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Corrosion of any type in a thermostat is not good and given your description is probably the culprit. I'd replace the thermostat.
You don't have to do anything to the AC unit except turn the power off to it when you replace the thermostat. Do you know if you have a heat pump? If not how many wires are connected to the thermostat?
Well you need to know for sure because that will matter when it comes to getting a new thermostat. How many wires are connected to your thermostat.
Ok. what's the terminal designation for the blue wire?
Ok, then you don't have a heatpump and just about any heat/cool 24 volt thermostat should work. You can get a programmable one which will save you some money if you leave the house during the day. Or a non programmable one which will stay at whatever temp you set it too. That C wire may not be needed on your new thermostat.
You can go to Lowes or Home Depot for a new one. Honeywell is a good brand.
Do you have any more questions?
I'd appreciate a favorable rating