Heating and Air Conditioning Service Not Needed for Thermostat Batteries

Typically homeowners believe that when their furnace or air conditioner isn’t working right they need to call in a heating and air conditioning contractor to have things looked at. In some instances it could simply be a matter of worn out batteries. Most digital thermostats have batteries providing the power needed to make them work correctly and if the unit doesn’t work, you should check to see if it’s time to install new batteries.

The majority of thermostats containing batteries will have a cover that simply pulls off of a base plate, held in place by small clips on either the bottom or top of the unit. These should be easy to locate by running your fingers around the unit, usually the top or bottom.

There are a few units on which the face plate is held in place by small screws, but most simply snap on to the base. In many thermostats the batteries are located in the base plate and are fairly easy to replace. While size AA is the most common, some thermostats will use a 9-volt battery. Another type of thermostat may not require batteries, and instead gets its power from the furnace itself. These will often have a fuse in the thermostat box that when blown, will give similar indications as one with bad batteries.

In a few thermostats, the batteries are located in a space behind the thermostat, accessible by rotating the battery box away and to the side of the unit exposing the battery holder. Once you have located the batteries it is important to note the position of the batteries and replace them with new ones in the same position, noting the negative and positive terminals of the batteries.

A few others may also have the batteries located in the unit in which the entire control is part of the face plate and comes off the back that is there only to hold it to the wall. If you are unable to locate the batteries on your thermostat, you should contact a heating and air conditioning professional to help you, especially if it’s the first time.

Once the batteries have been replaced with fresh ones, it’s important to line the face of the thermostat up carefully with the base plate to ensure it snaps on correctly. There are usually pins that aid in lining them up and they need to be correctly positioned in order for the thermostat to function properly. In no event should you ever force the cover off or on as it could damage the thermostat and make it impossible to get back into position.

Some of the older style thermostats draw their power from the furnace and will contain no batteries. They also operate with a mercury switch inside the thermostat. If this type of unit goes bad and is replaced by a newer model it’s important to understand they can’t simply be tossed in the trash. A heating and air conditioning company will be happy to pick up the old unit and properly dispose of it while recycling the mercury, a hazardous material.

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