Thermostats have become part of the everyday life of most of us. You don’t always think about it but thermostats are in control of some aspects of your household every day. It is a thermostat that controls your oven’s temperature when you are preparing your food, and if you have an HVAC system installed in your home, a thermostat is ensuring that you always experience a comfortable temperature in your house.
But a malfunctioning thermostat can cause serious HVAC issues. The question is whether you can rectify the problem yourself or do you need a professional HVAC technician to come and inspect the whole system.
Fortunately, most HVAC issues can be solved by resetting the thermostat. Normally, it is not very difficult and it is possible to reset the thermostat yourself. Your thermostat manual should give you specific information on how to reset your thermostat, or you’ll be able to find the information online. However, there are generic procedures you can follow that will in most instances reset thermostats that are used in household HVAC systems. If you know how to reset your thermostat the bulk of your HVAC issues can be solved instantly.
In this article, we’ll discuss different ways to reset a thermostat. If you have a good general knowledge of what thermostats look like and how they work, you can skip the first few paragraphs and immediately go to the section in the article dealing with possible resetting procedures.
But to assist novices who for the first time have to reset a thermostat we start with a short discussion of
- what is meant by “resetting a thermostat,”
- when is resetting generally needed, and
- what buttons on the thermostat are normally used for resetting purposes.
We’ll then discuss some “generic” ways of resetting thermostats and end the article with a few specific resetting procedures of well-known and commonly used brands.
What is meant by “resetting a thermostat?”
In principle resetting your thermostat means that you are resetting it to its factory setting. You erase all custom settings made by you. After resetting the thermostat you’ll have to program it again. Sometimes it even includes setting the date and time again.
But then why reset? Returning the thermostat to its original factory settings makes it easier to resolve issues with programming, and HVAC system or thermostat connection-related issues.
When is resetting of your thermostat needed?
Some HVAC technicians recommend that you reset your thermostat once in a while to “clear its brain.” In principle, resetting the thermostat has the same effect as when you restart or reboot your mobile phone or laptop. It gets rid of all unessential data and settings.
Apart from the “scheduled” resetting to “clear the brain,” resetting is generally necessary when
- it’s been a long time since the previous reset,
- there’s been a power outage affecting the power supply to your house,
- you have changed the batteries of the thermostat,
- you’ve cleaned the fan’s filters,
- someone has unintentionally or intentionally changed your settings,
- the thermostat is just acting funny or has just died, or
- you want to change certain settings of your system.
The buttons on your thermostat
When discussing procedures to reset your thermostat, there are always references to buttons on the thermostat to be pressed or held. Let’s have a look at the buttons that are common on most thermostats before we start discussing reset procedures.
Apart from one button to reset the entire thermostat, some thermostats also have additional buttons allowing you to reset different elements on the thermostat without resetting the entire thermostat.
- Reset Button – When this button is pressed, you reset the entire thermostat back to its original factory settings
- Arrow Buttons – Generally, a thermostat has two arrow buttons. They are used for setting the temperature higher or lower. When you adjust the temperature with these arrow buttons, the new setting is temporary and will only last until you’ve reached the end of the previously set program.
- Clock Settings – Some thermostats have buttons for “hour” and “minute” to set time. Others might have only one “Set Time” button. If your thermostat is also furnished with a “day” button, you will be able to change the date as well.
- Program Settings – Normally most thermostats allow you to program four temperature settings for a day. You can set a temperature for when you wake up, another temperature for when you leave the house and nobody will be at home, a coming home temperature, and a temperature during your sleeping hours.
- Hold Temperature – With this button you can set the temperature to remain at a specific level. It is handy to use when you for some or other reason don’t want the temperature to change in your house for a day or two. You can then program the thermostat to hold the temperature on the same level until you cancel the hold and the thermostat will return to its previously set program.
6 Easy resetting methods that are successful in many instances
Although the first step when you want to reset your thermostat should always be to consult the thermostat’s user manual, the manual is often stored away somewhere and you’ll have to search for it. The following simple ways of resetting might solve your HVAC problem and save you a lot of time looking for the manual.
Turn the thermostat off and then on again
This is normally the first step to take. Most professional HVAC technicians also start with this step. Put the thermostat off, wait at least 30 seconds, and then put it on again. This off/on action should make the thermostat ‘forget’ all temporary settings stored in its short term memory.
If you’re using a battery-powered thermostat, it may be that the batteries are flat. Replace them with brand new ones and switch the thermostat on again. If flat batteries have been the cause of the problem the thermostat will automatically reset when power from the new batteries is restored.
Hold down the reset button
Almost all thermostats will reset if you hold down the reset button for more than 5 seconds. This button can be an actual button or it can be embedded into the thermostat and you need something like a paper clip to press and hold it. The problem, however, is that sometimes you can’t locate the reset button on the thermostat without referring to the manual.
Flipping the batteries
If holding down the reset button doesn’t work, and you have a battery-powered thermostat, take out the batteries and flip the battery directions around and put them back into the thermostat for 5 seconds. Take the batteries out again, flip them so that they can be inserted correctly and put the batteries back again.
