Thermostats are the brains of the HVAC system, sending nearly constant instructions to your heating or cooling equipment. If your thermostat keeps turning off and on, resetting, or adjusting temperatures at random, it can negatively impact your comfort and even damage your HVAC system.

Erratic functionality could indicate underlying issues or simply mean it’s time for a manual thermostat reset.

What to Do If Your Thermostat Is Changing on Its Own

First, take a close look at your thermostat to determine if it’s non-programmable or programmable.

  • Non-programmable thermostats will keep turning off and on if they intermittently lose power, which is usually the result of a faulty circuit board.
  • Programmable thermostats (including all smart thermostats) are a little harder to diagnose.

Smart thermostats offer tremendous energy efficiency improvements and more automated functionality. But this automation and app-based connectivity means smart thermostats have more going on “behind the scenes,” and some advanced settings are not readily accessible.

Why Does My Thermostat Change by Itself or Shut Off?

If you’re troubleshooting a thermostat that changes itself or resets itself, start with these common issues and then dig a little deeper.

If you get stuck, contact your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning for fast and reliable thermostat repair and replacement services.

Your Thermostat Keeps Rebooting, Restarting, or Turning On and Off

These three issues are usually caused by power or system connectivity issues. The most common problems are:

  • Power outages - Power surges or outages remove power to the thermostat, causing it to restart or reboot. Sometimes, the outage can last just a second or two, and not be noticed.
  • Dead batteries – Some older thermostats aren’t hard-wired into the electrical system and run on batteries. If the thermostat keeps turning on and off, try replacing the batteries first.
  • Faulty wiring – Loose wires or bad connections can cause intermittent power loss to the thermostat.
  • Compatibility – Newly installed or replacement thermostats that repeatedly reboot may not be compatible with the home’s HVAC system.
  • Dirty or debris – Dusty thermostats are inaccurate. Dirt and debris can block sensors and cause thermostats to take inaccurate readings.

Your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning technician will quickly diagnose the issue and give you options for repair, replacement, or an upgrade.

Your Thermostat Keeps Changing Temperature on Its Own

Programmable thermostats and smart thermostats have manual and smart schedules. These settings work great most of the time. However, in some cases, programmed heating or cooling schedules are thrown off course for a few reasons.

In addition to the issues listed with non-programmable thermostats, be sure to investigate these issues as well…

  • Hold setting – Programmed thermostats have a “hold” setting that overrides any heating or cooling schedules. Some thermostats have a permanent hold, which overrides programmed settings until manually turned off. Temporary holds will override settings for a specific period, though you may need to check your owner’s manual to determine when a temporary hold expires. To remove the hold setting, press “cancel,” “run,” or “run schedule,” depending on how it’s labeled.
  • Schedule changes – Your thermostat may not adjust for daylight savings time, throwing your schedule off by an hour. To fix it, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to reprogram the thermostat. Most smart thermostats automatically account for daylight savings time.
  • Smart home features – Advanced smart home settings can detect room occupancy and adjust temperature outside of pre-set schedules. You may need to adjust the home system settings to prevent automatic temperature changes.
  • Display problems – Thermostats with backlit displays sometimes malfunction. When this happens, the entire display may go blank or display partial numbers. If this happens, pay attention to your heating or cooling system to see if it’s running. If it’s still kicking on, the thermostat display is likely the issue.
  • “Demand response” event—Local utilities may ask customers to lower their energy use, usually by setting their thermostats higher during a heat wave to lower air conditioning demand on the grid. This is often enough to avoid rolling blackouts, but not always. If your home is enrolled in a utility-run energy-saving program, your system can automatically adjust your thermostat. Check your utility bill to see if you’re enrolled in such a program.
  • Thermostat battles—If your thermostat keeps dropping to 62 degrees after you’ve bumped it up to a cozy 70, it might not be the thermostat. With app-based controls, other family members may adjust or turn off your temporary hold. Find out who else can access the thermostat app, or consider changing the account password.

Smart thermostats are a great way to lower your home’s energy consumption and save money on heating and cooling bills. Get the most out of your energy-efficient upgrade with fast, friendly repairs from One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning!

From Troubleshooting to No Trouble at All

Thermostats set the tone for overall HVAC performance. That’s why One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning takes the time to study new technologies and stay current on the latest models. Our trained, professional technicians will diagnose your thermostat issue, make the repair or replacement, and show you how to avoid similar problems in the future. Find your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning or call (800) 893-3523 today.