Thermostats help in keeping the room temperature in control. Honeywell is a famous brand that makes smart and reliable devices, and thermostats are one of them. What if your Honeywell thermostat is not responding to your set settings?
If your Honeywell thermostat doesn’t respond, expect wire or battery issues, tripped breaker, a faulty thermostat, or power disruption. Address the wire and cable issues, check the breaker and power issues, and replace batteries. Keep resetting as a last resort. Old thermostats should be replaced.
A non-responsive Honeywell thermostat is common, but fortunately, homeowners can solve most issues. You don’t necessarily need a tech expert unless the problem is serious. If you are facing such issues, please read this article till the end, and you will learn all the possible causes and solutions.
10 Possible Causes for Unresponsive Screens
One day, after returning from a short vacation, I was adjusting the settings of my Honeywell thermostat, but it wasn’t responding as before.
No matter what I tried, like pressing the touch controls and the buttons, there was no response on the thermostat screen.
The thermostat always shows the temperature, but it didn’t respond this time.
The display got frozen and did not change even after trying to change the temperature and the other modes multiple times.
I also checked the indicators to find hints about what was wrong. Still, I couldn’t figure out any activity in the device.
After consulting experts and watching DIY videos, I learned some possible causes behind an unresponsive thermostat.
In this section, I want to share those reasons so you can check them whenever your thermostat is creating a similar issue:
1. Power Supply Problems (Power disruption or outage)
The thermostat is the brain that controls your house’s heating and cooling units.
Sometimes, you will see the display freezing or the thermostat not responding to your commands.
When this happens, the thermostat might be wired directly to your house’s electrical system.
When the house electricity is disrupted suddenly, the thermostat will seize, and the screen will no longer respond to your commands.
2. Tripped breaker
When the circuit powering the thermostat causes some issues, the breaker connected to it will trip off to interrupt the power to the thermostat.
Once the power cuts off, the thermostat will no longer receive power.
That is why it won’t respond to your settings or commands.
Either the screen will freeze to where it was or completely turn off.
3. User Error or Configuration Issues
Most analog thermostats will have one heating, cooling, and off switch and a secondary button for turning the fan on or off.
Thermostat settings must be configured correctly to match the room temperature, send signals to the HVAC units, and release comfortable air.
Wrong configurations can lead to unresponsive thermostats.
For example, some thermostats have a lockout feature.
If turned on, it can prevent unauthorized people from using it.
If the user forgets this passcode, the thermostat will become responsive.
4. Touchscreen issues
Touchscreen thermostats can have several issues which make the Honeywell thermostat unresponsive:
- A touchscreen object will work on the touch sensors. If the sensitivity is incorrectly calibrated, your thermostat will not respond to your set commands.
- Dust and dirt on the screens can also create the same issue.
- Any physical damage to the screen of the touchscreen thermostat will not allow the device to respond.
So, check for these when your thermostat is not responding to your settings.
5. Software glitches and weak internet connections
This applies to all digital Honeywell thermostats.
The digital touchscreen thermostats will work with software and firmware.
These need to be updated from time to time.
You can update manually or set the setting where the device will automatically update to the new updates.
If the software is not updated, several glitches can make the thermostat unresponsive to your set commands.
Updating will remove these bugs and glitches.
At the same time, digital thermostats need to be connected to a high-speed Wi-Fi network to work and update automatically.
The thermostat will not respond to your commands if the Wi-Fi connections are too weak.
6. Battery issues
It is essential for thermostats that run on batteries.
Over time the batteries will drain or get damaged.
A lot of people forget to replace the batteries.
But these are the ones that need to be replaced once a year.
When the batteries are too low, the screen will not work as it runs on a full battery. At moments, it will freeze for some time.
When the batteries run too low, the thermostat does not have enough power to function correctly.
As a result, it freezes the screen and prevents responses.
Some thermostats use battery power to maintain memory and retain specific settings.
With low batteries, the device can lose the programmed setting and will try to go back to the default settings, leading to unresponsive behavior.
7. Wire issues (Interior wiring + Loose wire near the thermostat)
Loose wire connections disrupt the connection between the thermostat and the heating and cooling units.
Thermostats depend on the electrical connections passing through the wires to send signals and receive information from the HVAC units to control the room temperatures.
When the wires get loose, the signals do not get transferred correctly. This can further lead to an unresponsive thermostat.
While researching the wiring issues, I found two wire-related issues:
Bad interior wiring
If your house is too old, there are chances of frayed or corroded interior wires, also called wall wiring, despite proper maintenance.
Water can get into the wiring, or rats can chew the wires.
If this happens, the old wires will easily get damaged.
