How To Install A Programmable Thermostat

by Dave Logan


1. Pick a new thermostat that best fits your home. A programmable thermostat gives you the ability to set specific temperatures for specific times of the day. This allows you to not only have the freedom and control to dictate the most comfortable temperatures for you and your family, but also to save on your home’s energy expenses. Saving fuel and electricity are critical in today’s energy economy. You can select a reasonably-priced, programmable thermostat that provides very accurate temperature readings for your home. Check out options online or at your local hardware store.

2. Get rid of your old thermostat. Kill the power to your furnace or air conditioner before you install the new thermostat. This will ensure you avoid any damage to your furnace’s electronics. Next, you need to disconnect all four wires from your old thermostat. Use a piece of electrical tape to secure the old wires to the wall after disconnecting. This will keep them from sliding into the wall while you are working.

3. Install your new thermostat. Installation is pretty straightforward. Each of the terminals on your new thermostat has a letter code. Each wire that connects to its respective terminal has a color code. Recognize which color-coded wire belongs to each letter-coded terminal. Ultimately, just remember to always follow the letter code and you will be fine. Next, you will install the new wall plate for the thermostat. The new thermostat may or may not line up with the screws from the old thermostat. If not, simply drill new holes (and anchors if appropriate) and install the plate. Finally, attach the wires to the terminal screws as previously mentioned. Place the batteries in the thermostat, put the cover in place, and there you have it!

4. Program your new thermostat. Depending on which thermostat you purchase for you home, you will need to closely follow the manufacturer's instructions for programming your thermostat. Temperature settings are of course the same, but your new unit will allow you to customize specific (and multiple) times for activating heat or air conditioning. You can set specific temperatures for during the week (when you are at work) or during the weekend (when you are home); and of course temperatures for evening and nighttime hours.

5. Enjoy cost savings on your energy bill!

For more helpful information on these and other home improvement projects, check in often with the TDL Blog. And don’t forget to visit to find a trusted home improvement professional in Denver and Boulder that will help you with your next project!