Got A Flashing Snowflake on Emerson Thermostat – [Solved]

If you’ve ever glanced at your Emerson thermostat and noticed a snowflake symbol blinking, you’re not alone. This visual indicator holds valuable insights into your thermostat’s functioning and can provide essential information about your home’s heating and cooling systems.

In this guide, we will delve into the world of the flashing snowflake, deciphering its meaning and shedding light on its significance. 

So, let’s explore a journey to demystify the flashing snowflake on Emerson thermostat and empower you to take control of your home’s comfort and efficiency.

Understand the Snowflake Symbol on Emerson Thermostat

Before we delve into the specifics of the flashing snowflake, let’s establish a clear understanding of the snowflake symbol itself. 

The snowflake is an iconic representation that you might have noticed on your Emerson thermostat’s display. It holds a dual role, indicating both cooling and heating modes.

In cooling mode, the snowflake symbol signifies that the thermostat is set to activate air conditioning or cooling systems to lower the ambient temperature.

It’s a visual cue that your thermostat is working to maintain a comfortable indoor climate during warm weather.

Conversely, in heating mode, the snowflake takes on a different meaning. Here, it indicates that your thermostat is in heating mode, working to warm up your living space. 

This intuitive dual function ensures that you can quickly identify whether your thermostat is set for cooling or heating, simply by looking at the displayed snowflake.

Flashing Snowflake: What Does It Indicate?

When the snowflake starts to flash, it’s your thermostat’s way of letting you know that certain conditions or situations require your attention. 

Understanding the context in which the snowflake blinks is key to efficiently managing your home’s comfort and energy usage.

Initial Startup

During the initial startup, you might notice the snowflake blinking. 

This typically indicates that your thermostat is initializing, checking systems, and making sure everything is in order before proceeding to regular operation.

Defrost Mode

In situations where you have a heat pump system, a flashing snowflake could mean that the system is in defrost mode. 

Defrost mode is essential to prevent ice buildup on the outdoor unit’s coils, ensuring optimal heat exchange efficiency.

Emergency Heat

Some thermostats have an “Emergency Heat” mode, which can be activated manually or automatically when the primary heating system isn’t functioning optimally. 

The flashing snowflake might indicate that the thermostat is using this emergency heat source.

Temperature Adjustment

Occasionally, the flashing snowflake might indicate that your thermostat is actively working to achieve the temperature you’ve set. 

It’s a signal that the system is in the process of cooling or heating your home to your desired comfort level.

System Error or Malfunction

While less common, a flashing snowflake could also signal a system error or malfunction. 

This might be due to sensor issues, improper settings, or other technical problems that require your attention or professional assistance.

8 Reasons for Emerson Thermostat Flashing Snowflake

The flashing snowflake on your Emerson thermostat is a versatile indicator, and its blinking can signify several different scenarios. Let’s explore some of the possible reasons for the snowflake to start flashing:

1. Startup Initialization

When you first power on your thermostat or after a power outage, the snowflake might blink as the system initializes. 

This indicates that the thermostat is performing self-checks and ensuring all systems are functioning properly.

2. Defrost Mode

If you have a heat pump system, the flashing snowflake could mean that the system has entered defrost mode. 

This mode helps remove frost and ice buildup from the outdoor unit’s coils to maintain efficient heating and cooling.

3. Emergency Heat

In emergency heat mode, the snowflake might flash to indicate that the thermostat has switched to an alternative heating source due to a primary heating system issue. 

This feature ensures you have a backup heat source in case of problems.

4. Temperature Adjustment

When you change the temperature setting on your thermostat, the snowflake might blink briefly. 

It shows that the thermostat is working to reach the newly set temperature, either by activating heating or cooling systems.

5. Temporary Hold

If you’ve manually overridden the programmed schedule and set a temporary hold on a specific temperature, the snowflake could blink to show this temporary adjustment is active.

6. System Error or Malfunction

In some cases, a flashing snowflake could indicate a system error or malfunction. This might include issues with temperature sensors, wiring, or other technical problems that require attention.

7. Filter Replacement Reminder

Some thermostats use the flashing snowflake to remind you that it’s time to replace the air filter in your HVAC system. 

Regular filter changes are crucial for maintaining efficient system performance.

8. Low Battery Warning

If your thermostat uses batteries, a flashing snowflake could warn you that the battery level is low and needs replacement.