Put the relevant circuit breaker off and on again
If these previous methods have all failed, switch off the power at the circuit breaker at the breaker panel for a couple of minutes. Put the breaker on again and check whether the thermostat has been reset.
Just remember when you put a circuit breaker on again, you first have to click the breaker switch fully into the off position. After it has clicked into the off position you switch it on again.
Also, remember that if you reset your thermostat by putting off the circuit breaker, you are resetting it to its factory settings and you’ll have to program all your custom settings again.
Look in the manual or online
If none of these resetting possibilities has worked, you’ll have to look in the manual for the correct procedure. If you can’t find the manual, you’ll most probably be able to get the information online. But to retrieve the correct information from the internet you must have the model’s number.
If you don’t have the model number you should be able to find the number by looking in the following places:
Product packaging or thermostat ID card
If you’ve filed the thermostat’s product packaging or the thermostat ID card, you will find the model number written on these items. This is the model number you use to find reset instructions online.
Back of the wall plate
If you don’t have either the packaging or the ID anymore, you can remove your thermostat from the wall. The model number is printed on the back of the wall plate.
Do not force the thermostat out of its holding as this can damage the thermostat and/or the wiring. If you can’t get to the back of the thermostat you’ll have to abandon this method of retrieving the model number.
Look online for a resemblance of your thermostat
Another way of finding relevant information regarding the resetting of your thermostat is to search online for a model resembling your thermostat.
Reset procedures and tips for specific brands and models
If the previous general/common ways to reset a thermostat have not been successful, you’ll have to look at the brand or model-specific options to reset your thermostat. For your convenience, we’ve summarized some of the well-known brands’ reset options.
Where a brand offers too many models, each with different reset procedures, we only advise you on how to get the detail online.
Resetting Carrier Thermostat
When you’ve customized your house by using Carrier’s latest smart thermostat models, you most probably will want to occasionally reset some customizations and features.
Resetting after changing settings
With the Carrier’s comfort profiles you can set heating and cooling temperatures for different circumstances, such as when you’re at home, when you’re away from home, for sleeping hours, and for waking hours. Sometimes you might want to change these settings and then you have to reset your thermostat.
You accomplish this by pressing on the comfort profile you want to change (home, away, wake, or sleep as examples) on the screen. Then you adjust settings and parameters by pressing the up and down arrows. To complete the reset process, press “done.”
Remember, as the system operates on Wi-Fi you can do this resetting from anywhere via your phone or computer.
Models working with batteries
With thermostats powered by batteries, a total reset can be forced onto the thermostat by simply removing the batteries and putting them back again after a few seconds.
Models that are battery-free
As the latest models of the Carrier Infinity thermostat smart system is battery-free, it is not possible anymore to force a reset in this manner. But you can still reset the thermostat at the circuit breaker.
For this type of resetting you first select “mode” from the main screen of your Infinity thermostat display. Then select “off” and lastly flip the circuit breaker that powers your thermostat. After 30 seconds, put it on again and switch the mode on your thermostat back from “off” to the “auto,” “heat,” “cool” or “fan” mode.
Controlling of other systems in the house
Many households are also using the Carrier Infinity System thermostats for controlling various other systems in their homes, including the air filter, humidifier pad and UV lamps. An alert will appear on the thermostat when any of these parts of the system need maintenance. You will then need to reset the thermostat to remove the alert.
To do this resetting, your first step is to hold the button next to the left arrow on the thermostat for a few seconds until you see the “Accessary Status” screen appear on the display. The list with all the accessories will be shown,
By pressing the “Scroll” button on the thermostat you can choose the accessory that has triggered the alert.
You reset the setting by pressing the button next to the right arrow. Repeat the process until all the applicable accessories have been reset.
Then, by pressing the button next to the left arrow, you exit this screen.
There are excellent videos available to assist you with the resetting process.
Resetting White Rodgers Thermostat (All Models)
As White Rodgers thermostats are the most common ones that people have in their homes, we’ll explain in more detail how to reset their thermostats. In short, to reset a White Rodgers thermostat, you have to hold the up and down arrows and the “time’ button down for at least five seconds. If you have a smart model, you can reset via settings by selecting ‘reset’. You will then receive prompts on the screen to finish your smart thermostat’s resetting process. For more information, there are videos availble online.
Reset Honeywell thermostat
Honeywell digital thermostats don’t have specific reset buttons. On most Honeywell thermostat models it will take some effort and time to revert to the original settings.
When you have to reset your Honeywell thermostat because of malfunctioning of the HVAC system, you first have to determine what model Honeywell thermostat you have. If you don’t have a manual anymore you can get online information on how to reset the thermostat.
As every model has a different way to be reset, we recommend that you either use the manual or follow the procedures as given online.
Although a malfunctioning thermostat can cause serious HVAC issues, it can in most instances be rectified by resetting the thermostat. In this article, we’ve shown you how to reset a thermostat and we hope that you will now be able to reset your thermostat when needed.
A tip to remember: If you purchase a new thermostat ensure that you note down the model number. You’ll need that if you cannot get it to reset and have to search online for the procedure to follow.