The Ultimate 2024 Guide to Fixing Common Thermostat Issues

Phill Crawley

Smarter Air & Electrical

i 3 Contents

Common Thermostat Issues

The Ultimate 2024 Guide to Fixing Common Thermostat Issues

 

Is Your Thermostat Not Working Properly?

Frustrated with an air conditioner that won’t turn on or keep your home comfortable? It could be your thermostat (sometime simply known as your air con controller). Our comprehensive guide will help you troubleshoot common thermostat issues. From dead batteries and incorrect settings to smart thermostat malfunctions, we’ve got solutions to restore your comfort.

Common Thermostat Setting Mistakes and Solutions

Is My Thermostat on Heat Instead of Cool? (Check the Mode)

The first thing to check when troubleshooting your air conditioner is the mode. It’s surprisingly common to set the temperature but forget to check if the system is in “Cool” or “Heat” mode.

Solution: Adjust the mode setting on your thermostat to match the current weather conditions and your comfort preferences. Look for icons like a snowflake (cool) or a sun (heat).

The Set Temperature Has Been Achieved!

This may sound like a no brainer but when the desired temperature is achieved your system will stop cooling however the fan may still be running to circulate air, during this OFF cycle of your AC system it may feel a little uncomfortable in the home.

In this case there are two ways to make it more comfortable:

  1. Drop it like its hot: Drop the set temperature a degree or two so the system starts cooling again.
  2. Turn on some ceiling fans: Increasing air movement can help make you feel more comfortable during the times the air con system is not cooling. Many customers ask if they should remove their ceiling fans when getting a ducted air conditioner installed, we aways recommend leaving them in for increased comfort!

Is the Temperature Set Correctly?

Sometimes, finding the perfect temperature setting on your thermostat can be tricky. While 22-24 degrees is a good starting point for energy efficiency, your ideal comfort level depends on various factors. If you’re relaxing, this temperature range may be perfect. However, if you’re active or experiencing high humidity, you may need to adjust the setting.

  • Cooling: The desired temperature on the thermostat should be lower than the actual room temperature. We generally recommend 22-24 degrees, but you might find better comfort at a slightly lower setting.
  • Heating: The desired temperature on the thermostat should be higher than the actual room temperature.

Solution: Experiment with small adjustments to your thermostat’s temperature setting to find your ideal comfort level. Remember, older thermostats might not show the actual room temperature. If this is an issue, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat such as MyAir or Airtouch for more precise control and monitoring.

Poor Thermostat Installation

You might not expect it, but how your thermostat is mounted on the wall can make a surprising difference. If it’s not installed flush or the hole for the wires isn’t sealed, hot air from inside the wall can leak out. This tricks your thermostat’s sensor into thinking the room is hotter than it is, causing your AC to work harder (and longer) than necessary. This drives up your energy bills!

Solution:

  1. Carefully remove the thermostat from the wall.
  2. Check the hole where the wires come through. Seal any gaps to prevent hot air leakage.
  3. Reattach the thermostat, ensuring it sits tightly against the wall.

Optimize Thermostat Programming for Savings and Comfort

Smart thermostats offer fantastic scheduling features for maximizing comfort while saving energy. However, as your life changes, your programming needs might too! Outdated schedules can lead to:

  • AC blasting and increasing your energy bills while the house is empty, wasting money.
  • Unexpected temperature discomfort if your schedule shifts (working from home, etc.).

Solution: Regularly review your thermostat programming – think of it as a check-up! Here are some tips:

  • Peak Solar Production: Consider pre cooling your home during peak solar production hours 10am-2pm to pre-cool your home while the energy is free, there is much point selling your excess energy back to the utility provide for $0.03-$0.08c.
  • Geofencing: Check to see if your system allows for geofencing, ducted air conditioners with geofencing can turn off your system whenever no one is home!
  • Adjust for Workdays: Tweak your schedule to match your typical workday hours.
  • Weekend Updates: Don’t forget about your weekend routines. You might want different comfort settings.
  • Take Action: Don’t just read this – go check your thermostat’s schedule right now!

Other Common Air Conditioning Thermostat Problems

Thermostat Electronics Failing

Is your thermostat acting erratically or not working properly? Failing electronic components could be causing your home’s temperature control problems. Let’s delve into the signs, causes, and what you can do about it.

Signs of Failing Thermostat Electronics

  • Error Codes: Many modern thermostats display error codes when there’s an electronic problem. Consult your owner’s manual or contact an HVAC technician or manufacturer support to understand the code.
  • Intermittent Display: A thermostat screen flickering, going blank, or showing partial information could indicate an electronic or power issue.
  • Unresponsive Controls: Difficulty adjusting settings or a thermostat that doesn’t respond to temperature changes may point towards failing components.
  • Settings Changing Automatically: If your AC turns on/off unexpectedly or the temperature setting changes by itself, the electronics within your thermostat could be at fault.

