About Me

Preparing for My Dream Home

My husband and I have spent a lot of time consulting with an architect. After living in our cramped, starter home for the past 11 years, we were finally ready to make some needed changes to it. We have added an extra 600 square feet of space onto our house. Before the construction began, we finalized the plans for our new heating and air conditioning unit with our HVAC contractor. Because our home was going to be substantially bigger than it is now, we purchased a larger HVAC system. We also installed a new, digital thermostat inside my home. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best types of HVAC units to buy for mid-size homes. Enjoy!


Preparing for My Dream Home

Is A Malfunctioning Thermostat Causing Your Air Conditioning Problems?

by Rita Richardson

It's getting warmer outside, and your air conditioner is showing signs of not being able to keep up. Maybe it's started "short cycling," where the cooling cycle abruptly shuts off, only to kick back in a few minutes later. Maybe the fan is running non-stop. Or maybe the air conditioner just isn't turning on when it should.

A faulty thermostat can cause all these problems. Fortunately, a broken thermostat can be a relatively easy fix, but if you don't take care of the issue, it could lead to more substantial damage. For example, short cycling can stress the compressor, which is the most important -- and expensive -- component of the a/c system. If that goes out, you're looking at potentially costly repairs. 

Types of Thermostats

You'll want to understand which type of thermostat your system is relying on. A central air conditioning system uses your main thermostat, which senses the room temperature and turns on heating or cooling as needed. 

If you have a room air conditioner that's not working right, that's an entirely different story. Room a/c units have their own thermostat sensors that are usually located behind the control panel. The sensor checks the temperature of the air as it arrives at the evaporative coil. Sometimes, the sensor gets moved too close to the coil and then it stops functioning as it should. You can gently adjust the wire that holds the sensor so it's slightly further away from the coil.

Issues with the Main Thermostat

Your home's main thermostat may be mechanical or digital, and the latter can be programmable as well. Problems may arise if the thermostat is not set correctly; before you call for repairs, check your owner's manual to ensure that the cooling cycle is right. You may also have a thermostat that's located where it gets too much direct sunlight or picks up heat from other sources, like an oven.

If your thermostat is located in the same place it's always been and nothing has changed, and if the settings seem right, you'll have to do more troubleshooting.

  • A short in the wiring may be causing the thermostat to cycle erratically. Turn off the power to the air conditioning system and check the wires for loose connections. 
  • Check that the system is set to "cool." Sometimes the thermostat gets manually changed to "heat" and that can prevent the a/c from working properly.
  • The fan that circulates the cool air may be manually turned off or there may be a problem with the automatic fan function. Check your settings for the fan.

If you still don't get any results, you'll need to call in a qualified air conditioning repair professional. They can adjust your thermostat and test it to see if that's the source of the issue, or they can test other parts of the a/c system for proper functionality. For more information, contact a company like McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning.