Honeywell makes some of the most dependable and popular options for thermostats on the market. Ranging from basic models to smart thermostats, Honeywell has a plethora of offerings that their customers have been using for years.
That said, they are not immune to issues. From time to time, your Honeywell thermostat may experience problems. For instance, you may notice that the “cool” icon, a snowflake, is blinking repeatedly. When you see the blinking snowflake, it means that the thermostat has entered delay mode. This is a safety function meant to prevent the HVAC system from short cycling.
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Getting to Know Your Thermostat
Whether you have a traditional thermostat or one of the newer “smart” models, the functionality is basically the same. When you program the thermostat, it communicates with your HVAC system on a number of levels.
The temperature is either set manually or on a schedule and the thermostat sends that information to the HVAC system. The HVAC then either puts on the heat or air conditioning to accommodate that temperature request.
Every thermostat also has a number of safety measures in place. The safety measures are meant to protect not only you but the furnace as well. The components in your furnace or air conditioner undergo wear and tear whenever they are used.
When the air conditioner struggles to hit its temperature range, short cycling becomes a problem. That is why most thermostats, even smart thermostats, don’t kick on right away. They need to regulate the HVAC system to prevent those short cycles that can wear and damage your HVAC system.
What the Snowflake Means and Why It’s Flashing
For just about any Honeywell model of thermostat, you will see a snowflake on the display. The snowflake is typically meant to indicate that the air conditioning is on in your home. If you do not see the snowflake, do not assume that your air conditioner is running.
Should you notice the snowflake flashing, it typically means one thing. The flashing means that the thermostat has entered delay mode. The delay is a safety measure. Taking up to 5 minutes, it is the process where the air conditioner prevents short cycling.
The startup is crucial to how the HVAC system runs. When the system short cycles, there is untold wear and tear done to the compressor. With too many short cycles, you could be facing additional wear and tear, shortening the lifespan of your HVAC system.
So, let’s say you have turned the setting over to “AC” on your thermostat and you are waiting for the air to kick on. Instead, the snowflake on your thermostat display begins to blink. Now what do you do? Is this something you should bring a professional in for?
The first thing to do is just wait. More often than not, the blinking is a delay mode, a simple safety measure to protect the components within your HVAC system. In a matter of minutes, the air should kick on and the snowflake will remain solid.
If the blinking does not stop, the next step is to switch the dial to “off”. Perhaps the thermostat did not properly relay to the HVAC system. By moving the switch to “off” and then back to “cool”, you can start the system up again. That may be enough to get your air conditioning unit working once again.
Finally, you can try implementing a reset. Each Honeywell thermostat can be reset back to its original settings. That may be enough to clear any potential errors with the device.
When You Use a Saver Switch
Depending on who your utility provider is, your home may or may not qualify for a saver switch. The saver switch is meant to help with the efficiency and usage of energy throughout the home. It can lead to savings on energy bills as well.
If you have the saver switch and notice that your thermostat has the flashing snowflake, it could be that the utility company has locked your device out. When peak demand hours are in effect, they may lock you out to restrict usage.
Depending on the frequency in which this happens, you may want to reconsider the saver switch. Yes, it can potentially help you to save on your utility bills but it may come at the cost of convenience. When it gets especially hot, you won’t want your system down due to lockouts.
Other Potential Fixes
So, let’s say that you have waited patiently for your air conditioner to kick on, but it just will not start. You checked with the utility company to see if your thermostat has been locked out during peak usage hours.
If neither of those are the case, there are a few other potential fixes that can be implemented. Some are relatively simple in nature, but effective no less.
Check the Switch
As unbelievable as it may seem, the simplest explanation is more often than not the right one. That said, you may want to check that the switch on the thermostat has been moved to “cool.” It may surprise you how many times the issue is simply that the thermostat is not switched to the right setting.
While you are checking the setting of the thermostat, check your set temperature point too. It may simply be that the temperature that you set is above the current temperature. In that case, the air conditioner wouldn’t kick on because the temperature is already below your setting.
Call for Cool
Should your thermostat indicate a call for cool, then you will need to go check out the furnace itself. When this action comes up, ensure that the furnace door is closed securely. More importantly, make sure that the power switch on the furnace is set to the “on” position.
For one reason or another, your furnace can get tripped into the off position. When that happens, there is nothing that you can do until the switch is flipped to the “on” position.
Check the Circuit Breaker
Your thermostat is not the only device in your home that has built-in safety measures. Like the thermostat, the furnace has built-in safety measures to prevent damage to the system or, worse, fires from occurring.
In some instances, one of the safety measures within the furnace can become triggered. If those safety functions get triggered too frequently, the furnace may shut off until it is reset. This is a safety feature to prevent things like the gas valve from remaining open.
Start by checking the circuit breaker first. Sometimes it can be as simple as a breaker tripping, cutting the power to the HVAC unit. If the breaker is fine, you may need a service technician to come out and reset the unit.
Issues Related to First Time Installing
The circumstances may be a bit different if you have just set up the thermostat or are setting it to “cool” for the first time. There are a couple of things that you can do to troubleshoot the issue. Keep in mind that these steps involve the wiring. If you don’t feel comfortable checking the wiring, call in a professional technician to handle the issue.
Wiring Connected Properly
When you are installing your Honeywell thermostat, make sure that the wiring is matched up correctly from the old thermostat to the new one. If you don’t see separate wires to the R and Rc terminals, then they must be connected.
For some thermostats, the connection can be made by a jumper wire connection. On others, the connection is made using a slider switch that has settings called “1-wire” and 2-wire”. Check your installation guide to see what you have.
Another potential issue related to the installation is proper configuration. You cannot just plug and play any old thermostat, so make sure that your Honeywell thermostat has been properly configured to your HVAC system.
Check out your user and installation manuals before installing. Confirm that your thermostat is the proper configuration for your HVAC system type as well as the stages of your equipment. If everything is as it should be, you can proceed with the installation.