Important: If troubleshooting doesn’t fix the problem, it’s advisable to contact an HVAC professional. Thermostat electronics can be complex, and further diagnosis and repair may be needed.

Poor Thermostat Location

The placement of your thermostat is crucial for accurate readings. If it’s installed in the wrong location, your heating and cooling system may work inefficiently.

Signs of Incorrect Thermostat Location

  • Uneven Temperature Distribution: You might notice that some rooms feel consistently too hot or too cold, no matter what you set on the thermostat.
  • Frequent HVAC System Cycling: If your system turns on and off constantly, it could be struggling to maintain the desired temperature due to inaccurate readings from the thermostat.
  • Really Low Temperature Settings: Do you find yourself setting the thermostat exceptionally low in cooling mode? This could mean the sensor is getting direct airflow from a vent, making it think the room is cooler than it actually is.

Potential Causes for Ducted Systems

With ducted systems like MyAir or Airtouch, they rely on small thermostat sensors placed in each zone. It’s crucial to ensure these sensors are not directly in the path of airflow from an air outlet. Otherwise, the system might shut off in that zone prematurely.

Solutions

  • Evaluate the Sensor Location: Check where your thermostat (or zone sensors) are installed. Make sure they’re away from the following:
    • Heat sources (appliances, direct sunlight)
    • Drafts (windows, doors)
    • Direct airflow from ducted system vents
  • Optimal Sensor Placement: For ducted systems, the ideal sensor location is within the return air path. In bedrooms, this is often near the light switch by the door.

Historical Note: Dirty Thermostats

Is your home’s temperature feeling a bit off? While dust and debris buildup are less likely to cause significant issues with modern digital thermostats, it was a common problem with older mechanical models. If you have a much older thermostat and notice inaccurate temperatures, gentle cleaning of the sensors with a soft brush might offer some improvement.

However, for most homeowners, inaccurate readings or temperature control issues often point to outdated technology. Upgrading to a newer thermostat can lead to better accuracy, increased energy efficiency, and the convenience of smart features.

When to Replace The Thermostat on Your Heating and Cooling System

Knowing when to replace your thermostat is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. Are you experiencing any of these issues? It might be time for an upgrade!

Signs It’s Time for Replacement

  • Outdated Technology: If your old thermostat lacks smart features, programmable settings, or an easy-to-read display, an upgrade may enhance efficiency and comfort.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you find yourself repeatedly troubleshooting thermostat problems, it may be more cost-effective to replace it.
  • Inaccurate Readings, Unresponsive Controls: Difficulty setting the temperature or the thermostat not accurately reflecting the room temperature are signs of failing components.

Important Note: When replacing your thermostat, it’s a good opportunity to have a professional assess the overall condition of your HVAC system. If both are older, consider upgrading to a newer, more advanced air conditioner model that aligns with your comfort needs and energy-saving goals.

Time to Call a Professional

If you’ve given troubleshooting a fair go, but your aircon or heating system is still not performing properly, it’s time to bring in the experts. Our licensed tradies have the know-how to diagnose tricky problems and recommend the best solutions. Whether it’s a dodgy thermostat, wiring issues, or a more complex system problem, seeking professional help ensures your problem will be sorted out properly. Don’t let thermostat troubles ruin your comfort; call a qualified aircon technician to restore comfort and efficiency to your home.

THERMOSTAT FAQ

How do I check my thermostat?

To check your thermostat, start by verifying that it has power. Make sure the safety switch is on and check for any tripped circuits. Next, set the thermostat a few degrees higher or lower than your current room temperature and listen for the system to start running. If the system doesn’t respond, there might be a problem with the thermostat.

What should I do if my thermostat isn’t working?

If your thermostat isn’t responding, start by checking the power source. Replace the batteries if needed, or for wired thermostats, ensure the connections are secure. Next, double-check the thermostat settings, including the mode (heat or cool) and the temperature. If troubleshooting doesn’t fix the problem, consider calling a professional aircon technician to have a proper look.

What can cause a thermostat to suddenly stop working?

Several things can cause a thermostat to stop working, including flat batteries, faulty wiring, or incorrect settings. Other potential issues include a dirty thermostat, poor thermostat placement, or an issue within your air conditioning system itself. Identifying the specific cause requires troubleshooting and might need a professional assessment.

What’s a common problem with thermostats?

