General Question

eagles22's avatar

This is really embarassing. But how do I change the temperature on the thermostat in my house?

Asked by eagles22 (41 points ) June 27th, 2010

i’m in high school and my parents are out of town for a few days and i’ve never had to mess with the thermostat while they were home. it says that its currently 88 degrees! whenever i push the “down arrow”, it moves the temperature down to 74, but then the screen returns to 88 after a few seconds. i don’t want to mess with it too much, because i’m afraid of screwing up the settings and sticking my parents with a bigger electric bill…but i gotta figure out how to change this thermostat, i’m sweating in here!

if it helps it’s made by Honeywell and seems to be an older model. I know this question is a longshot but if anyone has any tips (i don’t know if most thermastats are the same or not) i would really appreciate it.

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46 Answers

Parrappa's avatar

I could be wrong, but I believe it shows the current temperature right after you change it. Give it some time to gradually cool down to 74.

gailcalled's avatar

Is there a model number stamped anywhere on the thermostat? If so, and you are sure of the manufacturer, google and see whether there are tips at the Honeywell site.

dpworkin's avatar

Are you sure it controls an AC? If so, you have to set the switch to “Cool”.

eagles22's avatar

@Parrappa that’s what i thought too, but i tried it about an hour and a half ago and its still not cooler. how long does it take?

DrBill's avatar

Easy answer:

call your parents and ask them.

janbb's avatar

Are you sure that the airconditioning is turned on? Check to make sure that if there is a button or switch that goes from “off” to “cool” that it is set on cool. If so, then turn the thermostat down and wait a bit for it to start working. It will show the current temp first but then should go down.

eagles22's avatar

@DrBill I can’t, they’re in another country

eagles22's avatar

@janbb it is set on “cool” (as opposed to “heat”, “em heat” and “off”)

gailcalled's avatar

Can you ask one of your neighbors to have a look?

alamo's avatar

Please describe the front of the thermostat. Does it have an up, a down and a hold button? Also, is it blowing any air at all?

dpworkin's avatar

I have an idea. See if you can determine the brand and model number, and then Google their site for a manual.

chyna's avatar

Do you feel/hear the air conditioner running? Maybe it is broke.

janbb's avatar

Do you hear anything starting up then when you turn it down?

Cruiser's avatar

Check the breaker on your electrical panel to see if it is tripped!

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
jrpowell's avatar

The 88 is the current temp in the house. Was it hot today? When you push the down arrow you are saying to kick the heater on when it hits 74. So the heater isn’t running right now. If you have Air Conditioning you can set the upper limit so it starts to cool when it hits a certain temp.

Find a vent and see if warm air is coming out. I would bet that the house is just hot and no power is being consumed.

eagles22's avatar

@johnpowell it was extremely hot and humid today, around 97. how do i get it to consume some power?? the heater is definitely not running as it’s set on “cool”. there are buttons that allow you to “hold” (which i’ve tried), and also set times an temperatures for four different periods of the day (morning, noon, evening and night).

What do you mean by “set the upper limit”?

janbb's avatar

What happens when you put it on 74 and press Hold? Do you hear anything turning on or blowing?

eagles22's avatar

the fan is definitely on and air is coming out of the vent, though it’s not cool air.

janbb's avatar

Give it some time and see if the temp gradually goes down. It will take some time to come down from 88 if the house and the day are that hot.

eagles22's avatar

@janbb okay. but it’s been going like this for a while now.

chyna's avatar

You may have an issue with the a/c being out of freeon, the thermostat broke, or something along those lines. If you have it set low, and it’s not cooling, there is something not working right.

jrpowell's avatar

Can you take a picture of the thermostat?

Cruiser's avatar

Is the thermostat a fancy multi function programmable thermostat? They have batteries and they do run out about every 18 months or so depending. Pull the face plate of the thermostat and there should be 2 AA batteries that try replacing and see if that does it.

eagles22's avatar

@johnpowell absolutely

@Cruiser definitely not fancy, though i think it can be programmed to turn on and off throughout the day

gemiwing's avatar

Without knowing the exact model (or what it looks like) I can only generalize. My last electric thermostsat used the Hold button to keep the house at the temp it was at- or to basically not do anything. It put it in a holding pattern of just blowing the fan for an hour or two.

I just set it to cool, adjusted the temp with the arrows and left it alone.