The wires will no longer carry the current to your thermostat, thus making it unresponsive to any settings or commands.
You have to fix the wires.
This can be pricey, but you have to fix them. Otherwise, even if you fix the thermostat or get a new one, the problem will remain the same.
Loose wire near the thermostat
Another problem related to the wiring is a loose wire near the device.
The thermostat screen could not respond due to loose wires near the thermostat because the wires send signals to the heating and cooling units.
If the wires are loose, the current cannot pass through the wires, and the screen won’t respond to your commands.
8. Screen cable issues
Your screen is responding, but you cannot see it correctly.
People can mistake this as an unresponsive thermostat screen.
This happens when the screen cable has a fault.
The screen will fade due to the mini cables attached to the devices.
The LCD cables are attached to the thermostat devices.
So, any loose or damaged connection will make your screen constantly turn on and off, and sometimes unresponsiveness.
You have to remove the casing and the circuit board and then check for them to fix it.
9. Air Filters
All thermostats will have an air filter, and Honeywell, too, will have one.
These air filters will trap the dirt molecules of the air and provide you with clean, filtered air.
The filters need to be checked every 3-4 months and changed.
The air cannot pass properly when the air filters become too dirty.
As a result, when you set a setting in your thermostat from more hot or cool air, the thermostat may not respond appropriately to the settings.
The thermostat fails to accurately read the temperature when the air filter becomes too dirty and doesn’t respond.
10. Open the furnace door
An open furnace door can create several issues, and an unresponsive thermostat is one of them.
Furnace doors will have a switch that pops out when the door opens.
When you remove the access panel, the safety switch prevents the burner and the fan from coming out.
When the doors stay closed, it presses against the switch, and the furnace will run correctly after receiving a signal from the thermostat.
But if the doors are open, the thermostat will stay unresponsive.
It won’t respond to your heating or cooling settings, and the HVAC won’t work.
A lot of people do not think about the furnace doors.
It may seem irrelevant, but this door can create an issue.
DIY Troubleshooting Guide for fixing an unresponsive Honeywell thermostat
Now that you know the possible causes behind a Honeywell thermostat not responding, let’s talk about how we can troubleshoot these problems one by one:
Check for power supply and breakers
When your thermostat is not responding, the first thing to check is for the power supplies.
The screen can freeze or go blank if there has been a constant power fluctuation or outage. So, check for power disruption.
If there is power, check the breaker.
If the breaker has tripped, flip it to the ON position. Go to the breaker, and check it.
If the switch is flipped to the OFF position, flip and turn it on.
If it is stuck at the center, flip it OFF, wait for some time, and flip it to ON.
You have successfully turned on the breaker if there is a click sound.
If the breaker trips again, you have other issues requiring a solution.
For example, overloading and loose or damaged wires. Fix them first, and then recheck the breaker.
Verify the configurations
Check for the configurations if the breaker or power supply is solved, but the thermostat is still not responding.
Whether it is hot air or cold, set the temperature correctly.
Please do not set it too high or too low.
Set the correct mode, like HEAT when the weather is cold and COOL when the temperature is hot.
Or, you can set it to AUTO.
This will set the thermostat to the temperature according to your comfort level.
Examine the touchscreen
It applies to digital thermostats with touch screens.
Once you have checked the above issues, but the problem is not solved, examine the screen once.
Clean the screen with a clean, dry cloth if it seems dirty.
Examine for physical damages as well.
If there has been any such damage, hire a professional to get the damage repaired.
You will also require an expert if the touch sensors are not working since these sensors help you set the modes and settings in the device through touch.
Ensure a strong network connection and keep the apps updated
Once the above problems are ruled out, it is time to check for strong internet connections and updates.
All the digital thermostats will require a strong network connection.
If the Wi-Fi connection weakens, remove the obstacles and bring the router close to the thermostat.
Now, check for some updates and update your thermostat by following the steps below:
- From your phone, open the Honeywell thermostat app.
- Click on the MENU bar in the top-left corner.
- Go to CHECK FOR UPDATES and see if there is any update available.
- If there is, update your thermostat.
- Reboot the thermostat, and the device should work correctly.
Find and turn on the option AUTO-DATE WHILE USING WI-FI in the phone app for automatic updates.
This feature will auto-update the software whenever the thermostat is connected to Wi-Fi.
So, ensure you have a good Wi-Fi connection to update your app.
If the software glitches are solved, but the thermostat is still the same, keep reading to learn the other issues.
Replace the batteries
After ruling out the power supply, the configuration, the internet connections, and updates, check for the batteries if you still have the same problem.
The batteries need to be replaced at least once a year.
Replace both batteries and use compatible ones, like AA or AAA lithium batteries.
