Flashing Snowflake On Thermostat? What It Means And How To Fix It?

Are you worried about finding yourself in the ice age? Snow will not start to fall upon you just because your thermostat is showing you the snowflake icon!

Last month I noticed something flashing on the screen of my thermostat. I wanted to what it was and why it was flashing. Then after a little research, I came to know it’s called Snowflake. But same as you, I also wanted to know the reason.

I found the answer finally. If a thermostat is flashing snowflake, it means the device is in delay mode then. It’s for preventing short cycling. It is a normal issue if there is extreme heat outside. But there could be some other reasons as well.

In this blog, I am going to show you why snowflake flashes on thermostats and the ways you can fix this issue. I found my answers and now I want to help with my experience.

What Is Snowflake Flashing?

All of you are familiar with the snowflake icon right? It symbolizes snow or cool weather.

When your system is having a short cycle, it starts delaying the cycle, and to inform you about this, starts to flash or show the snowflake icon on the screen.

In some thermostats, instead of showing the icon, it can flash “Cool On”. But the meaning is the same. It can stay up to 5 minutes on the screen.

Understanding Snowflake Flashing And Delay Mode

Whether you have an older thermostat or the new smart one, snowflake flashing can happen to both of them. This indicates that your device is going into or maybe already in delay mode or delay cycle.

I know you are now wondering what a delay mode is. It is actually a mechanism that defenses short cycling. Short cycling is a harmful process that your system goes through. During this process, your device turns off and on in a quick session.

Delay mode is a stable mode. It allows your device to recover the threat and condition caused by the short cycle. In short, it increases the time span between switching on and off. It can last for almost 5 minutes.

It means delay mode is good for your device. But at the same time, it also indicates that your device might be having some serious issues underneath.

Before I tell you the issues, you need to understand short cycling and the reasons behind it.

What Is Short Cycling & Relation With Snowflake?

The main task of a thermostat is to temper the air inside the room. It means, if the environment is hot outside, it will make your room cooler, and vice versa in a cold environment.

Your AC switches on and off after a certain time to create a condition against the environment. It rotates in a cycle until it reaches your desired or selected temperature. It does the same when the room temperature increases or decreases from the selected level. 

But for some reason, this rotation schedule can be hampered. The time between switching on and off decreases. This is called short cycling. It means, when your system turns on and off faster than usual, it is called short cycling.

Now, what is the relation between short cycling and snowflake? Well, when short cycling happens, your system has to work much harder than usual.

To reduce this, your system automatically moves to delay mode. And as I said earlier, snowflakes symbolize delay mode.

Why Does Snowflake Flashing Occur?

There are several reasons why your thermostat can move to delay mode for preventing short cycles. And for that, you are now witnessing the snowflake icon.

I have found some reasons for short cycling. Here they are:

When The Sizing Is Not Perfect

If you have an AC or Thermostat that is a cooling capacity bigger than your room volume, it will cool your room quickly. Similarly, it will make your room warmer quickly as well. If it continues for a while, your device will enter into a short cycle.

To prevent this, the device will automatically move to delay mode and start flashing snowflake to inform you about this. Only an expert can tell you if your thermostat capacity is accurate for your room or not.

When Your Device Needs Repairing

If there is any fault in your device’s hardware, such as the flames sensor or condensate switch, your thermostat can have short cycling. There are several other high-functioning elements that could have issues that can also cause short cycling.

It means the snowflake icon is giving you a hint that you should repair the faulty parts.

When Your Device Needs Cleaning

A sensitive device like Thermostat or AC needs more cleaning and attention than other devices. If you have a dirty or dusty air filter or sensor, the device might not perform as it should.

Dirty air filters don’t let the Thermostat cool your room in time. That’s when the snowflake icon shows up and starts blinking.

When The Thermostat Is In A Wrong Place

If you set your thermostat close to a hot or cold source, the sensors can get the wrong message. It might think your space is already cool or hot while the reality is something different.

If something like this happens, the short cycle will start and the snowflake will start flashing.

When You Place The Indoor Unit In A Wrong Place

When you put the indoor unit close to a window or any other open space, the cool or hot air will escape easily. On the other hand, if the opposite wall is too close to the indoor unit, cool or hot air will bounce back to it quickly.

Like the outdoor unit, the indoor sensors will have a wrong message and thus the short cycle will begin. After a while, the delay mode with the snowflake icon will show up.

How To Troubleshoot Snowflake Flashing?

I can sense you are getting tensed after seeing the reasons. Don’t worry; you can stop them. Sometimes the flashing of snowflakes is a normal issue. But if you see this often and for a long time, it might need some response from your side.

First of all, check the battery (if your device has one). Having a low battery can cause a major issue. If it is not ok, replace your thermostat battery with a new one.

Check the outdoor unit if it is ok or not. Also, see if there is any heat source beside it. If you find any, take the source away.

You can do another thing, restart your device and check if it is working properly and snowflake flashing is off or not. If it’s still flashing that means you have hardware or sensor-related issues. Contact an expert immediately.

How To Prevent Snowflake Flashing In the Future?

It is always better to be aware from the beginning. Here’s how you can prevent snowflakes from flashing in the future:

  • Measure it right and buy a Thermostat according to the size of your space.
  • Keep your device away from any heat source.
  • Keep the Thermostat or AC clean. Especially the air filters.
  • Keep the doors and windows closed while the device is on.
  • Do a servicing before you are about to keep the thermostat switched off for several months or for a season.

Signs You May Have A Problem With Your Thermostat

Your Thermostat may start showing some signs when it is having some problems. Here they are:

1. When you set your desired temperature on the thermostat and confirm, you hear a click sound and the system becomes active. But if you don’t hear the sound, it means you are having some problem with the thermostat.

2. Your HVAC system won’t turn off as it generally does. The reason behind this might be a miscalibrated thermostat.

3. When you keep pressing the buttons but your thermostat is still dark and is not responding at all.

4. Short cycle is happening too often and your device is flashing snowflake immediately after switching it on.

5. When the room temperature is higher or lower than it is showing on the thermostat.

6. When you set a program of your preference but it keeps changing on its own frequently.


It’s really funny when your thermostat is set to cooling but it is not cool in the room yet flashing a snowflake icon! This flashing icon actually means your thermostat is now trying to save your device by delaying the short cycle.

Snowflake flashing is not something harmful. It’s actually a protective process for your system. But it may want to tell you that something could happen to your Thermostat.

So, never ignore the flashing and try to find the reason and solve it. I hope my blog will help you with this. You can always ask for help from an expert if you want.

Rate this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top