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How to Reset Your Thermostat | Common Thermostat Problems

by | Dec 24, 2023 | Central Heating

How to reset various types of thermostats

There’s allot of different thermostat models, brands, and setups on the market these days. Resetting different thermostats relies on the setup, whether hard wired, control wired, wireless Wi-Fi enabled, programmatical or mechanical.. this post covers each type.

If you have a digital thermostat wireless thermostat, simply remove the batteries and turn the around so the batteries line up positives with negatives. This should reset factory settings.

If you have a hard wired thermostat, flip the related circuit braker to off. Wait approximately 30 seconds, and then flip the breaker back on. Adjust the thermostat temperature to hot or cold, whichever is preferred, and this should reset a hard wired thermostat.

Some thermostats have a recessed reset button, which you push down with a pin or paper clip.

Programmable thermostats

A programmable thermostat gives you various settings to play with for year round home or building comfort. This includes timing settings, energy saving modes, integration with humidification systems, integration WiFi home systems, and more features, all dependent on your model or brand.

You can try the following methods to reset a programmable thermostat:

  • Refer to the manufacturers instructions and manual to see what the best methodology. Most new thermostats will have instruction manuals available online.
  • Turn the thermostat to the off position.
  • Remove the battery panels and potentially remove the thermostat off the wall completely
  • Remove the batteries
  • Flip the batters so the positive ends of the battery line up with the negative terminals for 5 seconds, or remove the m completely. Different brands require different methods.
  • Once the batteries are replaced, the display should reactive, so the factory settings should be reset.

Non-programmable digital thermostat

This thermostat is the easiest to reset. Simply find the reset button on the thermostat button, refer to the operators manual for the thermostat and hold and reset the button for the time prescribed. If this is a wireless unit just take out the batteries out of the unit.

Mechanical thermostat

A mechanical thermostat is not battery operated and gets mounted directly to the wall. The control wires from the furnace, radiator, air conditioner, or HVAC system are connected directly to the thermostat through chase walls and conduits running through your home and building. To reset a mechanical thermostat you can reset the breaker and leaf it off for 30 seconds. If you cannot attribute the correct breaker switch to your mechanical thermostat it may be time to call a heating or cooling professional to assess the situation. A mechanical thermostat may or may not have a digital display.

Your breaker panel is usually located in your boiler or furnace room. Hopefully your power is not out too at the same time!

Line voltage or low voltage electronic thermostat

These types of thermostats are generally direct wired to electric furnaces or baseboard heaters. Low voltage thermostats have variants in single stage and multistage versions. Multistage versions handle heating and colling, where single stage thermostats affect only heating. These thermostats are a bit more difficult to reset.

Consider the following when resetting a line voltage or low voltage electronic thermostat:

  • Remove the cover off of the thermostat unit
  • Remove dust off the inside components of the thermostat with a brush
  • Set the thermostat to the lowest setting and highest settings to clean all areas
  • Reset the temperature to the desired ambient temperature and wait to see if the temperature indeed resets properly.

If these methods are not working it may be time to call a professional heating/cooling specialist to investigate. Or if your unit is local to your building’s heating system, best to consult building management.

Common thermostat problems

Thermostat temperature doesn’t reach correct temperature

This occurs when your furnace or AC doesn’t give you the set point degree of air for your home.

HVAC system doesn’t shut off

The purpose of a thermostat is to signal a furnace or AC to shut off when the set temperature is reached. If your AC or furnace keeps running beyond the set temperature, whether cooler or hotter, than this could be a thermostat problem.

High energy bills

High energy or gas bills could be attributed to a thermostat problem. Your thermostat is likely reading the incorrect temperatures and sending signals to your HVAC system to make up the difference which increases energy or natural gas consumption.

Incorrect thermostat placement

If you place the thermostat on an exterior wall for instance, the outdoor temperatures may affect the readings of the thermostat. A thermostat should be located away from windows, drafty areas of your home, and away from exterior walls. Any source of heat or colling should be kept away from the thermostat location.

New batteries

This one is pretty obvious, but if your thermostat is cutting in and out of operation, and it’s a wireless setup, it’s probably time to replace the batteries.

Old age thermostat

A typical thermostat lasts about 10 years and beyond that timeline should be replaced with a new unit. You can ask your local heating professional if your thermostat needs replacement.

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