You pass by the thermostat umpteen times a day without sparing it a second glance. It is that small screen in your house, mounted on the wall, where you set the desired temperature. The day the cooling or heating does not match your expectations is the day when you stop to glance and fiddle with it. Like every other working part, it too is vulnerable to developing faults. Have you ever wondered why your thermostat goes blank then comes back on? This is an indication of some part in the thermostat not working as it should.
A thermostat is a crucial component of every AC and HVAC unit. It senses the temperature and helps regulate it at the defined level. A thermostat works like a switch. It is usually heat activated. A part of the thermostat is the temperature sensor. It causes the switch to open or close, completing or interjecting an electrical circuit which runs the heating and cooling system of the home.
Diagnosing The Issue
The thermostat goes blank then comes back on; this is a classic symptom of short cycling. This is a problem that usually originates within the heating system. On average, an air conditioning cycle lasts around 20 minutes. At times, the number of cycles increases. This issue is known as “short cycling.” Short cycling is a term that refers to the condition where the AC turns on and off in small bursts. When this happens, the house neither heats nor cools effectively. To the naked eye, short cycling is visible as the thermostat going blank then coming back on repeatedly in quick succession.
Main Causes Of Thermostat Going On And Off
A few reasons why your thermostat goes blank then comes back on are –
1. Improper Location Of Thermostat – Your AC thermostat consists of a temperature sensor which registers the surrounding temperature. Based on this reading, it sends the “on” and “off” signals to the compressor of the unit. Ideally, the thermostat should not be installed near a window which receives a lot of sunlight. Neither should it be installed anywhere near a supply air vent. These places will confuse the thermostat about the actual temperature inside your home.
2. Faulty Thermostat – For all you may know, the thermostat itself could have developed a fault which is causing short cycling. It could be as simple as a loose wire or something more severe, which may need replacement. The best person to validate this is your local HVAC technician. A faulty thermostat is not a major issue, replacing it will bring an end to the repeated switching on and off of the thermostat.
3. Refrigerant Leak – Refrigerant leaks occur due to corrosion and wear and tear of the coils. If your AC also has a refrigerant leak, it means that the level of Freon in your unit may be low. The coolant or refrigerant is vital for absorbing heat from the air and cooling it. So, when it is on the low side, the pressure level in the compressor becomes uneven, causing it to turn on and off intermittently. In turn, the thermostat also goes on and off repeatedly. If left unattended, this problem can cause serious damage to your unit. If you see any signs of a refrigerant leak, attend to it straight away.
4. Dirty Air Filters – Your AC may have a dirty or clogged air filter causing airflow restrictions. When the airflow is restricted, the evaporator coil becomes frozen, which causes the unit to turn on and off. As mention above also, this causes the thermostat to go blank and come back on again. Air filters should be cleaned and if necessary, replaced at least once a month. You can do this more often if you stay in a place where dust is always present in the air and if you are constantly running your AC in the summer.
5. AC Too Big For Your Home – The HVAC system installed in your home may be too big for it. This may seem odd because it cools your home faster. But the fact is if an AC unit is big for a home, it cools the house quickly and shuts off shortly after turning on. At first glance, you may think it is a good thing, but unfortunately, it increases your electricity bill as well as the chances of a potential breakdown. Prior to installing a new AC unit, ask a skilled technician to do an assessment of which size of AC is best suited for your needs.
Other Possible Causes
Not all AC units have a thermostat that requires batteries, but some do. Weak batteries can cause the thermostat screen to go blank then come back on again. You need to first figure out if this is the case with your thermostat. If yes, remove the front panel of your thermostat and replace the batteries with fully charged new ones. The task is relatively easy to perform and can be easily accomplished by you.
The Next Step
Now that you know that short cycling involves the compressor, we recommend that you immediately contact your local HVAC company to come and access the problem. If left unattended for a long time, this can evolve into a much bigger and expensive issue.
If you want an easy and permanent fix to all your AC problems, whether big or small, contact Aztil Air Conditioning. If you need help with your thermostat problems, we can carry out repairs and also offer a replacement, as per need. Your AC is the heart of your home. Do not leave its problems for later as by then they could become something bigger and costlier to handle. If you live in Plam Springs, Florida, you can contact us any time either through our website or by calling on +1-888-729-8452. We offer 24/7 emergency ac services so that you can live peacefully.