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Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970

Serving The Greater Fresno Area Since 1970


Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning Blog

Is It Your Furnace or Your Thermostat?


A malfunctioning heating system can quickly turn your Fresno, CA home into an uncomfortable space. While it may seem like a malfunctioning furnace needs furnace repair, many common issues actually stem from problems with the thermostat. In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricacies of furnace and thermostat functionality, explore common heating issues caused by thermostat malfunctions, and provide troubleshooting tips to help you identify and resolve these issues effectively.

Before diving into troubleshooting, it’s essential to understand the role of the thermostat in your heating system. The thermostat serves as the control center, regulating the temperature within your home by signaling the furnace to turn on or off as needed. Whether it’s an analog dial or a modern programmable device, the thermostat plays a crucial role in maintaining comfort and energy efficiency.

Common Heating Issues Caused by Thermostat Problems:

  • Furnace Not Turning On:
    • Incorrect thermostat settings: Misconfigured temperature settings or switched to “cool” instead of “heat.”
    • Dead batteries in the thermostat: Power outage or drained batteries can prevent the thermostat from sending signals to the furnace.
    • Faulty wiring or connections: Loose or damaged wiring can disrupt communication between the thermostat and furnace, leading to heating failures.
  • Inconsistent Heating:
    • Thermostat location affecting temperature readings: Placement in direct sunlight, near drafts, or close to heat sources can result in inaccurate temperature readings.
    • Dirty or malfunctioning thermostat components: Dust, debris, or worn-out components within the thermostat can interfere with its operation, causing temperature fluctuations.
    • Compatibility issues between thermostat and furnace: Mismatched systems or outdated thermostats may not effectively communicate with the furnace, leading to inconsistent heating.
  • Short Cycling:
    • Thermostat set too high or too low: Extreme temperature settings can cause the furnace to cycle on and off frequently, resulting in inefficient operation.
    • Malfunctioning thermostat temperature sensor: A faulty temperature sensor within the thermostat may inaccurately detect room temperature, triggering premature furnace cycling.

Troubleshooting and Solutions:

When faced with heating issues, it’s crucial to start troubleshooting with the thermostat:

  • Check thermostat settings and batteries: Ensure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and replace batteries if necessary.
  • Clean and calibrate the thermostat: Remove dust and debris from thermostat components and adjust calibration settings for accuracy. If you’re not sure how to recalibrate your thermostat, contact us for help.
  • Inspect wiring and connections: Examine wiring connections for signs of damage or corrosion, and tighten any loose connections to restore communication with the furnace.
  • Verify thermostat-furnace compatibility: Ensure that the thermostat is compatible with your furnace model and adjust settings accordingly for optimal performance.

Regular thermostat maintenance is key to preventing heating disruptions. Consider upgrading to programmable or smart thermostats for enhanced control and energy savings. If troubleshooting efforts prove unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to seek our help with to diagnosing and resolving thermostat issues.

By understanding the common heating issues caused by thermostat problems and implementing effective troubleshooting strategies, you can restore comfort and efficiency to your home’s heating system. 

We strive to provide honest answers and solutions to the problems our customers experience while remaining highly competitive in price, and offer the fastest turnaround you can find! Contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning to schedule service or sign up for Mr. Cool’s Super Saver Program.

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