Furnace Troubleshooting: Signs That Your Thermostat Is Bad & Simple Fixes

15 June 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Making sure your home is comfortable, especially during extreme temperatures, depends on your thermostat functioning properly. But a thermostat can go bad. You need to know how to fix the problem and know a few signs that can help diagnose the issue.

Signs That Your Thermostat Is The Problem

Your thermostat is there to sense the temperature in your home. The thermostat activates your furnace when the temperature rises or drops. The following are a few signs that your thermostat is not performing its job well:

  • The furnace may take longer than usual to turn on
  • Your home temperature could be slightly off
  • The furnace may not turn on at all

Simple Troubleshooting

You can perform some simple troubleshooting before you attempt to fix your thermostat, or call your furnace repair specialist. Consider taking the following steps:

  1. See if the thermostat has not been accidentally switched off. The power is usually on the thermostat or on the side. You can refer to your manual to locate this switch.
  2. Change the temperature around 5 degrees hotter or cooler, and see if the furnace detects the change.
  3. Turn the furnace circuit breaker completely off.
  4. Unhook the thermostat's panel using your hand. This should dislodge easily, and check to see if the wiring is properly connected. These wires are usually red or white. Do not attempt to fix any damaged wiring, as this could be dangerous. You should call your furnace repair specialist instead. 
  5. Turn the furnace circuit breaker back on. Attempt to change the temperature setting to see if the furnace kicks in.

Remember that you can still call your furnace repair specialist if you feel uncomfortable performing any of the aforementioned steps. You can also talk to your furnace specialist to confirm your suspicions. 

Easy Fixes

There are only 3 fixes that you can perform on your own aside from reattaching any loose wires. The 3 fixes are the following:

  1. Replace the batteries should your thermostat be digital.
  2. The heat anticipator could be your problem. The anticipator helps your thermostat turn the furnace on or off when necessary. Open up your thermostat panel, and local the anticipator, which looks like a tiny disc. Readjust the anticipator, and check to see if the problem was resolved.
  3. The thermostat may be not be leveled properly, which can affect its detection abilities. All you need to do is unscrew the thermostat from the wall and screw back on, making sure that it is leveled. You can use a ruler to do this.

Call your furnace specialist if none of these repairs help you with your furnace issue. But, as you can see, dealing with a thermostat can be simple with the right knowledge.