How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

Why is My Thermostat Not Working?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Heating & Cooling > Why is My Thermostat Not Working?
Why is My Thermostat Not Working?

Many people depend on programmable or adjusting thermostat to keep their energy bills under control. However, this can work only if the thermostat functions properly. Otherwise, you will end up with very cold or hot rooms that are uncomfortable to be in and high energy bills as well.


There are many reasons why the thermostat might not be working properly and you need to check for each of these causes before you can fix the thermostat and have a home that is at the right temperature.

Materials Skill Level Estimated Time
• Screwdriver Beginner 10 to 30 minutes
• Fine Brush
• Bubble Level
  1. 1. Do You have Power?

    The first thing to check when you encounter a thermostat that does not work is to check if it has power. Just check that all the wires that connect to the thermostat are fixed properly and tightly. This should restore the power supply to the thermostat and ensure that it works again.

  2. 2. Keep is Clean

    A thermostat needs to be clean in order to work properly. Unscrew the cover of the thermostat and gently clean the wires inside using a fine paintbrush. You can also use compressed air to clean the thermostat.

  3. 3. Loose/Corroded Wires

    When you have uncovered the thermostat you should also check for loose or corroded wires. These should be tightened and corroded wires replaced. This will make your thermostat work again.

  4. 4. Level it Out

    The thermostat has to be placed in a level manner. A slanting or tilting thermostat will not function properly. Use a bubble level to check for this. Besides, the thermostat has to be mounted at a height of five feet from the ground to function properly.

  5. 5. Poor Home Placement

    Another reason for a thermostat not working properly can be poor placement in the home. The thermostat should not be placed near drafts or in a place that is cooled or heated faster than the rest of the house, as this can make it read the temperature incorrectly. Place the thermostat in a place that is well insulated and away from the kitchen or other places that can be hotter than the rest of the house.

  6. Average Prices

  7. 6. Anticipator Problems

    The anticipator or heat anticipator is a small lever on a calibrated scale inside the thermostat. This lever should be moved one level or click on the longer side if the air conditioner or furnace switches on frequently and one level or click lower if the air conditioner or furnace runs for too long. This will ensure that the ambient temperature in the home is more comfortable and stable for long.

  8. 7. Get Your Thermostat Replaced with Pro Referral

    Thermostats are used to control the furnace or air conditioning unit and ensure that the temperature inside the home is comfortable whatever the temperature and weather conditions outside. The thermostat tells the air conditioner or furnace when to switch on and switch off in order to maintain the desired levels of temperature inside the house. A malfunctioning thermostat can be fixed by cleaning it or positioning it more properly. However, sometimes, it is necessary to replace it. This can be done by a qualified electrician who will ensure that the thermostat is placed in a level manner at the right height in a proper location inside your home. To retain the services of a reliable electrician to replace your thermostat, just register your requirements with Pro Referral.


    While a thermostat is an essential device to help maintain the right ambient temperature at home and also save significant amounts from the energy bill, it can malfunction, stop working, or otherwise fail and make life uncomfortable. A thermostat that does not work can lead to a house that is very hot or very cold, unevenly cooled or heated, and generally unpleasant. When the temperature inside the house soars, tempers too can soar as everyone finds it difficult to cope with the heat. However, it is fairly simple to have the thermostat replaced by retaining the services of a reliable electrician.

A happy home life requires a comfortable home. This includes ensuring that the ambient temperature inside is comfortable and refreshing whatever the weather conditions outside. You can achieve this comfort level at home by ensuring that your thermostat functions properly and thereby regulates the furnace or air conditioning unit appropriately. By maintaining a comfortable temperature at home throughout the year you will be able to ensure that your family loves to come home.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.