Resetting your thermostat can be as simple as turning it off and back on again. It can also be a lot more complicated, depending on the type of reset you want and the make and model of your device.
Smart thermostats may have more features and more complex reset functions than basic units. This guide covers the most common types of reset to get your thermostat functioning normally again, including:
Sometimes, a reset isn't enough to fix a frozen thermostat or to get it working properly with your AC unit. If you're unsure what the problem is and standard troubleshooting isn't working, you might need to consult an HVAC professional.
A standard reset is the most straightforward way to fix a frozen thermostat. It won't change any of your stored settings. Be sure to look at your owner's manual to learn how to reset your thermostat since you may need to leave it disconnected from the power source for various lengths of time. Below are the basic steps for a standard reset.
Turn Off Power / Remove Batteries
The goal of a standard reset is to interrupt the power going to the device long enough for it to restart. If your unit has a power button, you can simply turn it off. If it doesn't, you'll need to physically remove the batteries or unplug the unit.
Wait a Few Minutes and Restore Power
Turning off the power starts the reset process, but you must wait long enough for any stored power to discharge before turning it back on. This process can take a few minutes. After turning the device off, wait the recommended amount of time (check your owner's manual for detailed instructions) and then restore power to your thermostat.
Conduct a Factory Reset
A factory reset is the next level for resetting your thermostat. With a factory reset, you restore the device to its default settings, erasing any stored preferences or scheduling. For this type of reset, you need to check with the manufacturer. The process is different for virtually every model.
Some battery-operated options have you take out and re-insert the batteries backward. For smart thermostats, a factory reset option is sometimes in one of the settings menus. You may have to press and hold different buttons in a particular order. In general, this is not something you can find intuitively.
Changing your settings is often simply a matter of reprogramming your thermostat. If you have a programmable device, you'll want to start by inputting the correct date and time. From there, you can set preferred temperatures for different times of the day.
Many smart thermostats learn how to adjust temperature from the way you use your HVAC systems. You can manually override any existing automation, often using a control app or the control panel, or you can erase your usage history, letting the thermostat start the learning process over.
Test the Thermostat
Any time you reset your thermostat, you must test it afterward. You'll want to test that both the heat and air conditioning function properly and according to temperature settings, which can take several minutes.
You'll also want to check for specific changes and ensure anything you've newly programmed works as intended. For example, if you programmed your air conditioning to go from 62 degrees during the hottest part of the day to 68 degrees in the evening hours, be sure to check your thermostat when the change should happen. If everything is working well, great! If not, it might be time to get professional help.
When to Call in the Professionals
If a reset doesn't unfreeze your thermostat or fix any temperature control issues, you need help from an HVAC professional, like the NATE-certified technicians at George Brazil. Sometimes, the thermostat reflects a problem with your HVAC unit and needs replacement. Thermostats wear out just like any device, but installing a new one is often affordable and may help you save money in the long term.