old. The wear and tear over the life of your system can render them inoperable or show signs of faulty operation before the rest of your system requires replacement. You may note that the efficiency at which your system operates begins to wane over time or that your system stops working altogether.

If you are experiencing trouble with your thermostat operation, AHWA can diagnose the problem and replace the faulty thermostat for you. In some cases, you may be able to upgrade to a newer thermostat with programmable features you can operate from your phone or a remote.

Low Thermostat Batteries

Many people don’t realize that their thermostat contains batteries. While not all of them do, those that are battery-powered can fail if their power source becomes weak. Be sure to replace your batteries immediately upon getting an indication that your batteries are low. Otherwise, you risk fluctuating temperature readings that cause your unit to kick on or not kick on, creating uneven cooling. Eventually, the batteries will die, and your HVAC unit will cease to come on at all.

Improper Installation of Thermostat

It can be tempting to self-install a new thermostat when you have a failure, but it is not always the best solution to your problem. You may save a few dollars upfront but can run into problems due to improper installation down the road. Always have a professional who is trained and experienced in HVAC installations to take care of any repairs you need.

If you are seeing obvious signs of improper installation such as loose wires or sparks coming from your thermostat, you should not use the unit. Contact a licensed professional to do an inspection and make repairs. The damage can go far beyond just what you see at the thermostat box if it has been left unattended too long. While there are many things you can do on your own, sensitive components like your thermostat should always be left to someone certified in their repair.

Thermostat Recalibration is Needed

Part of the HVAC system manufacturing process is the calibration of thermostats. This practice improves the accuracy of the component, making it more reliable in operating your unit. However, this calibration can become less accurate with time and use, leading to air conditioner thermostat problems. The solution is to have your thermostat recalibrated. Otherwise, you may begin to experience uneven cooling in your home.

Whatever issue you are having with your thermostat, the professionals at AHWA are always ready to perform thermostat troubleshooting and provide the repair or replacement you require. While regular maintenance of your HVAC system can prevent many issues, unexpected problems can arise. When they do, our reliable, experienced HVAC technicians can get you back up and running quickly and economically.

Related Posts