While there are many maintenance problems that can accompany an aging HVAC system, a problem with the thermostat knob is often the most immediately frustrating one. Even if you can jolt the knob free for a short time by twisting it really hard, it's difficult to get it to go exactly where you want it this way. To prevent your air conditioning thermostat knob from getting stuck at all, use these three tips.
Clean the Knob
Most modern nail clippers have a file with a pointy end for clearing dirt from the bottom of your fingernails. Since the file isn't in much danger of warping from physical force and it's easy to swing it from one place to another in relation to the nail clipper it's attached to, it's an ideal candidate for cleaning out any gunk that's accumulated at the bottom of the thermostat knob.
If you have one, put a small handheld mirror against the wall right next to the thermostat knob. This will help you observe all the gunk you're clearing and avoid missing a spot.
Use a Small Amount of Multi-purpose Oil
Oil isn't just useful for getting the gears on an antique clock to work again. Especially if the base that your thermostat knob spins on is made of metal, multi-purpose oil is great for preventing the knob from getting stuck in random places when you twist it.
There's no need to use so much oil that it starts dripping from the knob. The speed at which you move your oil can's nozzle around the knob's base should be about equal to the speed at which you normally like to turn the knob.
Lightly Press on the Knob as You Turn It
If your thermostat's knob still isn't acting perfectly, simply press it against the wall as you turn it. This will force the inside of the knob against the oil you applied and ensure that all parts of the knob are equally lined up with the wall fixture behind it.
Put your other hand on the knob to steady it if you can't apply force and bend your wrist in a controlled manner at the same time. This is an especially good idea when you're only a millimeter or so off from where you want the knob to stay and letting up on the force you're applying will cause the knob to get jerky again.
If the knob is still giving you problems, it may be time to install a new thermostat altogether. Contact an HVAC contractor, like one from Enright and Sons, to set up an appointment and solve the issue for good.