At times, old batteries can deplete and damage the circuit.
If this happens, you have to replace the entire thermostat.
If you do not have a thermostat with batteries, you won’t have this problem.
So, you can skip this and move on to check the wires.
Address the wire issues
Wire issues can be tricky.
If you don’t have any idea about it, you should consult an expert.
If you have experience, try checking and fixing the thermostat with the following steps:
- Turn off the power at the breaker, and turn off your thermostat.
- Remove the thermostat cover and the base plate from the wall.
- Locate the screws fastening the thermostat base to the wall and remove them to remove the device from the wall mount.
- Open the thermostat, and you will find several thin wires bundled together.
- Check for loose or hanging wires or wires connected to the wrong terminals. Disconnect and reconnect the wires in the correct terminals.
- Pull the wires to check for loose connections. If you find any, disconnect and reconnect them tightly. Pull it again slightly to check for their tightness.
- Once satisfied, put back the wires, reassemble the thermostat by connecting the cover plate and base plate, and turn on the circuit.
Also read: What Happens If You Wire A Thermostat Wrong?
Examine the screen cables
Remove the thermostat from the wall and the casing covering the touch screen.
Move the tabs on either side simultaneously and outwards to eliminate the circuit board.
You will find 2 small ribbon cables plugged into the circuit board. Carefully handle them as they are fragile.
You will see that one cable is marked as LCD and the other one as touchscreen.
You will also see two small tabs on the cable.
Pull them up and back. Ensure it is fully seated.
If everything is fine, it will bring back the screen and make it responsive.
If it doesn’t solve it, keep troubleshooting.
Change the air filters
When you have ruled out all the thermostat issues, it is time to check for the HVAC units.
At times, the dirty filters of the HVACs can make your thermostat unresponsive.
The solution to this problem is relatively easy.
Check for the air filters every 3 months and replace or wash them every 3-4 months.
Keep the furnace door closed
Check the furnace doors if the thermostat is still creating issues and not responding well.
Open doors can freeze the screen or give your thermostat sensor a false reading.
To fix the problem, open the furnace door and ensure it is appropriately aligned and closed.
Next time, when you turn on the furnace and find your thermostat is not responding well, check the furnace door once.
Reset or restart your thermostat
This is the last resort if all the above troubleshooting steps don’t work.
Sometimes, some glitches will freeze your thermostat, which won’t respond to your settings or commands.
In such cases, restarting or resetting the thermostat can solve the problem.
Honeywell thermostats have a lot of models.
Below, I will share a few models and how to reset each.
Honeywell 1000 and 2000 series (Battery-powered)
- Turn off the breaker.
- Remove the device cover plate and then go to the battery compartment.
- Remove the batteries, and put them back in the wrong direction. Let it stay for 5 seconds.
- Now, remove the batteries again and put them back in the right direction.
- Reattach the device and restart the thermostat.
Honeywell 4000 series
Hold the SET and RUN buttons together for some seconds.
After some time, the thermostat will reset and return to the default settings and mode.
Honeywell 6000 WF series
- Hold the Up arrow and the FAN button together.
- While pressing them together, set the numbers on the right to 90 and the left to 1.
- Now press DONE and reset the thermostat.
- The screen will return, and the settings will return to the default options.
Honeywell 8320 and 9580WF
- Tap on the SYSTEM on the thermostat.
- Press and hold the box that pops on the screen center.
- Set the left number to 0710 and the right one to 1.
- Press DONE, and your thermostat will reset to the default settings.
Honeywell 9000 series
- Select MENU.
- Go to the PREFERENCES option.
- Select RESTORE FACTORY DEFAULTS.
- A confirmation message will pop out on the screen. Press YES when asked ARE YOU SURE? and your thermostat will reset.
Honeywell T5/ T5+/T6
Select the MENU bar and keep scrolling until you reach the RESET button.
Once you press it, a question will appear as “Are you sure?”. Select YES to reset your thermostat.
Honeywell Lyric and Smart Round Thermostats
- Press and hold the CLOUD icon.
- Then, press and hold the DOWN icon.
- Choose the RESET option when it pops up on the screen to reset the thermostat.
Disassemble to unfreeze the touchscreen
This troubleshooting step should also be done as a last resort when your screen completely freezes.
Use this method if you cannot use the screen to reset the touchscreen thermostats.
A frozen thermostat is similar to an inoperable thermostat.
In both cases, the touchscreen doesn’t work and needs to be fixed.
In this case, you have to disassemble the thermostat and then reassemble it to fix it.
The process is lengthy, but it works. So, let’s go through the steps:
- Turn off the thermostat and then the breaker.