A common problem with thermostats is inaccurate temperature readings, which might be caused by dust on the sensors, incorrect settings, or the thermostat being in a bad location. Other common issues include flat batteries, faulty wiring, and issues within your air conditioning system. Regular maintenance and looking into any problems quickly can help prevent and address these issues effectively.

Nicola Alison
10 star review to the team at SmarterAir & Electrical have the WOW factor. Brilliant from start to finish. Having a Property Manager...
Nicola Alison
10 star review to the team at SmarterAir & Electrical have the WOW factor. Brilliant from start to finish. Having a Property Manager background and high standards I know quality service and you were fantastic! The Neo Panasonic unit ducted system is so quiet it’s a dream unit. Don’t even know it is on! Sensors in each room and can remotely turn the system off via the MyPlace app. Specialists in what you do and don’t outsource the annual service shows your genuine accountability “Thank you so much” to all involved, Alex, Davis, Amanda & Chris. Today the installation & electrical team, professional and friendly, Tom, Jake, Eden, Levi, Nav and Will were simply brilliant a Very big Thank you for making my day! They even vacuumed my house and cleaned up & used drop sheets when installing they really looked after my property. I will be adding lights and the garage door to the future to the MyPlace app and also will be upgrading my residential smoke alarms with them. I am a client for life and will recommend you to everyone. Nothing is too much trouble. I chose well and grateful for all of the answers to my questions. It takes a lot to WoW me these days, but you did, thank you for all your hard work.
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Temnit Teshager
I had smart air & electrical for air conditioning service install a new unit and I couldn't be happier with the experience. From scheduling the ...
Temnit Teshager
I had smart air & electrical for air conditioning service install a new unit and I couldn't be happier with the experience. From scheduling the appointment to the completion of the job, everything was seamless. The technician arrived promptly, was courteous, and thoroughly explained the work that needed to be done. They also provided helpful tips for maintaining the unit in the future and cleaned the house after finishing the job.The pricing was fair, and the service was top-notch. I highly recommend them for all your air conditioning needs!
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Had my Panasonic ducted unit installed in December. They did not try and upsell me a unit that was too big for my house size ,...
steve fernandes
Had my Panasonic ducted unit installed in December. They did not try and upsell me a unit that was too big for my house size ,Other companies recommended 1 -2 (16kw-18kw)sizes bigger. Recommended a 12.5kw which would be sufficient for my home size or could get away with the larger 14kw(summers only getting hotter). Ended up going with a Panasonic 14kw Delux unit with MyAir. On the day all the materials were delivered 30 mins (6.30am) before the guys turned up. Started at 7 am and left by 2 pm, They check with me the location of each room where the ducts were going as I have fans as well. House was vacuumed and marks on the wall cleaned. The electrician stayed back till about 3 ish to finish up, test each zone and run through the MyAir tablet. Easy to deal with, quick responses with emails and calls and happy to work with me as I built a stand so my unit was of the ground. Also went up in the ceiling to finish off some work and the ducting is all tidy. Highly recommend!
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Smarter Air and Electrical recently replaced our ducted Air Conditioning system. The team is very professional and their service from start to finish was excellent. ...
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Smarter Air and Electrical recently replaced our ducted Air Conditioning system. The team is very professional and their service from start to finish was excellent. I would like to extend our special thanks to Jack, Benji, Jacob and Kesan who did the installation and the commissioning. Also, sincere appreciation to all the pre planning work carried out by Davis, Chris, Alex and Amanda. Everything went smoothly from start to finish. Thanks again.
Saji Joseph
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Darren Maloney
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Matthew Harriott
The guys at Smarter Air and Electrical are great. From the inspection and quote through to the install and after sales service the company is ...
Matthew Harriott
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Once again, brilliant customer service from start to end. Professional, courteous, explaining the process as they went along, Jacob and Will were great. I 100% recommend ...
Sue Cee
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The guys at Smarter Air did very good job at installing ducted system in my already built home. Starting from their Sales team to...
Bhavesh Bhatt
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I was nothing but impressed of the leadership and workmanship of smarter air & Electrical crew ( Davis, Benji, Levi, Nav Jake and Will) that came ...
Giuseppe Amenta
I was nothing but impressed of the leadership and workmanship of smarter air & Electrical crew ( Davis, Benji, Levi, Nav Jake and Will) that came out to fit our Panasonic ducted air conditioner.The pre inspection was so important cause they new exactly what they were up for ! Thanks Davis !! The crew did a terrific job , they cleaned after themselves explained what they were doing and most of all respected the household which was very appreciative . We would highly recommend Smarter Air & Electrical to family and friends. Well done !! Thank you
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