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Home: Electricity and Electrical: How to Install a Programmable Thermostat

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How to Install a Programmable Thermostat

Written by; Thomas O'Connor / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Wed Aug 26 2009


Many home improvement project help a home to work more efficiently. With rising energy costs, home efficiency is a goal for all. One easy do-it-yourself electrical project is to install a programmable thermostat.

There are many benefits of a programmable thermostat. The main benefit is energy savings. It is estimated that when used properly, this device can help a homeowner realize a savings of up to $180 annually.

The homeowner can set the temperate either higher or lower during the day when the house is vacant. It can also be programmed to be higher or lower when the household is sleeping and be adjusted just prior to everyone awakening.

Another advantage with programmable thermostat is the increase in comfort in the home. The temperature is adjusted for your preferences. A programmable thermostat is a convenience for busy families. Instead of going back and forth to adjust the thermostat, the instructions are set.

There are three types of programmable thermostat:

1) The 7-day model is a thermostat that allows the homeowner to schedule each day of the week individually. For example, Jimmie has football practice on Wednesday afternoons. The temperature can be colder or warmer in the house until just prior to him returning home.

2) The 5+2 models allow the homeowner to program the weekday schedule of Monday through Friday one way and Saturday and Sunday on its own program.

3) The last type of programmable thermostat is the 5-1-1 model; this is perfect for anyone who has a regular weekday schedule, but their Saturday and Sunday schedule is different from each other.

Most programmable thermostats include the following features: digital, backlit display and touch pad screen programming. Other features on some models include voice or phone programming and an indicator went to change the filters.

The first step for installation is to turn off the power to the air-conditioning and heating system at the main service panel. Then remove the cover plate to the old thermostat using a screwdriver. Detach the thermostat body by unbolting the thermostat mounting screws. Mark the low-voltage wires to the corresponding screw-terminal locations using masking tape. Disconnect the wires. Remove the thermostat base by untying the mounting screws. Fasten the wires to the wall using masking tape; this is to keep the wires from coming out of the wall. If the old unit has glass tubes containing mercury, take extreme care. Additionally, contact your community recycling department for proper disposal.

The next series of steps guides you through the actual installation of the new programmable thermostat. Thread the low-voltage wire through the base of the new thermostat.

Then set the unit base on the wall with the screws included in the kit. Join the low-voltage wires to the corresponding screw terminals on the base following the thermostats owners manual. Add the cover plate. Restore power and program the new thermostat with your family's schedule in mind.

Installing a programmable thermostat is an easy do-it-yourself project that will take between 30 to 60 minutes. You will save money and create an overall comfortable temperature based on your needs.


Copyright: 2009

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