- Remove the device from the wall mount and then the batteries.
- Remove the cover plate and the circuit board with a screwdriver.
- Do the same to remove the screen.
- Disconnect the ribbons securing the circuit board to the screen.
- Examine them closely for any damage and dirt or debris. Clean the dirt if you find any.
- Now refasten the ribbons and replace the circuit board and the screen.
- Replace the battery, too, and check the screen’s functionality.
- If this works, reassemble the thermostat and return it to the wall mount.
While doing this work, ensure that you are correctly grounded.
Common Symptoms of Unresponsive Screens
Thermostats can control the room temperature to give you a comfortable atmosphere.
But it can be frustrating to see that the device screen is not responding to the commands you are setting.
One morning, my Honeywell thermostat became unresponsive.
I tried many things, like checking the touch controls and indicator lights, but the screen literally froze.
While it is pretty easy to understand when the device does not respond, I would like to share a few signs that indicate that the device screen is not responding to the commands you have set:
- Screen freezing is one of the most common signs of an unresponsive thermostat.
- The display of the thermostat screen will remain blank.
- The thermostat will not display any temperature changes even after you try to change and adjust it.
- You won’t see any indicators or lights.
- The screen will stay unlit or freeze at a certain point.
Your Honeywell thermostat will not respond when this happens, and it has some issues.
In most cases, resetting can solve the issue. But at times, even resetting won’t bring any changes to an unresponsive thermostat.
Upgrading or Replacing the Thermostat
If none of the above troubleshooting steps work and even the professionals cannot fix the problem, replacing the thermostat with a new one will be the only way out.
At times, old or defective thermostats do not respond much to the settings you have set.
Old thermostats can wear out and lose their ability to respond to commands or settings.
If it has been really long, like 10-15 years, you must replace the thermostat with a new one.
If your new thermostat is creating such problems, you have a defective one that requires a replacement.
There will always be 1-2 defective products when bought in bulk.
Either you or someone else will receive that defective product and have issues.
So, exchange the product.
Taking good care of your thermostat is the only way to prevent your thermostat from going unresponsive.
Here are some preventive measures to take that will keep your thermostat from going unresponsive:
- Clean the screen of your thermostat regularly.
- Keep the surrounding of the thermostat clean. Dirt and debris can accumulate, enter the thermostat’s internal components and lead to malfunctioning.
- Place your thermostat in a proper location. It should be away from direct sunlight and located in the central position of your house to detect the average room temperature.
- If you have a digital thermostat, update its software and firmware.
- Your digital thermostat should always stay connected to the Wi-Fi. Place the router close to the digital thermostat for good signal strength.
- Make sure your thermostat has a stable power source.
- Use a surge protector for your thermostat to save it from sudden power surges and strikes.
- Check your thermostat regularly and see if it is working fine.
- If you notice any issues but do not know the right cause, even after you try to check them, call a professional for help.
Contacting Customer Support
Knowing why a Honeywell thermostat is not responding is challenging to understand.
If you know some ways to solve thermostat-related issues before, try approaching the DIY troubleshooting guide I have shared before.
If not, hire an expert:
- Call the Honeywell Customer Service Line. Honeywell has an excellent tech service line that can help you troubleshoot several things. If the problem with the thermostat cannot be solved, you can replace it.
- Call Honeywell’s Warranty Department if your device is still under the warranty period. With this, you can get your thermostat fixed without spending a penny. Otherwise, you have to reach the Customer Service.
- Contact an electrician first if you have found something weird about the wires. If there is a problem with the wires, they can solve it. This is true only if you have ascertained that your thermostat should not be broken.
If you have reached the end of this article, you are now acquainted with all the possible reasons. Try to check and rule out the problems one by one. Consult an expert for electrical work if you lack experience and are unsure about doing it yourself.
If you are experienced, check the power supply and breakers, then go on to the settings, the configurations, and the battery problems. If you cannot find any, dig deeper by checking the wire connections and screen cables. Then, go for some HVAC checkups, like the air filters and open furnace doors.
Resetting the thermostat or disassembling the thermostat are the last resorts to unfreeze your unresponsive thermostat. Hire professionals if you need help. They will fix the right problem and do it for free if your product is still under warranty.
Why is the Honeywell thermostat blank?
If the Honeywell thermostat is blank, you have low batteries, tripped breaker, damaged wires, or malfunctioning internal components. If you cannot find one, hire a professional.
How can I reset or restart my thermostat if it has a blank screen?
Turn off the device and the breaker, remove the batteries, replace them if needed, and place them in the opposite direction for 5 seconds. Then remove and place them correctly, and turn on your thermostat. It should start working.
Reference: Thermostat Wikipedia