The EASIEST Way to Install a Thermostat
If you're in need of a new thermostat, consider installing a programmable one that will help you conserve energy, and can help reduce both your monthly bills and your carbon footprint. With accurate readings and programmable settings, these advanced thermostats allow you to maintain the utmost levels of comfort while you're home and save electricity while you're away.
IMPORTANT: This is a low voltage wiring installation project, but don't hesitate to call a licensed electrician for help if you're uncomfortable working with the electrical components.
After you purchase your new thermostat, make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions for advice on installation and safety procedures. With those specifics in mind, follow these steps to install your programmable thermostat:
1. Turn off power to the unit
Turn off the existing thermostat on the unit itself, and then head to your main fuse or circuit box to shut off the power to your heating and cooling systems entirely.
2. Remove the existing thermostat
Detach the wires from the thermostat to remove the unit. At this point, you can use a circuit tester to verify no electricity remains in the wires. Before removing the wall plate, take a picture of where the wires are connected so you can use it for reference when installing the new one. As you disconnect the wires from the wall plate, wrap them around a pencil or tape them so they don't slip back into the wall. Finally, unscrew the base plate from the wall to remove the piece.
Pro tip from Lowes: If you're removing an older, manual thermostat, it probably contains mercury and will require cautious hands and proper disposal. Your local recycling company can tell you how best to dispose of the old thermostat.
It's also important to note that if you aren't replacing an existing thermostat, you'll need to choose the right location to install the new unit. The Department of Energy advised installing your new thermostat on an interior wall in an area that's far from heating and cooling vents as well as sources of heat or drafts like doorways, windows or bright lamps.
3. Install new thermostat base
Drill new holes if necessary to mount the new wall plate. Feed the wires though the plate and keep them secured with the pencil or tape. Screw the plate to the wall, using a level to avoid a crooked thermostat.
4. Connect the wiring
Follow the picture on the manufacturer's instructions to connect the wires to their corresponding terminals on the thermostat. Follow the letter coding rather than wire colors to match them properly. Secure them with the terminal screws. Next, install the batteries.
5. Attach the thermostat
Mount the new thermostat on to the wall plate, carefully feeding the connected wires into the wall.
6. Restore power and program the thermostat
Turn the power back on and follow the manufacturer's instructions to properly program your new thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow you to customize your heating and cooling schedules at this time, and you can always change them in the future.
7. Test the thermostat
Once it's programmed, test the thermostat to make sure it's working properly. If so, you can call this project complete - but don't forget to clean your new thermostat regularly so it keeps running efficiently.
Being prepared before an electrical repair issue arises is always a good strategy. Plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs. See what plans are available in your area.