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How a Faulty Thermostat Can Harm Your Home’s Cooling

technician-working-on-thermostatAir conditioning systems are complicated machines, so there are numerous ways they can malfunction and lose cooling capacity. Thankfully, they are also durable machines, so most homeowners won’t need to call for air conditioning repair in Cincinnati, OH more often than a few times during their AC’s service life—and most of those will be during the last few years.

But there’s an important part of a home’s cooling that can malfunction that’s outside of the air conditioner: the thermostat. The thermostat is part of the overall HVAC system of a home, and when it develops faults, it can have serious effects on home comfort. It’s easy for a non-professional to misdiagnose a thermostat problem as a different issue with the AC. This is why we recommend you always call HVAC pros when you’ve got issues with your cooling: only skilled technicians can find out what’s actually wrong and fix it.

The Faulty Thermostat: A Few Examples

The modern thermostat is more intricate than the old manual “sliders-n-dials” models, which makes them more convenient, precise, and energy-efficient. But they still come down to a basic operation: a temperature sensor and a set of connections to turn the AC’s compressor and blower fan on and off. Here are ways this can go wrong and affect household cooling:

  • Miscalibration: This is when the thermostat’s temperature sensor is a few degrees off so that it’s registering the house as either bit too hot or too cold. This makes it harder to keep the temperature you want. You may end up running the AC for longer than necessary or end with a house that’s too cold. It’s a simple job for technicians to recalibrate the thermostat.
  • Ghost Readings: This is when a thermostat is picking up incorrect readings unrelated to the actual temperature of the house. This can be a malfunction, or it might be an accident of where the thermostat is placed (near a draft, in direct sunlight). Often the thermostat needs to be replaced or relocated.
  • Lost Connections: Most thermostats have multiple connections to the AC. Loss of one will result in strange activity. For example, the AC’s blower fan refusing to come on or refusing to turn off. If an air conditioner isn’t responding normally to thermostat settings, it might be the AC or the thermostat at fault—let a professional find out which.
  • Mismatched Unit: Is your thermostat a new one? If it is, it may be mismatched with the HVAC system. The algorithms of newer thermostat may not work with older HVAC equipment. This is why you only want professionals to help you select and install an upgrade to your thermostat. In this case, you’ll need to have the mismatched thermostat replaced before it causes damage to the AC.
  • Somebody Is Messing With the Buttons: Okay, this isn’t really a “repair,” but when you’ve got weird behavior from the AC, check to see if somebody (ahem, kids, ahem) has been playing around with the thermostat settings. Sometimes the answer is that simple.

“For a Comfortable Way of Life,” rely on Bartels Heating & Cooling. 24-hour emergency service available for AC repairs.

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