HVAC Thermostat Testing Guide: Ensure Peak Performance with Proven Methods

Welcome to our step-by-step guide which will navigate you through some issues that can spring up with your home thermostat. The vital function of a thermostat in regulating our home’s energy use and helping our HVAC systems run efficiently is something to keep in mind. Recognizing signs of potential issues and understanding how to follow some quick tips, will help you extend the lifespan of this crucial device.

  • You depend on your AC to navigate the soaring summer temperatures, so the last thing you want is to realize your AC unit isn’t working. With the correct equipment and a few simple tests, you can troubleshoot and diagnose the problem yourself. Don’t call a technician just yet.
  • We all know that our home thermostat, which is usually mounted on a wall, is something akin to the control center for our home’s HVAC systems, including furnaces and AC units. This article aims to help you diagnose and address these issues, especially those relating to function, and offer potential solutions that could save you money on unnecessary service calls.

The first step, known as ‘Step 1’, is understanding the wiring and calibration of your home thermostat and the operation settings of your AC system, including the blower function which circulates air through the ducts, is crucial. In addition to these steps, keeping an eye on the dust accumulation on the screen of your home thermostat can also save you energy and money over time. Identifying the signs that something might be amiss can mean the difference between a simple fix and a costly one; a misaligned circuit breaker, for instance, could cause the furnace burner to malfunction. From your personal experience, you might have seen that there are several logical steps you can take to decide whether the thermostat is the problem or if your air conditioning system is to blame. After all, there’s no reason to go through the hassle of scheduling a service call if a fresh battery or a simple thermostat setting change is all you need to get your AC unit into perfect operation mode.

Testing Your HVAC Thermostat

Step One

First, make sure the thermostat switch is in the “on” position and set to “cool” or AC. If that doesn’t solve the problem, check a programmable thermostat’s display for any override programs that may have engaged and caused an issue with the air conditioner. This is a tip particularly intended for those tech-savvy ones among you.

Step Two

In some cases, programmable thermostats require batteries. If this is the case, it’s time to grab your trusty screwdriver and replace them with new batteries to ensure the thermostat’s circuit has power, as this might restore the functionality of the device and solve the problem.

Step Three

Have a family member or a friend stand by the furnace while you stand by the thermostat. Use your cell phone or, if you have them, walkie-talkies to communicate while testing the system’s temperature response. This way, each member of the team will be aware of the steps being taken. Once everyone is ready, change the thermostat switch to heat. The furnace should respond immediately, but the AC might have a delayed response which is a sign of the energy-efficient systems.

Step Four

As you navigate to the next step, ensure that you carefully raise the thermostat’s settings until you hear a click. Inform your helper of these changes so they can be ready to boot up the multimeter. They should notice the furnace’s sound, indicating that the furnace received the signal to start the heating operation. If not, the thermostat’s sensor is likely the problem, and a replacement could be needed.

Step Five

The next course of action in the thermostat’s lifespan is to turn off the furnace breaker, remove the thermostat cover and pull it back to reveal the wires. As thermostats use a 24-volt low-voltage transformer, there is no risk of electrical shock. However, to ensure safety, it’s a wise idea to shut down the unit’s power supply.

Step Six

The next thing you should do is take a picture of the thermostat’s wire connection with a digital camera or cell phone. This step is a wise way to mark the progress of troubleshooting. Then, locate and loosen the terminal screws labeled “R” or “RH” and “W.”

Step Seven

Once the terminals are loose, remove the wires and twist the ends together. This step bypasses the thermostat circuit, allowing you to diagnose if the thermostat is bad. After instructing your helper to listen to the furnace, turn the furnace breaker back on. If the furnace responds, the thermostat likely requires replacement – a clear sign that it’s reached the end of its lifespan.

Please keep in mind that at this point, you should contact The Cooling Company to set up an appointment with a comfort specialist to have the thermostat replaced.