Are you ready to spend hundreds of dollars hiring a professional electrician to install your programmable thermostat? Why not try yourself removing the old thermostat and replacing it with a new one with just these methods. With a couple of hours and the knowledge of electric know-how, you can save yourself more money and half the cost. Here are the tools and materials that you need for replacing your old programmable thermostat.
Tools and materials that you need:
- new programmable thermostat
- wire cutter/stripper
- electrical tape
- torpedo level
- 3/16 drill bit
- Before replacing the old thermostat, write down the number and the wire type that is attached to your old thermostat. A low voltage thermostat will connected to thin wires coming directly form the wall. This type of thermostat will not present any shock hazard. However, if the thermostat is connected to an electrical box, it should likely have a 120 volt of current or higher. So in this situation, you should contact a licensed electrician.
- First, turn the power off to the furnace and the central air conditioner unit by shutting off the circuit breaker or removing the fuse at the service panel. Remove the old thermostat cover from the mounting plate without disconnecting any wires.
- Then, using the screwdriver to unscrew and remove the old thermostat\’s mounting plate from the wall. You will notice that the old thermostat will have a letter that will help you to identify each wire. Attach a label that comes with your new thermostat to each wire that corresponds to the letter on the old thermostat. If your new thermostat did not provide any, you can use a masking tape as a substitute.
- When you finish marking the wires, disconnect them from the screw terminals. Wrap them around a pencil to keep the wires from falling back into the wall. Make sure that your new thermostat will cover any old paint color behind the mounting plate (in case, you discover any). If you have the mismatched color paint and the new thermostat can\’t cover it, all you have to do is to repaint the wall before installing the new thermostat.
- Next, thread the wires through the base of the new thermostat. Make sure that the base sits flush against the wall and none of the wires are trapped behind it. To adjust the base into its perfectly level; place a torpedo level on top of it. Mark the center of the mounting plate\’s screw hole by using a sharp pencil.
- Remove the base and make holes at each screw location with a 3/16 diameter drill bit (depends on your screw size). To prevent messy dust, hold a vacuum cleaner hose up against the wall to catch the drywall dust when you drilling the holes to mount the new thermostat.
- Tap gently the plastic anchors into the holes by using a hammer. Place and reposition the new thermostat over the anchors. Thread the wires through the base of the new thermostat and insert the mounting screws.
- To ensure that the base is still in level, use the torpedo level again. When the base is leveled, tighten the mounting screws. You can use a wire cutter or stripper to remove about ¼ inch of the plastics insulation from the ends of the wires if necessary. Match the tape labels to letters on the terminals; carefully connect the wires to the screw terminals. You can also consult from the diagram that comes with the new thermostat for the installation manual to make sure that everything is properly attached up.
- Finally, to follow the thermostat\’s manual to program the unit, turn the electricity back on. It is best to test your new thermostat by testing it on both manual and auto modes. By testing on both modes, you will know if your new thermostat is working and to confirm that the furnace and the air conditioner go on and off as directed by the thermostat settings.