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How a Faulty Thermostat Can Make a Lot of Trouble in Your House


Compared to the furnace, air conditioner, and ductwork of your HVAC system, the thermostat is physically a small component. But, without a thermostat, you don’t have a functioning HVAC system at all because you can’t communicate with it. The thermostat in your home is essential for your heating and cooling system to operate at all, so even small thermostat issues can have a significant impact on energy use and indoor comfort.

To help you better understand when you’ll need to call professionals for thermostat repair in McDonough, GA, we’re going to look over the ways thermostat problems can create bigger and wider problems for your home.

Thermostat miscalibration

This is the most common thermostat problem people encounter. The thermostat’s temperature sensor starts to register indoor temperatures that are several degrees off or more. That may not sound too bad, but it can start to have an impact on your comfort and lead to rising utility bills. The heater or AC will either stay on for too long or not stay on for long enough. Trying to overcome this problem by setting the thermostat higher or lower won’t solve the issue and could lead to damage to the HVAC system, especially if the thermostat continues to become more and more miscalibrated, which is what usually happens. 

Lost connection

A thermostat can lose its connection to one or more parts of the HVAC system. The standard thermostat set-up has several separate wires that control turning on or off the AC compressor, the furnace, or the blower fan. If one of these connections fails, the HVAC system will malfunction in one of several ways:

  • The HVAC system will not turn on at all
  • The blower won’t turn on
  • The blower won’t turn off
  • The AC or furnace will only shut down due to overload

Many of these problems aren’t immediately traceable to the thermostat because there are other potential causes. This is why you need to call on professionals to look into odd behavior from your HVAC system—it’s almost impossible for non-professionals to make an accurate diagnosis.

Ghost readings

This sounds spooky, although the physical effects are definitely not “ghostly.” This is when the thermostat picks up an incorrect temperature reading that doesn’t reflect the general temperature of the house, which will cause the HVAC system to work ineffectively and inefficiently. This can happen because of exposure to drafts, direct sunlight, or a thermostat that isn’t located close enough to the center of the home. Because in most cases ghost readings happen because of poor thermostat location, the solution is to have a new thermostat installed in a better place.

Digital or computer malfunction

Thermostats have advanced far beyond the old slider-and-dial manual models with mercury sensors. Today’s programmable, Wi-Fi, and smart thermostats allow for more precise temperature control, better energy efficiency, and more convenience. Unfortunately, they can also suffer from malfunctions in their operating systems that can cause a string of issues that will make home climate control almost impossible. Again, you must have experienced professionals on the job to either fix the thermostat or recommend a replacement. 

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