Any defective, uncalibrated, or dirty thermostat will raise your energy bills. But its easy to
troubleshoot and repair one, so theres often no reason to call an HVAC service person.
But if it turns out that you do need a specialist, I highly recommend Angies List..
Your thermostat is the physical controller between your family and your homes heating and cooling
system. Very often when you notice your air conditioner unit or heater is acting up or not doing what it
should be, you might suspect the air conditioner, furnace, or boiler.
But it might just be an easily-corrected issue with your thermostat or humidistat.
What happens when your thermostat isnt working properly? Chances are that your electricity or natural
gas bills will go up. Read on; this article explains how to troubleshoot your thermostat and in many cases
eliminate a costly visit from your local heating and cooling service person. Its as easy as changing an
electrical light switch!
Central Heater Problem Symptoms and Repairs
No Heat Generated
Possibly no power to the system? Try resetting circuit breaker or replacing the fuse.
Is the thermostat dirty? Clean your it. (Explained below.)
Is your thermostat faulty? Replace it. For peak energy management, invest in a
7-day programmable model thermostat.
Are the batteries dead (if applicable)? Replace them.
The Temperature Either Doesn't Reach or Exceeds the Setting
Is the thermostat out of level? Use a level to re-level it.
Anticipator not set correctly? Adjust the anticipator.
Is it improperly calibrated? Try recalibrating the line voltage or low voltage thermostat.
Range stop not correct? Replace it or call a serviceman.
The Heater Turns Off and On Repeatedly
Is it dirty, inside or out? Clean the thermostat.
Anticipator isnt set correctly? Adjust it.
Heater Will not Turn Off
Is it out of level? Use a level to realign it properly.
Central Air Conditioner Problem Symptoms and Repairs
Air Conditioner Simply Will not Turn On
No power to it? Reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse.
Is the thermostat dirty, inside or out? Clean it.
It may be faulty. If no other attempted repairs work, replace it.
The batteries may be dead (if applicable)? Replace them. Theyre cheap enough.
Temperature Does Not Reach or Exceeds Setting
It may be improperly calibrated? Recalibrate it.
Is it out of level? Use a level to realign it.
The Humidifier Will Not Turn On
Is there power to the system? Reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse.
Is the humidistat faulty ? It should be replaced.
How to Clean Your Thermostat
Turn off the power at the circuit breaker panel.
Remove your thermostat cover.
Locate the the bimetal coil and clean with a soft, lint-free brush.
Remove the thermostats body by removing the retaining screws (on a round thermostat). Next,
slide a small piece of bond or typing paper between the lever and the contacts repeatedly to
Reassemble the unit.
How to Adjust a Thermostat Anticipator
Turn off the electricity at your homes circuit breaker panel.
Take the thermostats cover.
Locate the label that documents the ampere setting for your particular unit. Write it down.
Common places you might find it are in the manual (if you still have it), on your furnaces
panel, or on your boilers transformer.
Next, set the anticipator on its scale. On an air distribution system, you can set it right on
the ampere setting you wrote down in the last step. But if you have a water distribution system,
set it 1.4 times the ampere setting.
If youre not comfortable doing the work. find a licensed electrician in your area, check out
Don't wait until it breaks to fix it. Your thermostat is just one more place where you can
cut your utility bills.