How to Change a Home Heating Thermostat: Your Complete Step-By-Step Guide

With the influx of “smart” thermostat technologies that offer connectivity over distance and the ability to set detailed schedules to save on electric bills, more people are wanting to replace outdated thermostats. Does yours need an upgrade?

If you’re wondering how to change a thermostat in your house, keep reading for our handy step-by-step guide!

1. Confirm Your Current System Is Compatible

Some older systems are not compatible with the new thermostats that are available. You need to make sure the thermostat you’ve decided on and the power set up in your home will work together. 

Newer systems require constant power, so make sure you have the necessary wiring to make any updates your new thermostat will need to function. Now is the time of year when HVAC systems are getting fired up, so it’s the perfect time to do a little inspection.

2. Disconnect Power

This should go without saying, but any time you’re working with the electrical system in your home, you need to turn the power off to avoid accidents. Electrical accidents and fires contribute to about 500 deaths a year. Make sure to keep yourself safe while you work.

3. Take Out the Old Unit and Disconnect

Once the power is safely off, remove the old unit and inspect the wiring. If something seems odd, you may need to call a professional. Chances are, however, the wiring will be straightforward and color-coded. If the wires aren’t classified by color, use tape, and a pen to mark them before disconnecting them from the old unit. Wrap them around a pencil so they can’t fall down the hole into the wall.

4. Switch Out Necessary Components

At this point, you’re ready to install your new thermometer. This is the point where you need to install any additional parts necessary, like additional wiring into the electrical system or a different faceplate.

5. Connect and Mount New Thermostat

Connect the color-coded or marked wires to their appropriate places on the new thermostat. Make sure your connections are solid to avoid them coming loose in the future. In many cases, your new thermostat will come with a set of directions guiding you through this process, and any additional features it requires.

Once you’re confident you have everything connected correctly, mount your new thermostat into its faceplate. Sometimes, depending on the install of the old thermostat, some repair work or painting is necessary to finish. 

When you’re done, turn the power back on and test it out! If you’ve done everything right, you’re heating and cooling system should fire right up. If it isn’t working, refer to the troubleshooting instructions often included with new thermostats or call a technician who can help you fix what might have been overlooked.

Now You Know How to Change a Thermostat!

Knowing how to change a thermostat can help you make this small but helpful upgrade to your home. Having the ability to change the temperature of your home from your phone when you’re away offers some peace of mind and a way to save on your electric bill!

If you get stuck in the process, need additional help, or want to upgrade more than just your thermostat, give Salt Air Heating and Cooling a call and let us help you with all your HVAC needs!