Troubleshooting Your Thermostat: A Basic Guide

Thermal technologies are an important part of a comfortable home, particularly if they’re equipped with an easy air zone system (EAZ). These systems ensure that the temperature you need is distributed evenly across all rooms and in every corner of your house. If that may sound technical, that’s because it actually is!

If you suspect that your thermostat needs to be replaced, but aren’t quite sure, then there are some steps that you can take to give you a better idea of what’s really going on with your indoor temperature system.

Signs Your Thermostat Has Gone Bad

Your Thermostat Has Become Unresponsive

The most immediate indication that something is wrong with your thermostat is if the display is unlit or not responsive. If this is accompanied by a lack of change in your home’s temperature when you’ve just adjusted it, then this is a sign that your thermostat is broken or the batteries need to be replaced.

The Furnace or Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On

Problems with wiring are one of the most common reasons behind Furnaces or Air Conditioners failing to turn on. Any defect in the wirings could confuse the electronic signals that are being sent to your cooling or heating system.

The Furnace or Air Conditioner Won’t Turn Off

Much like the previous point, if your heating or cooling system refuses to switch off, there is a possibility that the wiring has become frayed or that the thermostat is miscalibrated.

Temperature Differs From One Room to Another

While it is not as clear as the other signs mentioned, different room temperatures can be an indication that your thermostat is broken. This won’t be a problem if your home has been zoned―but if it hasn’t, then the fluctuating temperatures in different areas of the house may be caused by a faulty thermostat.

Troubleshooting a Bad Thermostat

Make Sure It’s On The Right Setting

This may seem like an obvious step, but don’t overlook it—it’s entirely possible to have accidentally switched your thermostat to a different setting. Take a quick look to see if it’s been set to heat up your home in the winter or to cool down your home during the summer.

Change The Temperature By Five Degrees

If it’s summer, try setting the temperature five degrees lower than normal. If it’s the winter, set it at five degrees higher than normal. You’re checking three things here: to make sure that you hear a click to confirm that the thermostat has processed the change in temperature, to see if the supply registers blow out air, or if your return vents suck in air.

Check The Batteries

This only applies to electronic thermostats. Switching out the old batteries for a new pair can help your thermostat’s performance. On average, you will need to switch out batteries on a digital thermostat once a year.

Clean Out The Thermostat

This only applies to mechanical thermostats, which are the ones that come with a little lever to adjust the temperature. Over time, it’s possible for these thermostats to malfunction because of the dust that has accumulated inside. All you need to do is remove the cover and dust it off with a small brush or cloth.

Check The Wires And Its Connections

Try taking off the cover of your thermostat and making sure that all the wires are still firmly connected to their respective mounting screw. If your wires are connected, and the thermostat is still malfunctioning despite having accomplished all these steps, then it’s time to hire a professional to work on your needs.


While there are numerous ways to check your system out, many of these involve dealing with complicated electricals that may be dangerous to tamper with. As such, we strongly recommend leaving this work to a certified technician regarding HVAC repairs in order to avoid any safety and fire hazards from occurring.

Are you looking for an HVAC contractor in Edmonton to help you troubleshoot and repair your system’s thermostat? Legacy Heating is equipped with a roster of professionals that can attend to your HVAC systems and ensure that your home stays at the right temperature in any weather. Get in touch with us today and have a specialist handle the job!

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