Is It Your Air Conditioner, Or Is It Your Thermostat Use?

Posted on: 9 June 2020


As air conditioning systems have gotten more advanced over the years, the thermostat, in particular, has gotten more complicated. Instead of simple switches to turn the system on and off and a dial to adjust the temperature, you now have a programmable, digital component that isn't always intuitive in its use. It's very easy to confuse incorrect thermostat use with a broken air conditioner, which doesn't mean that the air conditioner will never break, but that you should double-check how you're setting the thermostat before calling a repair person.

Excessive Humidity in the Home

Does our home feel excessively humid even though it's not that humid outside? Take a look at your fan setting. The thermostat may have two AUTO settings, one for the fan and one for the cooling and heating system itself, but even if there's only one AUTO setting, it will be for the fan. This AUTO setting should be on. It turns the fan on automatically when the air conditioner turns on and turns the fan off when the air conditioner turns off. If the fan is not on AUTO, it will either be on all the time, and that can increase the humidity in your home. It will push hot air through the system even when the condenser coils aren't working to remove moisture from the air, so you'll have this humid air pushed all throughout the house. Turn the fan setting to AUTO and wait an hour or so; if the humidity level feels more comfortable, then you know that was the problem.

Mornings Seem Too Warm

Are those cooler summer morning temperatures not making much of a difference in your home? If it seems like your house is still really warm in the mornings and the temperature outside is actually kind of cool, that thermostat use may be to blame again. If your thermostat has two AUTO settings, again, one is for the fan and one is for the heating and cooling. This AUTO setting automatically switches between heating and cooling depending on the ambient temperature and what you have the thermostat set to. So if your thermostat's heating setting is at 68 degrees F, and your house reaches 67 degrees in the morning, the heater will turn on. Make sure the thermostat is not set on AUTO but is instead set on COOL. That way, the heater will not turn on at all.

The Temperature Always Seems to Hover Just Below the Thermostat Setting

It can be really frustrating to feel too warm and to see that your home's temperature never seems to quite reach that optimal energy-conserving temperature on the thermostat. You can lower the thermostat's temperature, of course, but then you end up using more power. But it just can't be right that your home never seems to get hot enough (in terms of what the system is sensing); sometimes it has to sense warmer temperatures, right? It's possible that something is wrong with the temperature sensor in the system, but it's also possible that the sensor is located in a sheltered area that stays very cool compared to the rest of the house. In that case, you should set the thermostat lower. You'll just be compensating for the weird sensor reading.

Do call an air conditioning repair service if your home still doesn't seem to get cool enough. Too much heat can be really bad, especially over time.