Troubleshooting Guide for Flashing Snowflake on Emerson Thermostat

Encountering a flashing snowflake on your Emerson thermostat might raise questions, but fear not. 

Here’s a step-by-step troubleshooting guide to help you navigate common scenarios and address any concerns associated with the blinking snowflake:

1. Initial Startup

If the snowflake blinks during startup, give it a few moments to complete its initialization. 

If the blinking persists or you notice any error messages, refer to your thermostat’s user manual for guidance.

2. Defrost Mode

If your heat pump system is in defrost mode, the snowflake will eventually stop flashing once the defrost cycle is complete. 

This is normal behavior and ensures efficient operation.

3. Emergency Heat

If the snowflake indicates emergency heat mode, check your primary heating system. 

If it’s not functioning properly, consider reaching out to a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the issue.

4. Temperature Adjustment

If the snowflake blinks after adjusting the temperature, it means the thermostat is working to reach the new setting. Allow some time for the system to adjust accordingly.

5. Temporary Hold

If you’ve set a temporary hold on the thermostat, the blinking snowflake will likely stop once the hold period ends. 

If it continues to blink, verify that you’ve released the temporary hold correctly.

6. System Error or Malfunction

If the snowflake’s blinking is accompanied by an error code or if your HVAC system isn’t working as expected, consult your thermostat’s manual for error code explanations. 

If necessary, contact a professional for assistance.

7. Filter Replacement Reminder

If the snowflake reminds you to replace the air filter, make sure to replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Regular filter changes improve indoor air quality and system efficiency.

8. Low Battery Warning

If the blinking snowflake indicates a low battery, replace the batteries as instructed in your thermostat’s manual. This ensures uninterrupted operation.

Interpreting Temperature Settings for Emerson Thermostat

The flashing snowflake on your Emerson thermostat can also provide insights into temperature settings and adjustments. Understanding how the snowflake’s behavior relates to temperature changes will help you make informed decisions about your home’s comfort. 

Here’s how to interpret temperature settings when you see the snowflake blinking:

1. Cooling Mode

If you’ve set your thermostat to cooling mode, a flashing snowflake might indicate that the system is actively working to lower the indoor temperature to the desired cooling setting. 

The blinking suggests that the air conditioning or cooling system is engaged and is in the process of achieving the target temperature.

2. Heating Mode

In heating mode, the flashing snowflake signifies that your thermostat is working to warm up your living space to the designated heating temperature. 

It’s a visual cue that the heating system is active and striving to create a comfortable environment.

3. Adjusting Temperature

When you manually adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat, the snowflake might blink to show that the system has received your input and is now in the process of reaching the newly set temperature. 

This dynamic response helps you keep track of your temperature adjustments.

4. Temperature Balance

If you’ve set your thermostat to a specific temperature and the snowflake isn’t flashing, it means that your thermostat has achieved the desired balance between indoor temperature and the setting you’ve chosen. 

This steady state indicates that your heating or cooling system is maintaining the selected comfort level.

5. Auto Mode

Some thermostats have an “Auto” mode, which automatically switches between heating and cooling based on your desired temperature range. 

The snowflake might blink as the thermostat transitions between these modes to maintain the set temperature range.

When to Seek Professional Help?

While the flashing snowflake on your Emerson thermostat is designed to provide insights into your HVAC system’s operations, there are situations where seeking professional assistance is the best course of action. 

Here are some scenarios when it’s advisable to reach out to a certified HVAC technician:

1. Persistent Errors

If the snowflake continues to blink along with error codes or messages on the display, it could indicate a more complex issue within your thermostat or HVAC system. 

A professional technician can diagnose the problem accurately and recommend appropriate solutions.

2. System Malfunction

If the snowflake’s blinking is accompanied by unusual system behavior, such as inconsistent temperature regulation or unusual noises from your HVAC system, it’s time to consult an expert. 

These signs might point to underlying technical problems.

3. Frequent Cycling

If your HVAC system is cycling on and off too frequently, and the snowflake’s blinking coincides with this erratic behavior, a technician can assess whether the issue is related to your thermostat or the system itself.

4. Inaccurate Temperature Readings

If you suspect that your thermostat’s temperature readings are inaccurate or not match the actual indoor conditions, professional help is recommended to recalibrate or replace the temperature sensors if necessary.

