Ways a Malfunctioning Thermostat Can Affect Your AC

hand-setting-thermostatBecause the thermostat is a small object designed to look unobtrusive on the wall of a home, it’s easy to think of it as not having a huge effect on the operation of an air conditioner. Of course, it’s the place where the homeowner sends instructions to the air conditioner and the blower fan—that makes it important. But people may not realize that a thermostat with even a small malfunction can create multiple problems for an AC, leading to a drop in company, a rise in electrical bills, and even a broken down cooling system.

Thermostat Problems Often Don’t Seem Like Thermostat Problems

One of the reasons that we stress that people only call on HVAC professionals whenever they have an air conditioner that isn’t working right is because only a skilled technician can track down the actual source of the odd behavior. Thermostats are a good example of this: when something is wrong with the thermostat, it often isn’t immediately obvious.

An air conditioner that is short-cycling (something we’ll talk about below) could be due to a half dozen possible problems, such as a malfunctioning motor or a loss of refrigerant. It takes a professional to trace the symptom to the actual cause. So if you suspect the thermostat is creating trouble for your AC, don’t open up the thermostat and try to fiddle around with it. Not only are you unlikely to be able to fix the thermostat yourself, but the thermostat may not be the problem!

AC Problems a Thermostat Might Cause

Here’s a short but by no means exhaustive list of ways a bad thermostat affects an air conditioning system:

  • Short-cycling: This is when the compressor of the AC shuts off before completing its cooling cycle, only to turn back on again a short time later and repeat the process. If the thermostat’s temperature sensor is malfunctioning, it may start to shut down the ACs cooling cycle prematurely. Short-cycling places immense strain on the compressor, raising electrical bills and shortening the systems’ lifespan.
  • Uneven cooling: If the thermostat is either miscalibrated or has a faulty connection to the AC, it can mean the air conditioner won’t run long enough to distribute cooling evenly around a home. You’ll start to notice hot spots in the house, usually first in the rooms farthest from the AC.
  • Blower fan won’t start/stop running: When the blower fan runs constantly and never cycles down, or it won’t start up at all, it can mean a problem with one or more of the wires from the thermostat to the AC.
  • No cooling at all: The air conditioner fan is running, but the air coming from the vents isn’t cool. This could mean the thermostat has lost its connection to the compressor and can’t turn it on.

When you suspect you need service for your air conditioning in Arden, NC, make a call to the licensed HVAC professionals who serve Western North Carolina. We’ll find the cause of your air conditioning trouble and have it fixed.

Comfort Central, Inc. serves the Heating, Cooling, and Environmental Needs of Western North Carolina. We Offer a 100% Guarantee!

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