How to Install a Programmable Thermostat

Save on your utility bills with these step-by-step instructions.
Programmable Thermostat

Programmable Thermostat

Many furnace and air-conditioner thermostats are programmable in increments of 15 minutes, allowing you to be very precise about how much energy you use. Here's how to remove your old thermostat and install a new one:

Materials and Tools:

one or two standard screwdrivers

drill and drill bit

level

safety glasses

Note: Most older thermostats contain mercury and should be recycled if possible. Check with a recycling company or a local heating and cooling company to find out where to take your old thermostat.

Steps:

Remove the old thermostat

  1. Disconnect the power.
  2. Remove the thermostat cover.
  3. Locate the wires from the furnace and remove them.
  4. Label each wire with the labels supplied with the new thermostat.
  5. Remove the body of the thermostat.
  6. Spread the wires to keep them from falling behind the wall.

Install the new thermostat

  1. Remove the base from the new thermostat.
  2. Place the base on the wall where the previous thermostat was located. Use a level to make sure the base is as straight as possible.
  3. Mark the wall through the mounting holes on the base.
  4. Remove the base. Using marks for reference, drill holes for mounting. Be sure the drill bit is thinner than the screws you'll be using.
  5. Fill the hole around the wires with a piece of paper towel. This prevents drafts, which could affect the performance of the thermostat.
  6. Feed the wires through the base of the thermostat and screw it into position. If you're mounting the thermostat onto drywall, use the drywall anchors that came with the new thermostat kit.
  7. Attach the labeled wires to the corresponding terminals on the base. Be sure to follow wiring instructions carefully. Color codes may not apply.
  8. Attach the thermostat to the base.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Home Automation: Thermostat Control

Get all the info you'll need on home automation thermostat control, and prepare to create a home automation network to control your home's HVAC system.

How to Install Columns

Create a bold, classic look with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Install a Whole-House Fan

Learn how to keep your cool by installing a whole-house fan.

How to Build a French Drain

If you're having problems with standing water in your yard or a leaky basement, improper drainage is the culprit. Fix your water drainage issues once and for all by adding a French drain in just a few short steps.

How to Repair a Burst Pipe

Fix it and prevent it from freezing again with these instructions.

How to Install a Security Camera

Play it safe with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Install an Exterior Electrical Outlet

Tap into an existing line with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Install Click-Lock Wood Flooring

Transform any room with new flooring. Click-lock-style wood flooring simplifies the installation.

How to Install Gutters

Protect your foundation—and spare yourself a major headache—with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Turn an Electrical Outlet

If it's been installed upside down, right it with these instructions.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.