Few hour-long home improvement projects pay such yearly cost-savings dividends as replacing your old thermostat with a new programmable -- or "automatic setback" -- model. When used properly (and depending on the severity of the winters), you could realize a savings of up to $180 on your yearly energy bills.
Programmable thermostats make the best economic sense for every home. Note that the steps below can also be followed for installing a manual thermostat.
Tools and Materials
|Screwdriver||Masking tape||Programmable thermostat|
Step 1. Remove the cover plate. Turn off the power to your heating and air-conditioning system at the main service panel. Remove the old thermostat cover plate with a screwdriver.
Step 2. Remove the old thermostat. Unscrew the thermostat mounting screws and remove the thermostat body. Label the low-voltage wires to identify their screw-terminal locations using masking tape, and then disconnect the wires. Remove the thermostat base by loosening the mounting screws. Tape the wires to the wall to prevent them from slipping into the wall cavity.
Step 3. Install the new thermostat. Thread the low-voltage wires through the base of the new thermostat and mount the thermostat base on the wall using the screws included with the thermostat. Connect the low-voltage wires to the appropriate screw terminals on the thermostat base, following the installation diagram in the new thermostat's owner's manual.
DIY tip: Locate the low-voltage transformer that powers the thermostat. The transformer is usually located near the heating and air-conditioning system or inside of a furnace access panel. Tighten any loose wire connections and make sure the wires and sheathing are in good condition.
Install the battery or batteries in the thermostat body (if applicable), and attach the body to the thermostat base. Restore power to your heating/cooling system, then program the thermostat according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Need some expert assistance? Visit your local Home Depot store to ask associates about products or how-to instructions. The Home Depot expert associates are also available to answer your questions online.