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Why Is My Thermostat Showing a Blank Screen?

The humid and blistering days of summer are upon us, and people all around the West Palm Beach area have gone to switch on their air conditioners. However, if you’ve found your thermostat sitting there with a blank screen, you know the feeling of dread. When no amount of button-pushing can get your system to respond, there comes the thought of whether or not your air conditioner has died on you.

Well, there’s some good news: a thermostat that’s completely blank and non-responsive isn’t usually a sign that your air conditioner has given up the ghost. In fact, more often than not the problem is actually with the thermostat itself. On this blog, we’ll go over what can cause a thermostat to go blank like this and whether or not it’s possible to fix it on your own (which, yes, sometimes it is).

Dead Batteries

Did you know the thermostat on your walls could run on batteries? Most people don’t realize this, but just because your thermostat is connected to your wall and has wires running out of it doesn’t necessarily mean it draws its power from your electrical grid. If the battery dies, so does your thermostat and thus your ability to control your HVAC system.

There’s a pretty easy way to check if a battery is the problem: simply pop open your thermostat and replace it. While we can’t necessarily tell you how to open your exact thermostat (there are thousands of different models… far too many to list here), you can find out how with a simple internet search if you’re not sure. Just note the model number of your thermostat and run a quick internet search for the “user’s manual” for it. Once you’ve popped the thermostat off the mount, pull the old battery out and stick in a new one. Most thermostats require either a nine-volt cell, AA, or AAA battery. Once you replace the battery, your thermostat should come right back to life, giving you some much-needed relief and full control of your air conditioner again.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

If your thermostat does run on electricity from your walls, then odds are you won’t find a battery when you pop the front off. When this is the case, then you may have tripped the circuit breaker or blown the fuse that keeps that particular electrical circuit going. This is not all that uncommon during summer time, when air conditioners are running heavily for hours on end, drawing an immense load of electricity.

To fix it, simply find your fuse box or circuit breaker panel and then replace the fuse that’s blown or reset the breaker back to the “on” position. This should return your system to working condition and bring your thermostat’s screen back to life. However, the fuse blows again quickly or the breaker trips off after just a few minutes, keep it off and call for repairs immediately. Odds are you have a much more serious problem that needs urgent attention.

Dead Thermostat

Like many other gadgets you might have, thermostats can and do eventually die. When your thermostat dies, the screen will go blank and you won’t be able to turn your system on. If replacing your battery doesn’t solve anything and your breakers or fuses are all in good working order, then most likely this is the problem you’re facing.

However, it’s also a blessing in disguise, as it gives you the opportunity to make a small but tremendously impactful investment in your home’s energy efficiency. Most modern thermostats are loaded with features that encourage less energy consumption, better control over your climate, and even give you the ability to connect to Wi-Fi or other networking protocols so you can control it from a smartphone, tablet, or even the sound of your voice!

If you need your thermostat replaced, call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today at (888) 660-4337!
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