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How To Operate Your AC Without A Thermostat?

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Thermostats act as a controller for your air conditioner and assist in providing efficient cooling throughout your home. But occasionally a thermostat might not work or be damaged. If you’ve come into this issue, you undoubtedly want to know if and how you can run your air conditioner without one.

Yes, it is possible to operate and regulate an AC unit without a thermostat, but you will only be able to start and stop the machine. Here are a few methods for managing your air conditioning without a thermostat:

  • Activate the power button.
  • Utilize intelligent apps and gadgets to control it.
  • Rewire the circuit board.
  • Put the circuit breaker to use.

Regardless of whether your thermostat utilizes a remote control, it’s imperative to be aware of different ways to operate the AC. You can find more ways to achieve this by continuing to read.

Can An Air Conditioner Operate Without A Thermostat?

How To Operate Your AC Without A Thermostat?

Yes, air conditioners can function properly without a thermostat, but they will use more energy in this case. It might lead to rising energy expenditures and erratic temperature levels.

Homeowners benefit from thermostats because they help keep rooms at a consistent temperature and use less energy to run the air conditioner. Therefore, regardless of the model you select, we advise installing a thermostat for your air conditioner.

However, unless your appliance requires one, you might not need to install a thermostat. There are other models of some air conditioners that can be controlled via apps or remote controls.

If you have one of these, you probably still use your air conditioning in the same manner even after removing the thermostat.

How To Run An AC Unit Without A Thermostat

Depending on the type of your AC, you can try utilizing various techniques if it didn’t come with a thermostat or if it’s broken.

Thermostat-free methods to run your air conditioner are shown below.

Activate The Power Button

If everything else fails, you can turn your AC on or off manually by pressing a button on the device. Typically, it is inside the front cover or close to the display panel.

Look around the appliance to check whether it’s concealed beneath filters or other components if you can’t see it there. If you’re still having trouble finding it, see the owner’s manual for your air conditioner for directions or ask your manufacturer for help.

To turn it on or off, you must push or flip the power button once you’ve located it.

Control It Using Smart Devices And Apps

You can start or stop your air conditioner using such applications or gadgets if it is connected to a smartphone or other smart home systems. Select the choices or commands required to turn the AC on or off when you access the app or device.

One option to access your air conditioner when you’re away from home is by using a smartphone or home automation system. You therefore have total control over your AC wherever you are, even without a thermostat.

Reformat The Control Board

You may want to think about bypassing or rewiring your thermostat. Be aware that handling wires can be challenging; therefore, getting help from a person who is knowledgeable with them is recommended.

Additionally, keep in mind that this technique works for basic heating and cooling systems. Rewiring should be avoided if your HVAC has additional connections or other wires unless you are certain of what each one is for.

Your AC won’t start or stop using this approach instantly or automatically, unlike the other options. This is how it functions.

Turning On The AC

The steps you must take are listed below:

  • Examine each wire’s placement on the terminal and make note of its color. To avoid tripping the control board, it’s imperative to be careful how you connect them.
  • To turn on the fan, connect the red and green wires together. Hold it there for a short while.
  • Cross the yellow wire over the red and green ones to switch on the exterior unit when you hear the fan start to spin.
  • They should remain crossed to keep the AC working.
  • Place the wires in a less visible location where people or things won’t be able to easily touch them.

Turning Off The AC

This technique makes turning off your AC easier than turning it on. Simply uncross the wires and rewire them into the control board unit is all that is required.

Remembering what you noted earlier, be cautious when reattaching them and make sure each wire is in its proper termination. The board could trip if the wires were installed improperly.

Switch The Circuit Breaker On

Your AC can also be turned on and off through the circuit breaker, which is a less dangerous method. When your air conditioner has its own switch or breaker in the control panel, it is recommended to do this. You won’t have to constantly turning things on and off frequently that way.

Depending on whether you want the AC on or off, you merely need to flip the switch. The circuit breaker can also help you conserve more electricity, but using it too frequently can harm it and create electrical problems.

If you only use your air conditioner sometimes or just during certain times of the year, think about employing the circuit breaker option.

Signs Of A Malfunctioning AC Thermostat

How To Operate Your AC Without A Thermostat?

Look for the following warning signs if you own a thermostat but are unsure of whether it is broken or not.

Lack Of Reaction To Temperature Change

Once all potential reasons of dormant readings have been ruled out, a thermostat is considered defective if it remains at the same temperature or does not adjust despite changing circumstances.

You can try to solve this by moving the thermostat and making sure it is placed far from heaters, electrical devices, vents, open windows, and doors.

If these don’t work, there might be an issue with the sensor. Cleaning the thermostat with a cloth or gentle brush is one way to confirm this.

It might be necessary to call a specialist if the problems still persist.

AC Remains On, Shuts Off, Or Will Not Turn On

The thermostat should always be checked first if your air conditioner is acting strangely. Depending on how the settings are configured, your thermostat may switch on and off on its own.

Your AC may be stuck if it continues to run without cycling. It has something to do with the temperature readings if it consistently turns off despite never reaching the desired temperature. If it doesn’t turn back on, the wiring can be faulty or loose.

No Or Blank Display

How To Operate Your AC Without A Thermostat?

A blank thermostat display can occur for a number of reasons, from power problems to serious damage.

Replace batteries, check power outlets, replace blown fuses, or reset tripped breakers to check the power first.

If this is not the issue, look through the wiring to check for any broken or loose connections. An HVAC expert should handle any repairs that go beyond these.

Fluctuating Or Inaccurate Temperature

Fluctuating temperatures might result in other issues, such as rising energy costs, poorer indoor comfort, and decreased air quality. Even if you don’t frequently check the thermostat, you will probably be able to detect changes in temperature fast.

In some cases, the temperature readings are incorrect, which makes the heating and cooling system inefficient.

Place a normal thermostat in the same room as the defective one to test this. Before examining the outcomes, let them run for a few minutes under the same circumstances.

Your thermostat is working properly if the readings are consistent. If not, look for any evidence of damage on the gadget.

If there are any other issues or if you’re unsure of the problem’s origin, speak with an HVAC expert.


While controlling an air conditioner, thermostats help it run more efficiently, but you don’t necessarily need one to keep your AC running.

Knowing alternate ways to turn on or off your air conditioning is a smart idea in case you can’t use a thermostat.

Finding the manual power button is one of these techniques, along with employing smart devices and apps, rebuilding the control board, and using the circuit breaker. The best course of action is to keep an energy-efficient home.

How To Operate Your AC Without A Thermostat?

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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