If you’re looking for a way to save some cash
on your utility bill, install a programmable thermostat. In the summertime they can be programmed to
cool the house when you’re home and automatically raise the temperature while you’re away for
the day. And vice versa with heat during the winter.
Some can even be controlled over Wi-Fi. Just be sure to get one that works with your
heating and cooling system. Installing a programmable thermostat is simple.
Just be sure to read the instructions and follow any applicable building codes. If you
are uncomfortable working with electricity or your home’s wiring appears incompatible,
contact a licensed electrician for help. Start by turning off your old unit, and turning
off the furnace/AC breaker. Next, pop off the cover and thermostat, then
label where the wires are connected. The letters are what’s important, not the colors. Take
a picture for reference. Disconnect the wires and remove the mounting
screws and plate. Tape the wires to the wall to keep them from falling inside the hole.
Many old thermostats contain mercury. Call your local recycling center for disposal instructions. Let’s say your new unit won’t line up with
the existing holes, you need to remove the anchors and repair the drywall. Now you’re ready for the new thermostat. Check
your owner’s manual for specific steps. Typically you attach the plate first. Hold it in place—level—and
mark the mounting holes. Drill the holes and tap in wall anchors. Pull the wires through
and attach the plate with screws. Next, reconnect the wires—if you don’t have
both R and Rc wires, leave the metal jumper. Wi-Fi units need a C wire. If your house doesn’t
have a C wire, first connect the G wire to the C terminal on the unit, then connect the
other wires. At the furnace, move the G to the C terminal, and install a short jumper,
which you can make from 18-guage wire, from the Y to G terminal. This method will not
allow you to control the fan. At the thermostat, snap the cover on, and
turn on the power. That’s it. Follow the included instructions for set up
and connecting your Wi-Fi. Well, you’re on your way to saving money,
and energy. Want more great ideas and how-tos? Just click
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