How to Install a Thermostat

  • July 2, 2024
  • By MR COOL

Installing the right thermostat can help reduce your energy bill and make your life more convenient. While most of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system needs professional servicing, the thermostat is one of the few components you can install yourself with the right preparation, tools and thermostat unit.

Can I Install a Thermostat Myself?

Yes, you can install a thermostat if you have some basic DIY skills and are comfortable working with electrical systems. The process involves:

  • Turning off power to your HVAC system.
  • Removing the old thermostat.
  • Connecting wires to the new one and configuring settings.

Choosing a thermostat that works with your HVAC system is crucial. Always follow safety precautions and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. With proper research and care, you can install a thermostat, saving installation costs.

Do I Need a Professional to Install a Thermostat?

You don’t need professional installation for many thermostats. However, depending on your HVAC system’s complexity and how comfortable you are with electrical work, you may need a professional who’s more familiar with electrical systems and your HVAC. Simple thermostat replacements can often be DIY projects, especially if you’re familiar with wiring and read the instructions carefully. 

If you’re uncomfortable working with electrical wiring, have doubts about thermostat compatibility or own a complex HVAC system, you may need to hire a professional. They can ensure a safe and correct installation, preventing HVAC damage or electrical issues. Additionally, some smart thermostats may require professional installation due to their advanced features and wiring. Whatever you decide, pick the option you’re most comfortable with.

Choosing the Right Thermostat

There are a few different thermostat types you can choose from. Basic ones need manual adjustments and programmable ones let you set schedules. Smart thermostats are ones you can control from your phone that work with smart home systems. Pick the one that suits your needs best, and ensure your new thermostat works with your heating and cooling system. Different systems need specific thermostat types. You can find this information in your system’s manual or ask a pro if you’re unsure. Our new Smart Thermostat is the perfect fit for most systems, as it allows you to monitor your energy usage and control the temperature of your home from your phone, offering more control over your comfort than ever before.

How to Install a Thermostat

If you’re ready to install your thermostat yourself, you need to be prepared. Since thermostats involve your HVAC system and some electrical wiring, you’ll need to take careful precautions and ensure you have the right tools before and while working. Here’s a guide to help you properly and safely install your thermostat at home:

1. Gather Tools and Materials

Before installing a thermostat, gather your essential tools and materials together. These materials will help you install your thermostat successfully:

  • Compatible thermostat
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Drill (if your thermostat needs wall anchors)
  • Mounting bracket
  • Screws 
  • Wall anchors
  • Pen
  • Labels for wires
  • Wire stripper
  • Utility knife

2. Turn Off the Power

Once you have everything together, it’s time to start the installation. Safety should be your top priority when dealing with electricity. Start by turning off your heating and cooling system’s power at the circuit breaker. Use tools with rubber handles to avoid electrical shocks. This step is crucial to prevent any electrical accidents during the installation process.

3. Remove the Old Thermostat

Now that the power’s off, gently remove the old thermostat cover. It usually snaps off or can be lifted up. After doing this:

  1. Take a moment to examine the old thermostat’s wire connections carefully.
  2. Label each wire with the corresponding terminal letter or take a clear photo to reference later.
  3. Use your screwdriver to remove the screws securing the old thermostat’s mounting plate to the wall.

With the screw removed, you can pull the mounting plate away from the wall.

4. Prepare the Wires

With the mounting plate removed, you can loosen the wire connections by unscrewing them from their respective terminals on the old thermostat. Do this carefully to avoid damaging the wires. Once you can look at the wires, you might need to strip their ends. If the wire ends are not stripped or are damaged, use a utility knife or wire stripper to remove a small insulation section from each wire to expose the copper conductor. Exposing the conductor ensures a good connection with the new thermostat. 

5. Mount the New Backplate

Next, you can mount the new thermostat backplate. Position the new backplate on the wall where the old one was. Use the provided screws and anchors — if necessary — to firmly attach it. Make sure the backplate is level to ensure an accurate thermostat placement. After securing the backplate, double-check to make sure it’s fixed firmly to the wall. Stability is essential for supporting the thermostat and maintaining accurate readings. 

6. Connect the Wires

This step involves reconnecting the wires from the old thermostat to your new one. Match the labeled wires to the corresponding terminals on the upgraded thermostat. After inserting each wire into its terminal, tighten the terminal screws. A snug connection creates the stable and reliable connection you want. 

If you wire a thermostat the wrong way, it won’t work properly, and you might even damage your HVAC system. Wires need correct connections to deliver power to the right places, and you might see higher electricity costs if your wires are not installed correctly. Labeling and double-checking wires and terminals before restoring the power will help prevent wiring issues with your thermostat.

7. Attach the Faceplate

Now, you’ll attach the thermostat faceplate to the backplate. Thermostat models vary, but this can involve snapping the faceplate into place or using the provided screws. Once the faceplate is in position, make sure it’s firmly attached to the backplate. Keeping the faceplate in the right place helps ensure the thermostat accurately reads and controls the temperature. 

8. Power up the System

Return to the circuit breaker and switch your HVAC’s power back on. Your new thermostat should now work with your heating and cooling system. After you’ve restored the power, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set your desired temperature settings and any scheduling preferences. If you’re working with a smart thermostat, you might have to connect it to your Wi-Fi network and configure additional settings using a mobile app or online platform. 

9. Test the New Thermostat

With your thermostat configured, it’s time to test it. Adjust the temperature settings to ensure your heating and cooling system responds as expected. Verify that your system starts and stops in line with your thermostat’s commands. If you want to determine your new thermostat’s accuracy, use a separate thermometer to measure the room temperature. Compare this reading to the thermostat’s displaced temperature. If there’s a significant difference, consult the manual for calibration instructions or seek professional assistance. 

Upgrade Your Home’s Comfort With MRCOOL

Ready to take control of your home’s climate effortlessly? Look no further than the MRCOOL Smart Thermostat for your home. Experience precise temperature control at your fingertips, ensuring your comfort and energy savings. With programmable smart controls, you can set your system how you want it for easy temperature control whenever you need it. 

Upgrade to MRCOOL today and experience the future of heating and cooling. Choose from our products and elevate your comfort and savings to a new level. Use our map to find out where to purchase MRCOOL products near you!

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