The thermostat: a small object designed to look unobtrusive on the wall of a home, and easy to think of as a very minor part in the operation of your air conditioner.
The truth of the matter is though, the thermostat is essentially the brain of your air conditioner, where homeowners send instructions to the cooling system and the blower fan.
Many homeowners, and maybe you’re included in this, don’t realize that even the smallest thermostat malfunction can create a number of problems for an air conditioner—a drop in cooling, a spike in utility bills… even a completely broken down system.
Thermostat Issues Often Don’t Seem Like Thermostat Issues
One of the main reason we stress that you call on an HVAC pro whenever you have an AC system that isn’t working right, is because only a skilled technician will be able to get to the root of the problem, whether it really is your air conditioner, or a bad thermostat. After all, when something is wrong with the thermostat, it doesn’t always present itself as such.
An air conditioner that is short-cycling for instance, which is an example we’ll get to below, could be due to several different reasons, like a malfunctioning motor or a leak in your refrigerant line. It takes a skilled and trained pro to trace the symptom to the actual cause.
If you do suspect the thermostat is creating trouble for your air conditioner, please don’t open it up and try to fiddle with the wiring—instead call our team. In the meantime, read on to find out what “air conditioning problems” might actually be thermostat problems.
- Short-Cycling: This is when the compressor of your air conditioner shuts off before completing its cooing cycle, only to turn back on again a short time later and repeat the process. If the thermostat’s temperature sensor is malfunctioning, it might start to shut down the air conditioner’s cooling cycle prematurely. Short-cycling puts too much stress on the compressor, raising electrical bills and shortening the system’s overall lifespan.
- Uneven Cooling: If your thermostat is miscalibrated or has a fault connection, it can cause your air conditioner to fail when trying to run long enough to distribute cooling evenly throughout your home. You may notice hot spots as a result. This is also a symptom of damaged and leaky ductwork though, so if this is what you’re experiencing please be sure to give us a call!
- Blower Fan Won’t Start, Or Won’t Stop: When the blower fan of your air conditioner runs constantly and never cycles down, or it won’t start up at all, it can mean a problem with one or more of the wires from your thermostat to your air conditioner.
These are just a few of the problems that a malfunctioning thermostat can cause. Whether you think the thermostat is to blame for your cooling problems or it’s something else, the best thing you can do is reach out to a pro.