Room Thermostat Troubleshooting

What You'll Need
Cleaning brush
Soft paper

When a room thermostat fails, you will need to perform thermostat troubleshooting. Thermostat troubleshooting won't cure all your problems, but it might help you to overcome simple difficulties that you can solve with some basic home improvement skills. You won't want to install a new thermostat if you can use a simple fix.

Step 1 - Address Display Problems

Problems with the display function of your thermostat can indicate more serious problems internally, so don't ignore them. If your clock loses time regularly, a problem with the furnace may be stopping power from reaching the thermostat. You need to check your furnace and remove dirty filters or poor connections.

If the display is blank or displays the "PF" sign, it has lost contact with the common wire. Most often a black wire, this should be linked to the C-terminal. Add a wire connected to a resistor if you discover any problem of this kind.

Step 2 - Troubleshoot for Basic Problems

Don't neglect basic problems during thermostat troubleshooting. One simple problem is the unit cooling when it should be hot, and vice versa. This situation is caused by a faulty heat pump setting. You may need to alter the setup of the room heater.

This is also true if the thermostat triggers both hot and cold devices at the same time, although you should also remove the thermostat to check that wires are not touching at the back. If your wireless thermostat is not working either hot or cold machines, you need to check that your computer code and the sensor on the machine are the same. If they do not match, you will need to reconfigure the device.

Step 3 - Check for Other Problems

If you have problems controlling the temperature in your room, you need to check the thermostat. You may need to calibrate wireless devices on the computer. For others, you will need to press buttons according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you have a manual thermostat, you should check that the device is completely level during your thermostat troubleshooting. Thermostats have a mercury vial inside that allows them to read the temperature. Even a slight angle can affect the operation and cause an inaccurate display.

Step 4 - Clean the Connections

If you still are not getting any response after your previous thermostat troubleshooting, you may need to clean the connections. Dirt can fall into the terminals and stick between electrical points. This scenario impedes the flow of power through the device so it does not trigger heating and cooling mechanisms as it should.

Clean your thermostat by removing the cover, brushing over the outside with a soft brush and then running paper through the connections in order to remove particles of dirt.