How to install a thermostat in 9 steps

Are you thinking of buying a new thermostat for your house or replacing the older one with a new one? Well, needless to say, there are more chances for you to choose the latest programmable thermostats that can save you about 33% of your annual electric bills. Besides, they are simple to operate and worth your investment.

The cost savings of this programmable gadget comes by eliminating human error in controlling the temperature setting. There are numerous instances wherein we forget to turn down the thermostat when we leave for work during the day or go to bed at night. Nevertheless, installing a programmable thermostat will help you relax as you need not manually control your heating and cooling system every time.

In this article, you will learn how to install a thermostat in your home/house. This 9 step thermostat installation guide is developed as a DIY tutorial and reference sheet. You can use this same guide for replacing your thermostat in home.

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Before buying a thermostat

Ensure that you have chosen a thermostat that suits the control voltage of your heating system. In fact, there are two types: line voltage and low voltage. The former type works with heating system control voltages of nearly 120 volts or more and the latter works with heating system control voltages of about 30 volts or less. In general, low voltage types require #18 gauge wires whereas line voltage types use conventional #14 and #12 gauge wire sizes. To be exactly sure about which one is used in your home, it is a good idea to take your old thermostat to the store you are about to buy a new thermostat. The sales person at the prospective store can explain you as to which type you require. Remember to leave the base plate with wiring in place or make sure you label the wires before disconnecting.

Well, are you wondering how easy or difficult it is to install a thermostat? Don’t panic. Continue reading to know exactly how to install this device. Well, this thermostat installation guide has been set up with user preferences , have a go over.

Before that, there are a few points to ponder when working with electricity:

  • Remember to turn off electricity at the main fuse box that has control over the power supplied to the fixture of the room you are working in.
  • Test the wires to make sure that the power is off.
  • Check if the wall switches are in the off position.
  • Did you know that all electrical connections should be in agreement with local codes? Find out from local authorities if a permit is needed.
  • If you are not sure about installing electrical gadgets and dealing with electricity, don’t hesitate to consult a well qualified electrician.

Installing a thermostat – The 9 Step Thermostat Installation Guide

1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly

This is the first and foremost step and of course, an important one. Do read the entire manual even if you don’t understand anything. A few thermostats have some simple and easy to understand options that are set up switches, jumpers and the like. These options help you to understand how to operate the device properly with your specific heating system. If you don’t select the proper setting by not reading the manual properly, you might face serious problems. If you are not able to understand the instructions given in the manual, you can always call the manufacturer or the store where you purchased the thermostat and ask for help. Usually, immediate help and customer service is rendered from reputed stores and manufacturers.

2. Turn off electricity

Once you are all set up to install the new gadget, make sure you turn off all power supplies at the main electrical panel. Though some instructions suggest you to merely turn off power only in the room you are working, it is a safer idea to turn off everything on the main electrical panel.

3. Remove control panel and cover from old thermostat

The cover and control board on majority of thermostat models just snap off. So, safely remove the faceplate and control board and set these aside. If anything goes wrong in the installation, you may have to reinstall the old one.

4. Label wires

Remember to label the wires based on their current position before removing them. Sticker labels are provided with most of the new models of programmable thermostats which you can use to wrap around the wires that come from the wall. In case your new thermostat package doesn’t have pre-printed labels, don’t panic. You can substitute those with a permanent marker or a masking tape. After all, your prime motive is to label them appropriately.

5. Replace the base plate of the old thermostat with that of the new thermostat

Carefully remove the old thermostat’s base plate from the wall. Take caution that the bunch of wires don’t drop back into the wall when you are unscrewing the base plate of the old thermostat.

Shelter the base plate of the new thermostat to the wall. Pretty obviously, not every time does a new model’s base plate matches with the existing holes from the old device. During such circumstances, drill a couple of holes for the new gadget; insert the drywall anchors that come with the new package. If the new thermostat requires batteries, go ahead and insert them.

6. Reattach the wires

Well, next you have to reattach the labeled wires at their corresponding spots either on the base plate of the new thermostat or to the thermostat directly; this depends on the model you have bought. In fact, this is the most challenging task of the entire project as there isn’t much space to work with and based on your heating and cooling systems, you might have a number of wires to attach.

7. Attach new thermostat’s faceplate and control panel

Don’t forget to make a note of the wires you have attached. Make it a point to write it down before covering those with the new faceplate and control panel. This will ensure that you have properly programmed the new thermostat according to the kind of system you have.

8. Turn on power and program the new thermostat

Of course, it’s time to turn on the power and program your new thermostat based on the instructions provided by the manufacturer. In summer, you might want the temperature to be set at a little high at night and then sleep with the ceiling fans running. For the early morning hours, program the thermostat to cool things down in order to get ready for school or work and again return to a higher temperature for the day. In winter, it is the vice versa; reverse the process by allowing things to cool down after you get into bed and warm things up in the early morning hours.

9. A handy tip:

It is important that you program your thermostat before installing it onto the base. A lot of thermostats need batteries to maintain settings, run the program, keep time and the like when used in microvolt and millivolt systems as well as at times of power outages. This tip will work provided the batteries are installed in the thermostat and not the base. Make it a point to install the batteries in the device and then check its display. If you see an indication on the display such as time or temperature, you can attempt programming the thermostat from the comfort of your desk, table or chair. This method should also work well when you are replacing dead batteries or you are attempting to change or re-enter the program for some obvious reasons.

Thermostat installation video