How to Install a Thermostat

thermostatThough the thermostat is essential to your home, it is often an ignored appliance until it no longer works. A broken thermostat will not regulate the temperature that is critical to maintain a comfortable living environment. In addition to causing discomfort, a broken thermostat wastes energy and can cause higher utility bills. Fortunately, it is simple to install a new thermostat. So you don’t have to waste any time, replace the old thermostat and make your family comfortable again.

Getting a Replacement

The first step is to make sure that the new thermostat is compatible with the old one. Bring the model number of the old thermostat when shopping for the new one. When possible, consider replacing the old thermostat with a programmable one - they can be more is cost effective in the long run.

A programmable thermostat eliminates the need to manually control the thermostat and eliminates human error. The programmable option will insure that the temperature is lowered when the house is empty and also during the night when everyone is sleeping. This is more efficient and will lower utility bills.


Before you begin make sure that you have the necessary tools handy so you can work through the process without interruption. You will need:
• screwdriver
• wire cutters
• level
• drill with a 3/16" bit

Carefully follow the step by step instructions below and your installation will go smoothly.

Disconnect the Power Source

  1. Turn off the circuit for the furnace and air conditioner. As a safety precaution also turn off power to the surrounding circuits.
  2. Use tape to cover the breakers so that they are not accidentally turned back on during the installation process.

Remove the Old Thermostat

  1. Remove the thermostat’s cover but do not disconnect any wires.
  2. Each wire on the old thermostat has an identifying letter. Attach the letter labels included with the new thermostat to each wire that matches a letter on the old thermostat. Use masking tape if letter labels are not included with the new thermostat.
  3. Disconnect the wires and remove the thermostat. Spread the wire out and make sure that they do not fall behind the wall.

Install the New Thermostat

  1. Remove the base from the new thermostat and put it on the wall in the same place as the old thermostat. Use a level to make sure that it is straight.
  2. Use a pencil to mark the mounting holes.
  3. Take the base off the wall and drill out the marked holes.
  4. To prevent drafts stuff the hole around the wires with paper towels.
  5. Feed the wires through the base of the thermostat.
  6. Screw the unit into position. When mounting the thermostat to drywall use anchors to secure the unit.

Now all that is left is to Reconnect the Wiring and Attach the New Thermostat

1. Match and attach the labeled wires.
2. Install the new thermostat to the base.
3. Program the thermostat as directed in the manufacturers instructions.


That wasn’t so bad, right? Now you are done and you can heat or cool your house to the desired temperature. Your family is comfortable again and you can sit back with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. You might think about using the money you saved to take the gang to dinner or to a movie.

Renee Gardine is an avid DIY project aficionado and blogger. She hails from picturesque New Hampshire, where she lives with her husband and two children. To see more of her helpful tips and projects you can do yourself, visit her at FitzAll Blades.

If you have any questions, please ask below!