Replacing a Thermostat

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 11, 2017)

Although we rent the four-bedroom home in which we live, one of the first things my husband did to improve our energy costs was to replace the manual-dial thermostat with a new programmable thermostat. While the landlord may gain the long-term benefits of the new instrument, we profit by having to pay less for the electricity we consume. There are a myriad of advantages to using a programmable thermostat over a manual thermostat. Not only do we save energy, we also save time in that the thermostat adjusts the pre-set temperature ranges for us. Finally it also adjusts the temperature while we sleep and when we're away from home.

I watched my husband replace the thermostat and was amazed at how simple the task was. Perhaps the reason you need to replace yours is because it's broken. Or perhaps you simply wish to update to a newer model. Whatever your reasons for replacing your thermostat are, follow these simple steps and your new thermostat is going to be working in no time:

  1. Turn off the power to the heating and air conditioning system.
  2. Remove the old thermostat cover.
  3. Remove the body of the old thermostat from the cavity of the wall. Before unscrewing the wires, label them.
  4. Loosen the screws, remove the wires, and remove the unit.
  5. With the new thermostat in hand, follow the directions for installing it. Basically you'll need to thread the wires into the unit. Check the thermostat to ensure that it's in a level position before screwing it onto the wall.
  6. Insert the screws into the unit according to the manufacturer's directions, tightening as much as you can by hand only. Now you need to connect the wires to the corresponding screw terminals.
  7. When installing a programmable thermostat, you need to remember to put batteries into the battery terminal before you mount the thermostat to its base.
  8. Turn the power back on and then snap the faceplate into position. Whether you're installing a programmable or manual thermostat, be sure to read the instruction manual to determine the proper way to use it.

It is worth mentioning that if, after you remove the faceplate of your old thermostat, you discover that there are more than two lead wires, you may need to call a professional to install your new thermostat.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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