These days, a thermostat is more than a dial to set the temperature of your heating and cooling. Modern thermostats can be programmed to suit your lifestyle and ensure that when you need it, your home feels comfortable. They can also learn your habits to improve energy efficiency and save money. With Wifi capability and smartphone apps, the modern thermostat appears to be able to do everything, but prepare dinner and wash the car. Many of us take this type of convenience for granted, so it can come as an unpleasant surprise when we are faced with a blank display. Fortunately, in most cases, the reason for this is that your thermostat needs the batteries replaced and here we will explore this aspect of maintenance a little further.

Check the Batteries First:

If you have found that your HVAC system is not operating correctly or you have a blank thermostat display, your first port of call should be to check the batteries. The first indication of needing to change the thermostat batteries is that the HVAC system is running erratically or failing to turn on at all. This is because the thermostat provides the information to trigger when your heating and cooling should switch on and off. Before making a potentially costly call out appointment for a technician, you should check to see if the underlying problem is that your thermostat needs new batteries.

Replacing Your Thermostat Batteries:

While it may appear a little daunting, replacing the batteries in your thermostat is actually a fairly easy and straightforward task. The first step is to remove the front plate of the thermostat. This can be done in a number of ways. The plate may slide up or pulled off from the terminal screw blocks. It may also just snap off. This will expose the battery compartment and inner workings of the thermostat. If you are unsure about how your thermostat plate is removed, it is a good idea to check your owner’s manual.

Once the thermostat is opened, it is the ideal opportunity to check for and remove any cobwebs, dust or other debris. This should be done gently to avoid causing damage.

Use a plastic lever or your fingernail to remove the batteries and install new ones in the same position. Don’t be tempted to use any old batteries that may be leaking. This can cause damage to the thermostat.
Replace the thermostat cover, and you should be able to make any setting adjustments needed. It is a good idea to turn the temperature up or down, for heat or cool, to ensure that the system switches on and the problem has been resolved.

Generally, it is good practice to change your thermostat batteries on a regular basis. If you already have a routine of checking your smoke alarm batteries when you change the clocks, you could just add this task to your list. You could also use your annual HVAC inspection as a reminder, or to have your technician change the batteries for you if you lack confidence.