Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to Install a Programmable Thermostat

The first time I have to say is - this is SO easy! You can DO it and it will be a big help with your heating and cooling usage/bills. Now that we have the pep-talk out of the way, here are the details:

1. Determine what type of heating/cooling system you have. This matters in purchasing your thermostat. We have central A/C and central gas heat. It's important to know if you have oil heat or a heat pump.

2. Select a programmable thermostat. There are lots of options:
  • 7 day = One program for all 7 days
  • 5:2 = One program for weekdays, one program for weekends
  • 5:1:1 = One program for weekdays, one program for Sat and one for Sun
We went with the 5:2, it's less expensive than the 5:1:1 and we have no need to program Sat and Sun separately.

3. Open the package and get out your specific instructions! Each thermostat is different so make sure to have these on hand if possible.

4. Turn off the power to your furnace/AC at the breaker. Your thermostat display won't turn off because it is either powered by batteries or a different power source. Test to make sure your heating/cooling system is off by adjusting the temperature and ensuring that they system does not come on.

5. Remove the thermostat unit from the wallplate.

6. Each wire is inserted in a plug and is associated by color. White goes it "W", Yellow goes in "Y", etc. Using a small screw loosen the small screws associated with each wire and remove the wallplate from the wall.

7. Get the wallplate for the new thermostat out and insert the cable through the hole in the back. Match the appropriate wires so the appropriate letters and insert the wires into the plugins. Tighten the screws.

There are two red plugins with a red "jumper" in between them. If you have two red wires then remove the jumper. If there is only one red wire insert the wire into the indicated plugin and the jumper will supply power to both.

Our new thermostat is powered by batteries only so the C wire (ours was blueish) is not needed. If there are wires that are not needed wrap them in electrical tape.

8. Screw the wallplate into the wall using the provided screws and sheetrock anchors. (We reused the existing ones from our old thermostat.) Place the thermostat into the wallplate.

Program away!

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