How to Troubleshoot a Honeywell Heat Pump Thermostat

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A thermostat is a simple device, which means you may be able to troubleshoot Honeywell heat pump thermostat issues on your own. Even fancy, programmable thermostats have a simple job to do — ultimately, they're just a thermometer connected to a switch that turns on the heat. Fixing them can be as simple as changing the batteries or reconnecting a loose wire.


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Check the Switch

It seems a little overly basic to check that your heat is turned on, but weird things happen. If you have an analog thermostat, verify that the physical switch near the top of the unit is flipped to "heat." If you have a digital thermostat, activate the screen and verify that the heat is on.

If the screen on your Honeywell digital thermostat is blank, remove the unit from the wall and replace the batteries. It's also a good idea to make sure the breaker in your fuse box hasn't tripped. If the heat is off or if your thermostat is dead, getting the electricity flowing again may solve your problem.


Know the Date

This doesn't really apply if you have an analog thermostat. Programmable thermostats, however, can cause problems if they get out of sync. Your first step is to check for any programming in your thermostat and make sure it knows to turn on.

Many people, for instance, program their thermostats to kick on only at a very low temperature during the hours they are at work. The thermostat then turns up the heat later in the day so your house is toasty warm when you get home from work. These settings can really help you save money on your energy bills, but it's a problem if you change your schedule. If your heat isn't coming on, make sure a scheduling issue isn't the reason.


You also need to check the date and time showing on your thermostat. If your thermostat is programmed to turn on your heat at 4:00 in the afternoon, it won't do so if it thinks it's only 2:00. Sometimes, the programmed schedule is perfect, but the thermostat loses track of what day it is. Changing the date and time is a simple fix.

Keep It Clean and Connected

If the electrical wires in your Honeywell thermostat get loose, the thermostat may stop working properly. First, visit your breaker box and shut off the power to your thermostat. Next, check your thermostat by gently pulling it off the wall. Most simply pop off but do be careful and look for any setscrews or other hardware that you may need to loosen or remove. Pull the thermostat gently away from the wall and examine the wires attached to it.


If the wires are disconnected altogether or are loose, you'll need to firmly reattach them. Your owner's manual should tell you what wire goes where, but it's OK to call in an HVAC tech if you're leery of electrical connections. While you're checking your wires, use a very soft-bristled brush or canned air to blow out any dust in the thermostat. Dust buildup can block the electrical connections as well.

Verify the Accuracy

If all else fails, make sure your thermostat is accurate. Grab a room thermometer and place it as close as possible to your thermostat. Leave it there for a few hours, giving it time to get a good reading on the room. If the thermometer and thermostat show two vastly different temperatures, the thermostat has probably had it. Get a new one and install it.


Still no luck? It's time to break down and call an HVAC technician. You've made a valiant effort, but the hope of a simple problem with a DY fix is now fading fast. A tech can verify whether the problem is truly the thermostat and can check your heat pump itself and the rest of your HVAC system for problems.



Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.