How to Install a Programmable Thermostat


You can easily pull off the installation of a new HVAC thermostat. Best of all, one can enjoy big savings by consuming less energy. Whether or not you must change an old faulty HVAC thermostat or just want to upgrade to a modern and more efficient one, it is an inexpensive and swift project. 


A programmable HVAC thermostat allows you to pre-set the temperature you want to heat or cool your house at a low cost. Instead of having to turn on the furnace or the AC once your thermostat reaches the pre-set temperature, a programmable HVAC thermostat likewise allows you to pre-set the temperature on a specific time of day. There are even seven-day variants that allow you to pre-set differing schedules for every single day of the week. It lets you pre-set a cool and comfortable temperature as you sleep and a different temperature when nobody is inside the house. If you want to find out more info regarding thermostat selection, just keep on reading.


It is pretty easy to replace an HVAC thermostat. Most of the time, you can do it in as fast as 15 minutes with the help of a screwdriver.


New Programmable HVAC Thermostat Installation


Shut off the power at your furnace’s circuit breaker. Take off your old HVAC thermostat’s cover plate. Bear in mind the kind of wires and to which terminals they are connected to. It is a great idea to take a picture of it just to make sure. Disconnect these wires from your HVAC thermostat and don’t forget to secure them after, so they do not fall within the wall. Use a clothes pin to clip the wires. A big paper clip will also do. Then, unscrew the HVAC thermostat from your wall and take it off.


An HVAC thermostat’s installation often varies depending on the manufacturer’s instruction. In here, you’ll come across the general steps to install one but remember to heed the specific instructions that come along your new HVAC thermostat.


Run the wires across your new thermostat’s base plate and secure the wires with a clothes pin once more. Use one screw to secure its base to the wall. If you do not have a level with you, just make sure it is tight enough to hold the HVAC thermostat in place. Take a few steps back and check if you still need to make adjustments so that it is level. After making the necessary adjustments, take a step back once more. If it looks okay, secure the other screws.


Your old HVAC thermostat must have labels for every terminal. If it were manufactured during or after the year 1973, its labels should appear the same as your new thermostat. Just install the corresponding wires to their specific terminals on your replacement thermostat.


Standard Terminal Labels for the Thermostats Produced in 1973 or After

R: Red – Hot part of the transformer. RC for cool and RH for heat

W: White – Heat control

W2: Pink or another Color – Second stage of heat

Y2: Pink or Blue – Second compressor stage of cool

C or X: Black – The common part of the transformer (24 V)

Y: Yellow – Compressor activity

G: Green – Fan

O: Orange – Energizes a heat pump to cool

L: Brown, Tan, Blue or Gray – Service indicator lamp

X2 – Brown, Blue, Tan or Gray – Second stage of heat (electric)

B: Blue or Orange – Energize to heat

B or X: Brown, Black or Black – The common part of a transformer

E: Pink, Blue, Tan or Gray – A heat pump’s emergency heat relay

T: Tan or Gray – Outdoor anticipator reset


If you have any concerns regarding the wiring, remember to take note of the colors of the wire and compare which color connects to the boiler, furnace, air conditioner or heat pump. Seek a professional’s help or the manufacturer of your thermostat in case the information mentioned above was not of help to you.


Put the cover back on the base. Turn it on and restore the power to your system at its circuit breaker. Proceed to test the heat by turning on your thermostat’s heat and listen to make sure your furnace starts and test for warm air. Also, do the same thing with your AC. However, remember that you must not run your AC when the temperature outside your home is below 65 degrees. Conclude the test as soon as you determine that the system works.


Now, set your desired temperature on the thermostat along with the specific time it will start working and then you’re finished. Average homeowners can follow these steps but never hesitate to ask for the help of experts if problems arise, or if you cannot figure out how to proceed with a particular step.


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