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Frustrating is an understatement when the thermostat fails to reach the set temperature inside the home. Whether it is a chilly night or a scorching hot summer day, indoor temperatures may not reach desired levels due to several possible reasons.

This article will discuss these causes and how to deal with them so that finally, indoor temperatures will match the homeowner’s preferred level of coolness or warmth.

What to do when the thermostat does not reach the set temperature?

There are several possible reasons why the thermostat would suddenly fail to reach the set temperature inside the house. Its possible that your central ac system is constantly running and not getting to set temp. Below are some of the most common causes homeowners can look into. Be mindful though that self-troubleshooting could worsen existing issues, and that the best recourse is to seek professional evaluation and consequent maintenance work and repairs. Here are the possible solutions  

Recalibrate the thermostat

Sometimes the solution is just simple – recalibrating the thermostat. Like any other mechanism within the HVAC system, the thermostat is also bound to incur wear and tear. As such, thermostat calibration is part of the routine preventative maintenance steps, HVAC professionals carry out.

Several guides help any homeowner recalibrate the thermostat. The most helpful though is stated in the manual that came with the HVAC unit. Familiarizing oneself with the steps is helpful when dealing with possible technical glitches that occur within the thermostat. Some air conditioning experts meanwhile suggest that homeowners purchase an AC-specific thermometer that they can use to measure the temperature of the air blown by the indoor air handler. By using this thermometer, the homeowner could then compare the temperature displayed on the thermostat and calibrate accordingly.

Re-do the thermostat wiring

Re-doing the thermostat is the best recourse if the thermostat fails since it was installed. Usually, Do-It-Yourself installations cause these issues. Check out the HVAC owner’s manual and try to rewire the thermostat again, this time through the correct wire terminals.

It is also possible that some of the wires may have corroded due to dirt and lint build-up. If this is the case, then seek professional inspection and repair. An HVAC technician can easily fix this type of issue.

Clean the thermostat if it is not reaching the desired temperature

Dirt build-up can cause any HVAC component to malfunction, hence routine tune-ups are important. This could also be the reason why a room in the home is hotter than other rooms. The same is the case with the thermostat. It also needs a deep cleaning, especially if it keeps on failing. When the thermostat’s internal workings have been penetrated by dirt build-up, it may give the wrong reading because the dirt coating is giving off excess heat. This heat is probably what the thermostat is picking up, and not the actual temperature inside the house.

Fortunately, thermostat cleaning is relatively easy. All the homeowner has to do is remove the faceplate or thermostat covering. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean out the inside of the thermostat. This cleaning routine is part of regular preventive maintenance.

Keep mechanical thermostats leveled

If the home still uses a mechanical thermostat, then make sure that it is leveled. Round-dialed thermostats sometimes fail when the mechanism is not leveled since it relies on a mercury switch and sets of springs. These mechanisms lay horizontally, and so when it is not leveled, the accuracy of temperature measurement is affected.

To keep it on a level, open the cover plate of the thermostat, find the mercury tube and use a small level to put it back in the correct position. The best solution to this issue though is to swap it with a more modern and accurate digital thermostat.

If the thermostat is frozen, just reboot it.  

Sometimes, static electricity could affect the operation of the thermostat making its display freeze. When this happens, the best thing to do is to just reboot the thermostat. Rebooting is as simple as turning off the thermostat for at least ten seconds and then turning it back on.

Replace the old and broken thermostat

Upgrading to a newer and more modern thermostat could sometimes be the best solution for a failing one. While this could mean an additional expense, it could help the household save up on utility bills in the long run.

Modern thermostats like digital ones are more reliable, and at the same time allow programming that could save the homeowner hundreds of dollars in cooling or heating bills. How? By programming the thermostat to neutralize temperature levels whenever no one is at home, the HVAC unit will not get too strained to utilize more electricity or gas than needed.

Relocate the thermostat

The location of the thermostat matters a lot when it comes to the accuracy of the temperature reading. The thermostat should be installed in a neutral place that does not get too much heat from heat-generating appliances like the stove, the oven, or the fireplace. A licensed HVAC technician can easily relocate a thermostat that is situated in the wrong area.

Other solutions to try when the thermostat fails to reach the desired temperature

Check if there is an issue with the HVAC unit itself

There are times when the thermostat is not faulty, but the HVAC unit is. Its possible that your ac unit is freezing up, find out why my air conditioner is freezing up and what you can do about it. If the AC fails to produce the desired indoor temperature, and the thermostat is in good working condition, then it means there is something wrong with the HVAC unit.

Here are some ways to deal with this possible issue:

Clean the vents, and registers, and replace the air filters. The most common reason why an AC would fail to cool the whole house is because of a lack of airflow. By replacing the air filters and making sure that the vents and air registers are cleaned and unblocked, the homeowner gets to see if there indeed is a cooling issue that prevents the thermostat from reaching the desired indoor temperature. You also need to check how dirty your condenser coils are, use this guide to cleaning your air conditioner condenser coils.

Double-check the size of the HVAC unit. There are instances when the HVAC unit’s capacity does not match the cooling area. This is the reason why homeowners need to consult a professional HVAC contractor before purchasing an HVAC unit. An undersized AC unit can never comfortably cool a space that is much bigger than its intended capacity.

Could it be the outdoor temperature?

When the heat is so intense outside, chances are there are rooms in the house that could not get as cold as desired. You may also have symptoms of your air conditioning system not cooling the home. Usually, these are the rooms with much larger windows or are oriented toward direct sunlight. If this is the case, then it is beneficial to help out the AC in achieving the desired indoor temperature. By closing the drapes, ensuring that the windows are shut, and sealing gaps where cold air can escape, the AC could reach the desired temperature more easily. Another good way to help the AC is by using ceiling fans since they can immediately spread cold air throughout the room. By working in tandem with an AC, the room will get cooler much faster than an AC alone will.

Tap an HVAC Specialist in San Diego who can help with thermostat issues

The best way to address thermostat issues is to tap an HVAC Specialist who can immediately diagnose and troubleshoot thermostat-related air conditioning issues. An HVAC specialist can also easily address cooling issues that are not involving thermostats. Give us a call at Reliable Standard Heating, Air, & Solar and we will be more than happy to help you. Our expert HVAC technicians have all the necessary skills and equipment to carry out HVAC troubleshooting and maintenance work. Get in touch with us today!

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