How to Troubleshoot a Blinking Thermostat

As we near the warmth of summer, it’s time to check in on your air conditioning unit. But don’t overlook a small yet incredibly important part of the system – the thermostat!

Many homeowners experience a few hiccups when they turn on their AC units for the first time of the season. If your thermostat is acting up in the process, you’ll want to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible so you aren’t left sweltering in the summer heat. To troubleshoot a blinking thermostat, you’ll typically need to identify and look up the error code, make sure the outdoor unit is clear of debris, reboot the system, and potentially bring in an HVAC professional.

What causes a thermostat to blink?

A blinking thermostat can occur for several reasons. While some might immediately think the battery is to blame, the most common problem lies in the outdoor air conditioning unit.

When your AC unit is blocked or malfunctioning, the thermostat will be triggered while the air conditioning is attempting to run. A blinking thermostat is a sign that the AC isn’t able to maintain constant power. For many programmable modern thermostats, the blinking will align with a code to check the issue. Count the number of times the thermostat blinks and consult the user manual (or perform a simple online search) to get to the root of the problem.

Oftentimes, there could be debris blocking the condenser unit outdoors. Head outside and, with the power off to the AC unit, carefully remove any sticks, landscaping, or leaves from the air conditioning unit. If nothing is noticeably blocking the AC, continue reading for a couple of potential fixes.

Ways to fix a blinking thermostat

If you’re troubleshooting a blinking thermostat, the first fix to attempt is to reboot the system entirely. Try turning the thermostat completely off and wait approximately 30-60 seconds to restart it. This should bring your system back to baseline. (Don’t worry if it takes a few minutes or more for the thermostat to completely switch back on.)

If you tried restarting the system and don’t notice the outdoor AC unit running properly after 10 minutes or so, check the breaker panel to be sure there isn’t a tripped breaker at fault. If everything looks good on the panel and you’ve already restarted the thermostat, you likely have a bigger problem at play.

AC and thermostat repair in Fredericksburg, Stafford, and King George Counties

Whether you’ve been using your air conditioning for weeks or haven’t turned it on yet for the season, now is a good time to ensure all components of your AC are functioning properly. For air conditioning maintenance, reach out to Robert B. Payne, Inc. Schedule an appointment today at 540-373-5876.