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It is a battery thermostat not wired to a C wire correct?
You need to check between the RED and the C connection for 24 volts AC, if you do not have that then you have lost the C wire. You may have a wiring issue to the thermostat or possibly a blown fuse in the furnace or airhandler killing power to the thermostat. If you do have power across those two connections there is something wrong with the thermostat and it would need to be changed.
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Yes then the thermostat should never go dead, I would say it is time for a new thermostat as there is no reason it should go dead.