How To Install A Programmable Thermostat In 7 Easy Steps

They say, ‘Energy saved is energy generated’. We all can take necessary actions towards energy conservation. One meaningful way of saving energy is installation of programmable thermostat in your house. GharPedia brings a guide on how to install a programmable thermostat.

A thermostat is used by your heating and cooling system to know the correct reading of the ambient temperature in your home. It is an essential component of all types of HVAC equipment because it helps maintain the desired temperature. Many HVAC professionals recommend using a programmable thermostat because it is incredibly handy to install and use.

However, many homeowners are confused as to what is a programmable thermostat and the benefits of programmable thermostat. Gharpedia, through this blog shows you a comprehensive guide on how to install a programmable thermostat.

  1. What is a Programmable Thermostat?
  2. Benefits of Programmable Thermostat
  3. Types of Programmable Thermostats
  4. Need for Replacing Thermostat in House With Its Programmable Cousin
  5. How to Install a Programmable Thermostat?

What is a Programmable Thermostat?

What is a Programmable Thermostat?
What is a Programmable Thermostat?

A programmable thermostat is a thermostat that is designed to adjust the temperature according to a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day. Programmable thermostats are also known as setback thermostats or clock thermostats. It is programmed to adjust the temperature based on a series of pre-set settings that apply at various times of the day.

Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for weekdays and weekends. Normally there are four cycles per day for which you can set times and temperatures: when you first wake up; when you leave the house; when you return home; and when you go to sleep. Look for a model that offers manual override and hold-temperature features, so you can easily turn off the system when you’ll be away for a few days.

Programmable thermostats will work with most heating and air-conditioning systems, but they don’t work for electric-based heaters.

Now a question arises, as to how is a programmable thermostat different from a normal one? Well, let’s take a look at the benefits of a programmable thermostat to understand more.

Benefits of Programmable Thermostat

According to Pritoni et al., (2015), programmable thermostats have been purchased by more than a hundred million consumers in North America and Europe in the past two decades. So let’s have a glance at the benefits of a programmable thermostat, which boosted its sales. A programmable thermostat packs in a lot of pluses such as –

Saves Energy and Money:

Saves Energy and Money
Programmable Thermostat Saves Energy and Money

For starters, and perhaps the chief reason why consumers swap to programmable thermostats is that they are money savers. How? Elementary dear Watson! According to Peffer et al., 2013 (Authors of the article – Facilitating energy savings with programmable thermostats: evaluation and guidelines for the thermostat user interface), theoretically programmable thermostats save energy by 5-15%. This device allows you to adjust the temperature in sync with your comfort level; additionally, it facilitates creating a schedule that continues even when you are away from your home. All these features lead to a sizeable saving in your power consumption, which in turn translates into savings on money.

Maintains Consistent Temperature:

Another benefit of programmable thermostats is that they help maintain a consistent temperature throughout your house, thereby nullifying the chances of major hot spots or cold spots in your home sweet home.

Smart Features for Easy Usability:

Smart Features for Easy Usability
Programmable Thermostat Has Smart Features

These smart devices offer hi-tech features like – Wi-Fi capability, mobile device syncing, Google or Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth capability, and some go a step further and synchronise with your local weather forecast!

Increases Efficiency of HVAC System:

Syncing your HVAC system with programmable thermostat ups the efficiency quotient of the former. You can also prolong the life of your HVAC system with the programmable thermostat installation, if it is nearing the end of its life. A programmable thermostat reduces the workload on the system and allows it to operate in its optimum condition.

Saves Time:

These days when ‘time is money’ programmable thermostats save a sizeable chunk of a householder’s time and tedious effort spent in adjusting the temperature. They eliminate all manual steps like – setting the temperature during different times of the day (morning, noon, night etc.); making adjustments in the temperature when you step out of the house; et al.

Types of Programmable Thermostats

Besides Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat, one of the most popular programmable smart thermostats in the market, there are some other types of programmable thermostats as detailed below –

Seven-Day Thermostats:

7-day thermostats provide you with a different setting for each day of the week. This is the perfect choice for houses which follow a different heating and cooling schedule every day of the week, as it’s perhaps the most flexible type of programmable thermostat.

Five + Two Thermostats:

As the name suggests, it’s for those households which adhere to the archetypal five-day work week and two-day weekend schedule. It provides a consistent temperature setting for the five days of the week and a uniform temperature setting for weekends.

Five – One – One Thermostats:

5-1-1 thermostat provides a uniform temperature setting for weekdays and two different temperature settings for Saturday and Sunday. 

1 Week Thermostat:

1-week thermostat allows you to set a uniform temperature setting for a whole week. This is one of the simplest thermostats.

