How to replace a thermostat and regulate the heat and air conditioning in your home is essential. By automatically sensing the temperature it can help keep you comfortable so your home is always as warm or cold as you prefer. However, sometimes these devices can malfunction or stop working properly due to being older models.
If it's time to have yours replaced for any reason, this is something you can likely do yourself. In fact, by making this a DIY project and using the guide for how to replace a device below, you'll learn a lot about your device and will be able to use and care for it more effectively as a result!
Step 1. Purchase a device
While this step might seem obvious, it's important to choose the right model rather than any product off of the shelf. Before you shop, take note of the type of system that you have so when you're looking at your options, the information on the box will make sense.
You'll find that some units are for zoned HVAC units while others are for separated heating and cooling units, which is exactly what you need to know. If possible, simply choose an updated model of the device you already own to make things easy.
Step 2. Turn Off Power
One of the most important parts of learning how to replace a thermostat is turning off all power to the heating and cooling system.
Step 3. Remove the Old Unit
Using a screwdriver, remove the top of the thermostat from the wall. Once you get down to the base that has wires, pay CLOSE attention to which wires are hooked up and where. Next, take a look to see if there are coded letters already written on the wires so you know where each goes. If you do not see these, then wait to disconnect completely and instead write a letter on each of the wires that corresponds to where it goes on the thermostat base.
For example, if a black wire went in connection A, then write A on the wire. The easiest way to do this is by writing the letter on a piece of tape and wrapping it around the wire so you can clearly see where it's supposed to go. Once you have this part done, tape all of the wires together so they do not contract back into the wall and get lost.
Step 4. Install the New Thermostat Base
Using the template on the new thermostat you purchased, drill holes for a new wall plate. In this step it's incredibly important to read the instructions that came with the product, as you will likely learn a lot of useful tips. Keep in mind that all thermostats are different, so even if you've done this before, there's still something to be learned from the instructions. After the holes are drilled, you'll be able to install the base pretty easily.
Step 5. Wire in the New Thermostat
Next, grab the actual thermostat and connect each of the wires that you labeled (or were already labeled) in the matching connection holes. If you have more wires than holes, don't worry; some newer thermostats don't require as many wired connections.
Step 6. Set up the Device
After you put all the wires back in the wall and slide the thermostat down into the wall plate, turn your power back on. Then, switch the thermostat on and check to make sure the face plate lights up. You should see at this point whether or not it works, but keep in mind it should need about 5 minutes to set up and activate.
Step 7. Program the Thermostat
After reading the manufacturer's manual for how to replace a thermostat, program your unit to the settings that you prefer. For example, set it to 68 degrees for the day and 50 degrees for the evening. Most units will even allow you to set the thermostat for times when you're gone so you don't waste money on hot or cold air when you're not using it.