How a Faulty Thermostat Can Impact Your AC Unit


If you are looking for air conditioning repair in Atlanta, one thing that might be causing your system to malfunction is your thermostat. When that goes, a range of problems can emerge, all of which make your unit work more. These problems shorten the unit's lifespan. Here are just a couple of examples of what can happen if your thermostat is malfunctioning.


Short Cycling

A thermostat that is not working sends constant signals to your heating and cooling units that the temperature needs to be modified. That leads to “short-cycling,” which is when an AC unit turns off before it has completed its job of modifying the air in your home. As it receives erratic messages from your thermostat, the compressor comes to life and then abruptly shuts off because of the conflicting messages.


As soon as the compressor turns off, the thermostat will send messages that the AC needs to turn on, and it will. Eventually, this can wear an AC unit out. The constant cycling puts wear and tear on the entire system, including stress on the compressor, leading it to have a shorter shelf-life. If it is an older compressor, it will fail. Short cycling can also negatively affect the motors in your system and cause them to burn out.


Constant Running

If your thermostat has an electrical problem, it can cause two things: constant running and fan burnout. What happens is the thermostat never reaches the optimum temperature, and so it never sends a signal to the unit to shut off. The AC unit runs constantly, which causes outrageous energy bills. It can also burn out the motors, kill the compressor, and lead to burnout of the fan in the system that circulates the air.


Inadequate Performance

Another risk is that because of the malfunctioning thermostat, your unit is never on long enough to heat or cool what is supposed to heat or cool. That eventually leads to the unit running intermittently, but continuously. While not as destructive as a unit that will not shut off, this situation can lead to the same problems with your air conditioning.


The Unit Stays Off

If your thermostat is sending the wrong message that the temperature is where it should be when it's not, your unit may stay shut off. The good news here is that your unit will not be pushed to the brink. The bad news is that your unit will not work effectively.


Causes of a Faulty Thermostat

There can be a lot of causes for a thermostat acting erratically or not acting at all. One could be a wiring issue that sends the wrong message to your AC unit. Another could be because of a coolant issue in your compressor. A third could be the thermostat has a manufacturer’s malfunction. Or, it could just be that it is old and worn out.


The easiest way to avoid this type of problem is to get routine and scheduled air conditioner maintenance. These twice-yearly inspections by an air conditioning company go a long way in identifying and addressing a problem before it becomes a crisis.


From the moment your air conditioning installation is complete, your thermostat runs the show. If it goes, so does your AC. For more information on air conditioning repair, thermostat replacement, or annual maintenance, please check out KBS Heating & Cooling, Inc.