Learning Smart Thermostat:

Alongside being Wi-Fi enabled and synced with a smart device, this advanced thermostat observes and learns the daily schedule and habits in your household and then self-programs a schedule.

Heat-Pump Specific Thermostats:

These are tailor-made to work with heat-pump systems.

Need for Replacing Thermostat in House With Its Programmable Cousin

Need for Replacing Your Old Thermostat
Need to Replace Your Old Thermostat

It is high time each one of us realizes the dire need for conserving energy and takes meaningful steps towards the same. In case you are still hanging on to your outdated thermostat, which merrily heats and cools your house even in your absence, then you need to give yourself a good shake, snap out from this inertia and immediately start replacing thermostat in house by doing digital thermostat installation.

How to Install a Programmable Thermostat?

Trust us, replacing your antique thermostat with a programmable thermostat is easy to do, will save you money on your utility bill and is quite simply your responsibility as a conscientious citizen of the planet. But now the question that arises is how to install a thermostat in a house or if you already have a thermostat, you may wonder how to change thermostat. It is easy to install thermostat, if you have the correct guidance. So let’s get you started on the DIY Programmable Thermostat Installation Project!

Tools Required For Digital Thermostat Installation:

Tools Required For Installation of Programmable Thermostat
Tools Required to Install a Programmable Thermostat

No installation is completed without tools. Here are list of tools required for installation of programmable thermostat:

  • Batteries
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Masking tape
  • Nonexpanding insulating foam
  • Pencil
  • Plastic screw anchors (if needed)
  • Programmable thermostat
  • Screwdriver
  • Torpedo level
  • Voltage tester

Duration of Task:

Well folks, you can wrap up the thermostat installation task and start saving money on your energy bill within half-an-hour!

With all the tools and time required in mind, follow the below-mentioned steps on how to install a programmable thermostat.

The Process of How to Install a Programmable Thermostat:

Step – 1: The First step in how to change thermostat is to switch off the power to the circuit for the furnace and air-conditioner. Then take off the cover of the old thermostat. Touch the wires with a voltage tester to ensure the power is off.

Switch Off The Power To The Circuit
Switch Off The Power

Step – 2: There’ll be up to five wires coming out of the wall that are connected to the old thermostat. Use masking tape to label each one with the letter next to its terminal, and then disconnect them one at a time. Take care to ensure that the wires don’t touch each other as you work, and bend each wire, so it doesn’t fall back into the hole. Then unscrew the old thermostat base from the wall.  A friendly word of caution – As some old thermostats have glass tubes that contain mercury, do check out with your local waste disposal facility how you can dispose it, as you can’t just throw it in the trash.

Unscrew The Old Thermostat Base
Unscrew The Old Thermostat Base

Step – 3: Wrap the wires around a pencil, so they won’t slip away. Spray non expanding insulating foam in the hole surrounding the wires to protect the thermostat from drafts, which may cause it to misread the room’s temperature.

Step – 4: It is easy to install thermostat if you have the instruction manual of the thermostat. Read the installation instructions that came with your programmable thermostat. Take the base of the thermostat and slide the pencil and wires through the opening so it can sit flush against the wall. Place a torpedo level over the base, check that it’s level, and mark the wall for mounting holes. Then remove the base.

Read The Installation Instructions
Read The Installation Instructions

Step – 5: Drill pilot holes for plastic screw anchors (they would probably have come with your thermostat) and insert the anchors in the wall. Then place the base back on the wall, check again for the level, and screw the base to the wall.

Drill Pilot Holes
Drill Pilot Holes

Step – 6: The instructions for your thermostat will guide you with regard to which wire connects to which terminal. Generally speaking, you’ll need to connect each wire to a specific terminal and use a screwdriver to tighten the terminal.

Connect Each Wire To A Specific Terminal
Connect Each Wire To A Specific Terminal

Step – 7: Once you’re done, put in backup batteries so that in case of a power outage, you won’t lose the information you programmed. Attach the cover and restore power to the heating and cooling system. If the thermostat doesn’t turn on, call an electrician to troubleshoot it.

Attach The Cover And Restore Power
Attach The Cover And Restore Power

In the end, Hope these above steps has helped you in how to install a thermostat in a house or how to change thermostat. If you really care about our planet and wish to leave it more-or-less intact for future generations, then a priority task on your to-do list would be to do digital thermostat installation…

Make sure to check out our articles:

How to Choose the Right HVAC Company?

Image Courtesy: Image 8

Author Bio

Huta Raval – An English Literature and Journalism Topper, Huta Raval has graduated from the L D Arts College, Ahmedabad. Post serving for 23 years in the NBFC and Public Library Sectors her desire for ‘writing the unwritten’ brought her to the creative field of content writing. Her clientele comprises of NGOs, Blogging Platforms, Newspapers, Academic Institutions, et al.

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