5. HVAC System Malfunctions

If the snowflake blinking is associated with issues like short cycling, poor air circulation, or inconsistent temperature control, it could indicate a malfunctioning HVAC system. 

An HVAC technician can diagnose the root cause and provide appropriate solutions.

6. Electrical Issues

If you suspect any electrical problems related to your thermostat, such as wiring issues or power supply problems, it’s essential to involve a professional to ensure safe and correct resolutions.

7. Complex Troubleshooting

If the troubleshooting steps outlined in your thermostat’s manual don’t resolve the issue, or if the problem is beyond your technical expertise, it’s time to enlist the help of a professional technician.

User Tips for Flashing Snowflake Management in Emerson Thermostat

Effectively managing the flashing snowflake on your Emerson thermostat can enhance your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and overall HVAC system performance. 

Here are some user tips to help you make the most of this valuable indicator:

1. Understanding Normal Behavior

Familiarize yourself with your thermostat’s user manual to understand what normal behavior looks like. 

This will help you differentiate between routine blinking and situations that require attention.

2. Patience with Temperature Changes

When you adjust the temperature setting, give your system some time to reach the new setting before making further adjustments. Rapid and frequent changes can lead to inefficiency.

3. Regular Maintenance

Follow your HVAC system’s recommended maintenance schedule. 

Change air filters regularly and ensure that all components are clean and functioning correctly to prevent potential issues that trigger the blinking snowflake.

4. Avoid Frequent Mode Changes

Frequent switching between heating and cooling modes can strain your HVAC system. Set a comfortable temperature range and allow the system to adapt to changing conditions naturally.

5. Temperature Range Setting

If your thermostat has an “Auto” mode, consider using it to maintain a comfortable temperature range. This can reduce excessive cycling between heating and cooling modes.

6. Professional Maintenance

Schedule regular professional HVAC system maintenance to ensure all components, including the thermostat, are in optimal working condition.

7. User-Friendly Schedules

Set up thermostat schedules that align with your daily routine to avoid sudden temperature changes and unnecessary heating or cooling when you’re not home.

8. Upgrade if Necessary

If you consistently encounter issues with your thermostat’s snowflake indicator or if it’s an older model, consider upgrading to a newer, more advanced thermostat with improved features and accuracy.

9. Consult the Manual

Whenever you’re uncertain about a blinking snowflake or its behavior, consult your thermostat’s user manual. It’s a valuable resource for understanding specific meanings and recommended actions.

10. Monitor Energy Usage

Pay attention to your energy bills and usage patterns. If you notice sudden spikes in energy consumption, it could be related to inefficient thermostat settings or HVAC system issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is it normal for the snowflake to stop blinking after the temperature stabilizes?

Yes, once your HVAC system reaches the desired temperature setting, the snowflake might stop blinking. This indicates that the thermostat has achieved the balance between the indoor temperature and your selected setting.

Can I change the settings on my Emerson thermostat to prevent the snowflake from blinking?

While you can adjust settings on your thermostat, it’s important to understand that the snowflake’s blinking serves as a valuable indicator for different system states. Altering settings without proper knowledge might lead to reduced efficiency or comfort.

How often should I replace the air filter if the snowflake reminds me to do so?

The frequency of air filter replacement depends on factors like filter type, household dust levels, and system usage. As a general guideline, check and replace the filter every 1-3 months or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Can I upgrade my thermostat to a newer model with more advanced features?

Absolutely! If you’re interested in upgrading to a newer Emerson thermostat model with advanced features, consult with HVAC professionals or retailers to find a model that suits your needs and preferences.

Is it safe to open my thermostat to check for issues if the snowflake blinks?

Opening your thermostat’s casing is not recommended unless you have experience and knowledge in HVAC systems. It’s best to consult your thermostat’s user manual or contact a professional technician to avoid potential damage or safety risks.


Throughout this guide, we’ve unraveled the mystery behind the blinking snowflake, equipping you with the knowledge to decipher its meanings and respond effectively.

Remember, while this guide provides valuable information, your thermostat’s user manual remains an essential resource. It holds specific details about your device’s features, meanings of error codes, and recommended actions. 

By mastering the art of snowflake management, you’re better prepared to keep your home’s climate comfortable, energy-efficient, and optimized for your preferences. 

With this knowledge, you’re empowered to navigate the world of HVAC systems confidently, ensuring a warm and cool haven according to your needs.

Scott Maupin