Whether it’s heat in the freezing Denver winters or air conditioning as things heat up in summer, you want your HVAC running smoothly all year long. A furnace or AC malfunction could be a massive headache. But what if the problem was a little smaller than these major appliances? Enter the thermostat.

Since your thermostat senses the temperature in your home to tell your heating or cooling to kick on, it’s a vital part of keeping your home comfortable. Yet, when things go wrong, many people aren’t quick to blame their temperature controls. Here’s how to figure out if your thermostat is causing problems or if you’ll need to schedule more extensive HVAC repairs.

How to Tell if Your Thermostat Is Bad

You may want to narrow down what’s wrong before you schedule a thermostat replacement. Look for these broken thermostat symptoms that could indicate that the device is the problem:

  • Your HVAC isn’t heating or cooling properly. This is probably the most obvious sign of a faulty thermostat. Though HVAC malfunctions can come from a range of problems, a broken thermostat may be the cause of:
    • An air conditioner or heater that blows constantly.

    • Heating or cooling that won’t turn on, especially if they don’t kick on after adjusting temperature settings.

    • Thermostat settings that keep shifting without input.

    • An actual home temperature that doesn’t match what’s on the display.

  • The electronics don’t work. If your thermostat’s digital display is blank, the device may not be getting power. The fix could be as simple as changing the batteries, but you’ll likely need repairs or replacement if that doesn’t work.
  • You notice your system short cycling. Short cycling is when your heating or cooling quickly switches on and off in short intervals, and it can be caused by a range of HVAC issues. If you notice your system short cycling, a technician can tell you whether the issue is caused by your thermostat or another HVAC problem.
  • Your schedule doesn’t stay scheduled. A digital or smart thermostat allows you to change HVAC settings automatically, following a schedule that you set up. It should continue to follow that schedule until you change it or turn it off. If it “forgets” your scheduled temperatures, your thermostat may need repairs.
  • Your heating or cooling bills jumped unexpectedly. Unless Denver is experiencing an unusually hot or cold season, there shouldn’t be a reason for your heating and cooling bills to vary much. If things suddenly get much more expensive, a faulty thermostat may be the cause.

When Should a Thermostat Kick On?

Your heating or cooling should turn on when your thermostat registers that the indoor temperature is a few degrees above or below the programmed temperature. For example, say you have the thermostat set to heat and the indoor temperature set to 68°F. When it reads that the temp has reached about 66 or 67, the thermostat will send a signal to your heater to kick on. Depending on your system, it may heat a few degrees above your set temperature. Then, your thermostat sends the signal to your furnace to stop putting out heat until the temperature cools again.

The reverse happens in summer when your AC’s on. The air conditioner turns on once you go above your set temperature and switches off once the temperature drops below that setting.

How to Test a Thermostat

Follow these steps to check that your thermostat works correctly:

  1. Change the batteries, even if they’re just a backup.

  2. Check that no settings have been changed.

  3. If you have a smart thermostat, it may have a “test” function that will run through diagnostics for you. Otherwise, continue testing yourself.

  4. If the system is running constantly, set it to “off.” If it continues running, the thermostat likely can’t communicate correctly with your HVAC and should be replaced.

  5. If you’ve only experienced issues with either heating or cooling, switch to the other mode and adjust the settings so that your HVAC should come on. If your furnace doesn’t run, but your AC does, you may need furnace repair and vice versa. If neither heating nor cooling works, the problem is more likely your thermostat.

I Know My Thermostat Is Not Working: Now What?

Choose the type of thermostat you want. Most models nowadays are at least digital, but smart thermostats offer you more varied control and can learn from data on how you use your system. You can also ask an HVAC technician what they recommend for your home.

When to Replace a Home Thermostat: Even if Nothing’s Wrong Yet

Most home thermostats last about 10 years before needing to be replaced. If your thermostat is reaching the end of its lifespan and the frigid Denver winter is closing in fast, you may want to preemptively replace the device. That way, your heating won’t start to fail you just when you need it most.

Additionally, your home may have an outdated thermostat that doesn’t offer any special features. You may choose to update your thermostat just to get features like scheduling, remote temperature control, or other benefits. Digital and smart thermostats offer a range of bonuses that can make an upgrade worth it, even when your current thermostat still works.

Get a Brand-New Thermostat Installed by the Experts

Stop living in an uncomfortable home that’s too hot or too cold, all because of one tiny device. Get rid of your thermostat troubles with repairs and replacements done by the HVAC professionals at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning of Denver. We repair and replace various thermostat brands, quickly returning your heating and cooling to normal.

Relax in a properly temperature-controlled home when you call (303) 622-3401 or book online today.