How to Install a New Programmable Thermostat

How to Install a New Programmable Thermostat
October 1, 2015 nobleair

If you’re looking for a way to cut-down on cooling and heating costs, you should definitely start with your unit’s wall mounted thermostat. While it might not look too dated and reliably serves its purpose, it’s very likely it’s costing you more money than necessary. Old thermostats function on a bimetallic strip of two dissimilar metals, which are affected by the coefficient of thermal expansion.

Put another way, the mercury and metals interact with the temperature inside your home to detect times to power-up and power-off. New programmable models are quite sophisticated, and, are very reliable when it comes to saving money.

How to Install a New Programmable Thermostat

One huge advantage that programmable thermostats have is they cycle your cooling and heating unit according to your needs. Some people make the mistake of turning their units off before going to work or a weekend trip. The amount of power it takes to lower or raise the temperature is nothing short of enormous. Any potential savings are lost, and, what’s more, it actually wastes energy (read: money) doing this.

Not many home improvement projects offer yearly savings like replacing your old thermostat with new programmable – or “automatic setback” models. When used properly (and depending on the severity of the winters in your area), you could earn a savings of up to $180 on your yearly energy bills. —Home Depot

The smart thing to do is to raise or lower the thermostat temperature before leaving for work or a weekend trip. To really save money, it’s best to use an updated control. Of course, first, you’ll have to install a new programmable thermostat. Start by turning the old thermostat off, and then, shut off power to the HVAC unit. Once power is off, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the old thermostat from the wall. The old control unit will likely be attached to a wall mount. Carefully pull off the face to expose the wiring and wall mount by hand, or, gently using pliers and/or a flat head screwdriver.
  2. Take a picture to capture the wiring. Use your smartphone, tablet, or, a camera to capture the wiring as connected for a visual reference later on during the insulation of the new control.
  3. Disconnect the wires and remove the battery, if applicable. Carefully untwist the wiring, removing the wire nuts, if applicable, and then, take the batteries out of the old unit.
  4. Mount the new wall plate and check for levelness. Unfasten the retaining screws from the old wall mount and pull it away from the surface carefully. Then, mount the new thermostat to the wall and use a torpedo level to check it.
  5. Connect the wires to the new, programmable thermostat. Next, fasten the wires together, by hand, using wire nuts. Be sure to install batteries before you attach the new control to the wall mount.
  6. Attach the new thermostat to the wall mount. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, snap the new thermostat to the wall mount. Be careful doing this because small fastening tabs could break.

Once you’ve attached the the new thermostat to the wall mount, flip the breaker on powering the HVAC unit. Then, turn on the programmable thermostat. Follow the manufacturer’s setup instructions thereafter. If you have difficulty, just phone us at 480-659-6497 and we’ll send an expert technician out.