Understanding HVAC Guidelines
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Understanding HVAC Guidelines

Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.

Understanding HVAC Guidelines

An Overview of Common AC Thermostat Problems

Marilou Girard

The thermostat triggers the cooling and off cycles of the air conditioner (AC). Thus, your AC might run continuously, fail to run, or run inefficiently if the thermostat malfunctions. Below are some common problems that plague thermostats and lead to inefficient cooling.

1. Poor Placement

The thermostat works best if it can read the actual temperature in the house. Your thermostat will read the wrong temperature if you have not installed it in the right place. Below are some examples of such placement issues:

  • A skylight above the thermostat sends sunlight directly onto it
  • The thermostat sits near a heat generator, such as an electrical appliance
  • The thermostat sits near a window where draft from outside affects it

Your AC technician will install the thermostat in the right place. Don't make any alterations or renovation near the thermostat without consulting the AC technician.

2. Dirt

Dirt can also affect the thermostat's operations. A typical thermostat has metal contacts that connect and disconnect to provide and stop cooling as necessary. The contacts won't trigger cooling if debris covers and insulate their surfaces. Secondly, dirt accumulation can insulate the temperature sensor.

3. Poor Calibration

A thermostat's calibration determines how accurate it is in reading the surrounding temperature. Here are some of the things that can affect your thermostat's calibration:

  • Dirt exposure
  • Maladjustment of the calibration screw
  • Thermostat's levelness
  • Heat anticipator maladjustment 

Most thermostats require periodic calibration. However, the necessary calibration depends on the type of thermostat.

4. Disconnection

The thermostat has wires that supply it with electricity and those that send temperature signals to the AC's mainboard. The thermostat won't work if something disconnects or loosens the electrical supply wires. The thermostat will still work after a disconnection or loosening of the signal wires, but the thermostat won't control the AC as it should.

5. Low or Dead Batteries

Some thermostats use batteries as their main source of power, while others rely on batteries for backup power. In such cases, the thermostat might malfunction if the battery is dead or is low on power. For example, a programmable thermostat with bad batteries might lose its presets.

Fortunately, most of the problems that plague thermostats are not catastrophic. An AC repair technician can diagnose and address the issue right away. Don't delay with the repair because the AC might overwork, overheat, and damage its motor if you keep using it at suboptimal levels.