Installing a Programmable Thermostat

Step by Step Instructions for Installing a Programmable Thermostat

By Mark J. Donovan

One of the best ways you can save on heating bills in the winter time is by installing a programmable thermostat in your home. Programmable thermostats, such as the Lux Products Touch Screen 7 Day Programmable Thermostat TX9000TS, come in a variety of styles and functions; however at a minimum all let you program the temperature of your home, or section of a home, to several settings throughout the day. For example, you can program them for a wake up setting for early morning, a day setting when no one is home, an evening setting when folks get home from school and work, and a night setting while you sleep.

A programmable thermostat costs around $50 to $75 dollars.

However a programmable thermostat can save you a couple of hundred dollars a year on your heating bills. Thus the payback period on the investment is less than 4 months.

Installing a programmable thermostat is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. Typically all you need for tools is a screwdriver, wire-cutters, hammer, and a drill.

Check Existing Thermostat before Buying a Programmable Thermostat

Before installing a programmable thermostat first check what type of thermostat your home currently uses.

Turn off power to your heating system first.

Remove the old thermostat cover to determine what type you have. If it has a couple of thin wires connected to it, then you can easily replace it with a programmable one since the thermostat is low voltage system. If, however, the system has larger wires coming into it then chances are it is powered into a 120-volt circuit.

How to install a programmable thermostat

If you have this type of thermostat system then you should not install a programmable thermostat on your own. Instead call an electrician. This said, most residential thermostat systems use low voltage systems.

Installing Programmable Thermostat – Turn Power Off to Heating System First

Turn the heating system off at the circuit breaker panel.

Remove Existing Thermostat Cover and Wires

Remove the existing thermostat cover from the wall plate. Then remove the wall plate.

Label the wires with tape before removing them from the wall plate. Mark each piece of wired tape with the letter associated with the wall plate screw terminal that it is attached to. Then unscrew the wires from the wall plate.

Also tape the wires, or sheathing that wraps the individual wires to the wall so that they do not fall down the hole. If this happens you will have a big problem fishing them out of the wall.

Install the batteries into the programmable thermostat.

Attaching the Thermostat wall plate

Attach the Programmable thermostat wall plate to the wall using the screws provided. Make sure it is level. Use a pencil to mark the exact location where you want to install the wall plate and mark the location of the screws holes.

Next, using your drill, drill small pilot holes into the marked locations.

Now, using a hammer, install the plastic anchors that came with the new thermostat into the drilled holes.

Wiring up the Programmable Thermostat

Push the bundle of wires through the wall plate.

Next, attach the taped wires to the correspondingly marked screw terminals on the back of the programmable thermostat, as the manufacturer instructions indicate.

Then snap the programmable thermostat onto the wall plate.

Turn Power Back On to the Heating System

Turn the power onto the heating system and test out your new thermostat. Typically the Energy Star type programmable thermostats already come pre-programmed. You can set them to your own preferences if you prefer. You can also run them in a manual mode.

With that you have completed the installation of your programmable thermostat, and you have begun to save lots of money heating and cooling your home.

For help on building a new custom home, see’s New Home Construction Bid Sheet. The New Home Construction Bid Sheet provides you with the knowledge on how to plan a custom home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors for your new home construction. It also includes a detailed cost breakdown table and spreadsheet for estimating your own new home construction building costs.

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