How to Change Your Thermostat

How to Change Your Thermostat

, by Thrive Agency, 6 min reading time

Various HVAC systems have different types of thermostats. It’s best to pay attention to the steps involved in changing their thermostat, as each type of thermostat requires a slightly different procedure. In this guide, we'll cover the various thermostat systems available today and the necessary steps to replace them.

Types of Thermostats in the Market Today

HVAC systems are equipped with different thermostat models, each with its own set of features. Understanding each type will help you figure out how to change your thermostat.

Mechanical or Manual Thermostats

Mechanical thermostats are the most basic type, typically featuring a simple dial or lever for temperature control. These units can be found in older HVAC systems. These thermostats operate using a bimetallic strip that expands and contracts with temperature changes, triggering the heating or cooling system to turn on or off accordingly.

Digital Thermostats

Digital thermostats offer more precise temperature control than mechanical thermostats. They feature a digital display that shows the current temperature and buttons or touch controls for adjusting the temperature settings. Some digital thermostats may include additional features like backlighting for easier reading in low light conditions or displaying the current time.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats allow users to set different temperature schedules for various times of the day or week. This helps to optimize energy usage and increase comfort. In addition, you also have a digital display and temperature adjustment controls found on digital thermostats.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats, on the other hand, take programmable thermostats a step further by offering internet connectivity and advanced features such as learning algorithms and remote control via smartphone apps. In addition to the digital display and temperature adjustment controls, smart thermostats often feature Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to control the thermostat from anywhere using their smartphone or other smart devices.

Understanding the differences between these models will give you an insight into how to change your thermostat according to their type and build.

General Steps for Installing Manual Thermostats

Removing and replacing a manual thermostat involves steps similar to those outlined for replacing most thermostats available today. Here's a step-by-step guide for manual thermostats:

Step 1: Turn Off the HVAC Unit

Ensure the old thermostat is turned off. Locate the main fuse or circuit box and switch off the power to your heating and cooling system. This step is crucial for safety as it prevents any electrical accidents while you work on the thermostat.

Step 2: Remove the Thermostat

Gently remove the cover of the old thermostat to access the wiring and mounting screws. The cover usually snaps off easily or is held in place with screws. Once the cover is removed, you'll see the thermostat's wiring and mounting plate.

Step 3: Label the Wires

Before disconnecting any wires, labeling them according to their terminals on the old thermostat is helpful. This makes it easier to reconnect them correctly to the new thermostat later. Use masking tape or stickers to label each wire, such as "W," "Y," "G," etc. (for colors or terminals), corresponding to their respective terminals.

Step 4: Take a Photo of the Setup

While labeling the wires is helpful, taking a picture of the wiring configuration before disconnecting anything provides an additional reference. This can be especially handy if you're unsure about the labeling or if the labels become detached during the process.

Step 5: Disconnect the Wires

Carefully disconnect the wires from the terminals on the old thermostat. Depending on the type of thermostat, you may need to unscrew the terminals or release them using a small screwdriver. Take your time and ensure each wire is detached without damaging the connectors.

Step 6: Remove the Old Wall Anchors

After removing the wires, unscrew and remove the old thermostat's mounting plate from the wall. If there are any wall anchors or screws left behind, remove them as well to provide a clean surface for mounting the new thermostat.

Step 7: Install the New Wall Plate

Position the new thermostat's wall plate over the existing wires and align it with the holes left by the old thermostat. Secure the wall plate to the wall using the provided screws or anchors, ensuring its level and securely attached.

Step 8: Connect the Wires

Match each labeled wire to its corresponding terminal on the new thermostat's wall plate. Carefully insert each wire into its terminal and tighten the screws to secure them in place. Double-check the connections to ensure they're tight and secure.

Step 9: Install the Batteries

If your new thermostat requires batteries, insert them into the appropriate compartment according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure the batteries are installed correctly, observing polarity markings if applicable.

Step 10: Mount the Thermostat

Carefully align the thermostat's body with the wall plate and gently press it into place. If your thermostat has a locking mechanism, ensure it engages properly to secure the thermostat to the wall plate.

Step 11: Restore the Power

Once the thermostat is securely mounted and all connections are verified, return to the main fuse or circuit box and restore power to your heating and cooling system. Test the thermostat to ensure it's functioning correctly by adjusting the temperature settings and verifying that the system responds accordingly.

Following these steps should help you successfully replace your thermostat while ensuring proper functionality and safety. The first six steps are the same for all thermostat types and models, whereas the other steps are dependent on the type of thermostat you have.

Replacing Digital Thermostats

As described earlier, the steps to replace digital thermostats are similar to replacing a mechanical thermostat. The only difference is that you'll also need to program the new thermostat according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Replacing Programmable Thermostats

These thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day or week. Replacing them involves the same steps as replacing a digital thermostat. However, you must also program the new thermostat according to your desired schedule.

Replacing Smart Thermostats

Replacing a smart thermostat typically involves all the steps mentioned earlier but with a few extra steps:

  1. Turning off power to the heating/cooling system.
  2. Removing the cover of the existing thermostat to access the wiring.
  3. Take a picture of the wiring configuration for reference.
  4. Disconnecting the wires from the old thermostat.
  5. Removing the old thermostat from the wall.
  6. Installing the new thermostat's mounting plate and connecting the wires.
  7. Setting up the new thermostat using the manufacturer's app or instructions.
  8. Mounting the new thermostat onto the mounting plate.
  9. Restoring power to the system and configuring the thermostat's settings.

Remember to test the settings of your smart thermostat using your phone app to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Shop for Quality Thermostats from Value Controls

Value Controls supplies premium quality thermostats for various types of HVAC systems. Shop for wireless thermostats that match any current setup. Call us at 1-800-584-9901.


Blog posts


Forgot your password?

Don't have an account yet?
Create account