If there is a Fan setting then try turning it on and off. Some systems have Cool and Fan- when the Fan is ‘on’ the a/c doesn’t come on- just the fan.

jrpowell's avatar

There might also be a “auto” switch/button. That will do you more good than hold.

alamo's avatar

Does it have three buttons under the display? Run schedule, fan , and system. Over the section labeled system, does it say “cool on”?

eagles22's avatar

@johnpowell sent you a private message. also, it’s on auto.

chyna's avatar

At this point, you probably should talk to your parents and ask them to help you.

eagles22's avatar

@chyna i would, but they’re in another country and it’s 4:45am over there.

JLeslie's avatar

First you have to make sure it is set on cool and not heat. And set on auto and not fan. Sounds like you did turn it down to 74, I would recommend putting it up to 76 or 77.

chyna's avatar

I really feel your a/c has conked out. If it is blowing warm air, it could be just about anything, capacitor (can’t spell), freon, bad thermostat, thermal coupling. Do you have a box fan to turn on to help you get some cool air moving?

JLeslie's avatar

If it is a reasonable hour where you are, ask an adult neighbor who your parents are friendly with and you trust to help you. I think they will be happy to help you out, don’t be embarrassed.

If Chyna is right, and it is very possible she is, then it is important not to run the airconditioner, because you might burn out the motor. Here is my advice if a neighbor cannot help you righ tnow, take a cool shower or bath to get your body temp down, sleep in almost nothing, tank top and shorts, and if you have a fan use it. The shower will really help.

Pandora's avatar

Can you take a picture of it and attach it as a link?

alamo's avatar

What is on auto? If it’s the fan, that’s good, leave it there. If it’s the system, the display over the far right button, then try taking it out of auto. Push the button under the system label until the word cool appears in the display. Then, push the temperature down button until it’s the temperature you want. It should then start flashing“cool on”. It has a delay from the time the stat calls for cooling and the unit actually comes on. The delay on the ones I have worked with is five minutes.

Go outside and feel the air blowing out of the outdoor unit. If the fan is set on auto and the indoor fan is blowing air out the vents, the outdoor unit should be running.

JLeslie's avatar

@alamo Wait, are you telling her to take it off auto? It should be on AUTO and on COOL.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Pandora's avatar

Sometimes in extreme heat your a/c will shut itself off to prevent over heating. There is a tiny button usually located in back of the unit outside that says reset on it. Usually it is red or black. Put your thermostat on off. Then go check the Large unit outside and hit the button. It is a tiny button. Do not hit the electrical switch (breaker). That will look like a handle. Don’t touch that. Oh, but before you do that check your circuit breaker inside the house an make sure the switch for the a/c didn’t trip.

alamo's avatar

@jleslieThere are two things that could be on auto. The fan or the system itself.
The fan has two settings, on and auto. “On” for the fan turns on the fan and it never turns off. “Auto” for the fan only turns on the fan when the stat is callling for cooling.
“Auto” for the system on a Honeywell stat sets a temp for the cooling and for the heating. The system in this setting can turn on the heat or the cool.
My suggestion was to take it out of this mode and set the system into cool.
With the fan set to auto and the system set to cool, she can go outside after the fan turns on and check the outdoor unit for problems.

JLeslie's avatar

@alamo I understand now. I think it is very confusing probably for her. I really hope she asks a neighbor who can come see it, or calls her parents who are familiar with the system they have.

@eagles22 If you think it isn’t working maybe just switch it to OFF, until you can get help. It must be morning now where your parents are. Hopefully you can call them.

Kraigmo's avatar

1. Make sure the Cool/Heat switch that says Auto/Off/On is set to Auto (or on… but switch it back to auto when you are cold).
2. Make sure the fan setting is set to Auto.
2. Press the down-arrow to 73 or so and then wait 5 minutes for it to kick in. The screen will return to the current thermostat temperature.

Cruiser's avatar

Google the make and model and look up how to change the batteries and do it.

Brian1946's avatar

Is/are there (a) button(s) on the thermostat to “Set” and/or “Save” the temperature change?

If so and generally speaking, you might have to make sure the unit’s in the “Set” mode before you select your temperature.

Once you’ve selected your temperature, I think you have to Save or perhaps Hold your selected temp.

JLeslie's avatar

@eagles22 What happened? Did you get it to work? Is it broken?

HungryGuy's avatar

88F is sweltering! I keep my ac at 68F during the day and 62F at night. I’d die if I had to sleep in a room at 88F! So if you can’t figure it out yourself and can’t reach your parents, I’d say you’re perfectly justified in calling a repairman for an emergency call.

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