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How Do I Reset My AC Thermostat?

If your AC is acting up and you can’t get it to work as usual, you might need to reset your air conditioner thermostat. Luckily, resetting the thermostat is not too difficult. It will bring your AC back to factory settings to clear any settings that are negatively affecting your HVAC system.

Unfortunately, you might not know how to reset your thermostat, causing you to ask, “How do I reset my AC thermostat?” To learn how to reset an AC thermostat, keep reading. This article explains signs that you need to reset your thermostat, how to do it, and who to call if your system still isn’t working after a reset.

Let’s get started.

Signs You Need to Reset Your Thermostat 

There’s no point in resetting your thermostat unless it is not working properly. Some signs that it’s time to reset your thermostat include incorrect temperature readings, spikes in energy bills, frequent fluctuations in temperature, or difficulty turning the system on or off.

If any of these signs sound like what’s wrong with your HVAC system, it’s time to reset your thermostat. Resetting the thermostat may fix the problem if a setting is to blame.

How to Reset AC Thermostat 

Once you decide that your HVAC system is showing signs that it needs to be reset, you have to learn how to reset the thermostat. There are multiple ways to reset your thermostat based on the thermostat in your home. So, you need to match your reset method with your individual thermostat.

Below, you will find the steps for resetting most types of thermostats. You only need to follow the instructions for the thermostat that matches the thermostat inside your home.

Programmable Thermostat 

Most thermostats today classify as a form of a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats typically have batteries, a digital face, and a number of features that you can control. Here is how to reset a programmable thermostat specifically:

  1. Turn off your programmable thermostat.
  2. If your programmable thermostat has a battery door on the back, remove the entire thermostat from the wall.
  3. Remove the batteries by opening the battery door.
  4. Flip the batteries around so that the negative side lines up with the positive terminal. Hold the batteries like this for five seconds.
  5. Remove the backward batteries and replace them in the normal position.
  6. Put the thermostat back on the wall if it was removed. 

Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat

Non-programmable digital thermostats are super easy to reset too. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Remove the face from the thermostat.
  2. Either press the reset button for five seconds or remove the battery for five seconds. This depends on the model you have.

Low Voltage/Line Voltage Thermostat 

Low voltage thermostats take a bit more effort to reset. You’ll need to clean some of the components and test the settings. Most low voltage thermostats do not have a digital display, such as on the programmable thermostat. Here is how to reset your low voltage or line voltage thermostat:

  1. Remove the cover from the thermostat.
  2. Use a soft brush to gently clean the inside components.
  3. Adjust the thermostat so it is at the lowest cool setting.
  4. Repeat Step 2.
  5. Adjust the thermostat so it is on its highest setting.
  6. Repeat Step 2 again. 
  7. Reset your thermostat so that it is on your desired setting.

Mechanical Thermostat

Mechanical thermostats are some of the most difficult to replace. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove the cover.
  2. Check to make sure everything is mounted correctly inside the thermostat and secured down.
  3. If not, fix the problem. 
  4. If everything looks clear, reset the circuit breaker.
    1. Turn off the thermostat.
    2. Turn off the breaker that powers the HVAC system.
    3. Allow the breaker to be off for 30 seconds before turning it back on.
    4. Turn the thermostat back on.

Where Is the Reset Button on a Thermostat? 

The reset button on a thermostat will depend on your exact make and model. It is recommended that you research the design of your specific thermostat on the manufacturer’s website. Most brands also offer some sort of manufacturer’s guide that can help you out.


It’s important to note that not all thermostats have a reset button. Instead, many thermostats have a reset process that will reset the thermostat, but this process does not involve holding down a button specifically designed for resetting purposes. If your model does have a reset button, it will typically be very small and white or red.

In the case that your thermostat does not have a reset button, you will likely need to hold down a power button, change the batteries, or take the batteries out entirely in order to reset the thermostat.

AC Still Not Working After AC Thermostat Reset? 

If you have performed an AC thermostat reset and your HVAC system is still not working, there is likely something wrong with the entire system. In that case, it’s important to contact an HVAC professional who can troubleshoot the problem and fix it.

The HVAC professional will use the most up-to-date tools and technology to determine why the thermostat is not working correctly. They might be able to fix the thermostat, or you might have to purchase a whole new one if yours is broken or old.

Final Thoughts 

Resetting your thermostat is not very difficult. The most difficult part of the process is determining what type of thermostat you have and finding the instructions for your thermostat specifically. Most likely, your thermostat will follow one of the instructions above. If not, call your manufacturer to find out how to reset it.

In the case that your thermostat still isn’t working, even after you learn how to reset the AC thermostat, contact a professional.

Either way, you should be able to end your process by fixing your thermostat so that you can have an efficient HVAC system with comfortable temperatures inside your home.

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