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The most frustrating problems at home are most often the ones that occur without warning, such as a leaking sink, a broken appliance, or a blank thermostat. They all invoke stress and frustration almost instantly. At least with the sink or another appliance, the fix is often fairly obvious—but what are you supposed to do when your thermostat is blank? 

When all you want is to tell your air conditioner to drop the temperature in your home by a few degrees and you’re greeted by a blank screen, confusion is a natural first reaction. However, you don’t need to start worrying just yet: there are many things that you can try first to help restore your thermostat to working order. 

Check the Batteries If Your Thermostat is Blank

woman hand is touching thermostat It might surprise you to learn that many thermostats, especially older models, run on batteries. Usually, it’s two or three AA batteries, but some units may take AAA batteries instead. Your thermostat may be blank simply because its batteries have finally run out of charge. 

Most battery-powered thermostats will indicate a “Low Battery” warning on their screens to give you the opportunity to change the batteries ahead of time, but these indications are easy to miss. To try resolving the problem this way, look up your thermostat model’s manual for the proper way to swap in new batteries. Often, you can perform this swap by gently pulling the unit away from the wall until it disengages. If this maneuver doesn’t solve the problem, you may have another issue.

Make Sure Your Circuit Breaker Did Not Trip

Locate your circuit breaker box or electrical control panel and carefully examine it for any tripped circuits. Sometimes, an electrical issue can cause overloading on the circuit that your thermostat connects to, leading to an automatic shutoff. Reset the circuit and check to see if your thermostat is blank. This reset may solve your problem. If everything appears to be in order, you’ll need to continue your hunt for a solution.

If you discover that the circuit running your air conditioner or thermostat did trip, contact a qualified HVAC contractor or consult your electrician of choice to look at the root cause. If something causes your AC unit to draw so much power that it trips the breaker, there is likely an issue that requires a professional fix as soon as possible. Expedite your efforts to secure help if your thermostat goes blank and you find that the breaker needs to be reset again.

Check If Your Furnace or Air Conditioner Is Receiving Power

If you can’t identify a reason connected to the unit that would cause the thermostat to be blank, you may need to dig deeper. Your entire unit might be nonfunctional as a result of a fault or failure. 

Is the temperature rising in your home? Ask yourself if you can remember the last time when the blower fan turned on or you heard the unit running. Check outside to see if your fan is spinning. If you can’t confirm that your system still has the power that it needs to operate and there are no tripped circuits on your breaker, you’ll need to reach out for help before you go further. These conditions indicate that there may be a serious problem with the unit, and any additional investigations should only take place with the assistance of someone trained in electrical safety. 

Dust Mites in your HVAC Ducts

Follow the Troubleshooting Guides in Your Manufacturer’s Manuals

Some thermostats, especially modern “smart” thermostats, may have unique quirks that mean that the screen can go blank for a variety of reasons that are unrelated to electrical power. For example, your firmware may be out of date, or the software running the thermostat may have crashed. 

To identify solutions to try before finding professional help, you can refer to the manual that came with your thermostat. If you don’t have access to it, look up its make and model on the internet. Locate the troubleshooting section and follow any relevant directions there to try to remedy the problem. Sometimes, the solution may be something simple that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

Contact Professional HVAC Technicians When All Else Fails

When none of these solutions work and you still can’t figure out why your thermostat is blank, it’s time to reach out for professional assistance. There may be an issue with the wiring of your thermostat or a larger problem with your HVAC system. In either case, choosing the appropriate local service provider is important. 

Look for a team that can respond promptly, provide you with clear insights, and offer solutions that will restore your cooling capabilities as soon as possible. Before you know it, your thermostat screen will be back to normal, and you can enjoy convenient comfort once again.