How to Test a Thermostat

Before checking a thermostat, remember that it is not recommended to check a cooling system when the temperature is below 65 degrees. Listen and feel for air from the return air grill when turning on a thermostat with help from a home remodeling specialist in this free video on thermostats.

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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Tim Gipson, I'm going to talk to you about how to test a thermostat. Well this is a programmable thermostat and you may either have this in your home, or you may have just mechanical thermostat. But either way you can use these same procedures to test whichever one you have. Now in this particular case we have got a digital read out, so we want to make sure that it is showing the time and what the current temperature is. Now something very important is it happens to be about seventy degrees in here, so that is a temperature that we can check both the heating system and the cooling system. It is not recommended to check your cooling system when the temperatures are below sixty-five degrees. So that is something to keep in mind when you are checking your thermostat, make sure you are in the proper temperature range. So we fold down this lid, we want to make sure we are on run, and this particular system you can either have it operating in heat mode, off position, or in the cooling mode. And the fan is auto. So the first thing we want to do is we want to take the fan switch, and switch it to the on position. When you switch it to the on position then you should hear your air and be able to feel it in your return air grill. So as long as that happens then you know that the fan in your unit is working properly. So we will switch that back to auto. The next thing you want to do is you want to make sure and check and see if the temperature is working correctly. So right now it is says the temperature is seventy-two, so what we will do is we will set it up and you should hear, when you go above the temperature you should hear a click indicating that it is coming on. And you should also be able to hear in the background your furnace, the burner is actually coming on. Now what you need to do is you need to wait for it to cycle, because those burners will run, they will actually heat up the unit, and then the air will come on. So you will need to wait up to a couple of minutes to make sure that that happens. So the heat is on, it is verified, now the return air we can start to feel it. And you might want to go around and even check and make sure that you have got hot air coming out of your diffusers. So once we do that then we know we are in good shape on the heating system. So we can set it back down, let the system cycle, and cool itself down, and shut itself off. Now when it is completely shut off, and you wait a few minutes, then we are going to do the same procedure. We are going to switch it to the cooling system. We will put the temperature down below the current temperature, wait for the system to cycle. You should hear a click, and then you should hear your cooling system come on, and you should hear your air flowing. So as long as you do that you can check both you heating and cooling, again check your cooling as long as it is above sixty-five degrees. And it should be able to determine whether your thermostat is working properly. If you do have any problems and it is not something that is readily identifiable like your thermostat, you can check your wiring connections by popping this off. It is usually a good idea to contact a professional HVAC company to come in and check your system out. So I am Tim Gipson, and that is how to test a thermostat.

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