One of the easiest things to fix when your air conditioner is on the fritz is the thermostat. Responsible for telling your unit when to turn on and off, the thermostat can wreak havoc when it's not working properly. Think of it as the command center for your air conditioner. Your unit won't work properly if command doesn't have it's stuff together. Fortunately, a faulty thermostat is easy to fix. But how can you tell if the issue is your thermostat? Following are three things to look for.
As mentioned, your thermostat controls your air conditioner. If it's bad, you will notice differences in the function of your unit. It may turn on frequently or not turn on at all. Your home may be too warm or too cold. Additionally, your unit may turn on but stop functioning after a few seconds. It may also continue to run without stopping. All of these issues can be traced back to a faulty thermostat. However, these symptoms can sometimes have other causes as well.
Visually inspect your thermostat to look for any broken pieces or loose wires. Pay special attention to the plastic switches that turn on your unit and display the temperature. If these aren't reading or working properly, your unit won't get the correct information in order to function efficiently. Also, look inside the unit. If you see any broken or loose wires, you probably need to replace your thermostat. If your thermostat has a battery, check it as well. It may be corroded or it may have lost its charge. If you suspect that the battery may be bad, change it and see if that improves the function of your unit.
If you see a lot of dust and grime when you open your thermostat, it needs to be cleaned or replaced, depending on how bad it is. Dirt can interfere with the function of your thermostat. Thoroughly clean the thermostat with a can of compressed air and small brush, carefully cleaning around all of the wires and components. Pay special attention to the sensors. Be sure to remove all dust and debris from these areas.
If your air conditioner doesn't run right or if your thermostat appears broken or overly dirty, you may need a new one. Fortunately, it's an easy and inexpensive fix. A heating and cooling technician like Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating can replace yours during a short service call.