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How to Install a New Thermostat

How to Install a New Thermostat

Temperature control is something that goes all the way back to the Romans. While they weren’t using refrigerant, they were using cold water from their aqueducts. They’d run it through pipes in the stone walls and flooring, relying on latent cooling to keep their palaces and stone buildings cooler in those hot Mediterranean summers. If the ancient peoples were struggling without a little temperature control, we’ll all definitely be struggling without some temperature control. But luckily, in the modern age, we don’t need to pump water through the veins of our households and commercial buildings to maintain good temperatures. We just need a thermostat and a couple of temperature regulating machines to keep it all in-check.  

However, when that little control panel on your wall that determines the temperature of your office or your home needs to be replaced suddenly, panic often ensues. Don’t sweat it, literally, because we can help you get your thermostat, and all of your temperature control appliances, back up in no time. Check out our how-to below. 

First, Don’t Be Intimidated

Thermostats may seem like modern marvels that are hooked up to a dangerous current of electricity, and while that is what they are, installing a new one shouldn’t be above your pay-grade. It’s unlikely that you’ll connect a wire with another wire that turns your AC into a heater instead of a cooling unit and it’s equally unlikely that you’ll manage to irrevocably mess anything up as long as you follow the instructions. You’ve googled successfully up to this point, you’ve just gotta keep going. Keep in mind that, if you’re confused about something, or a piece of the directions doesn’t seem to be the same for you, look up the model number and the step specifically. There will almost certainly be a sufficient Youtube video to show you the component you’re looking for on your unit or something similar, then you can return here and continue on your way to a successful replacement. 

Turn Off Your Power

Getting electrocuted, we’ve heard, is not fun. So avoid that by turning off the power to your air conditioning, furnace and other units attached to your HVAC system. If you’ve never turned off the power to your building, it’s simple. You’ll have to go to your breaker box, often located in your garage, and flip off the respective switches. If the person who hooked up the electrical wiring throughout your house did a proper job, you’ll be able to see which of those switches is which without much fanfare. Otherwise, you’ll have to flip a couple, go inside and try to manually turn your appliances on or check for on-lights to be sure the power to them has been cut. You could, alternatively, flip the power on the appliances themselves, but this can leave some room for error, thus it’s easier to do the entire system from your breaker box for the purposes of safety. 

Tools You’ll Need On-Hand

Every job needs tools, and it’s much easier to have the ones you’ll need within arm’s reach of your workstation before you get started. That way, you won’t have to waste time, heading out to the garage, or wherever you keep your toolbox, to retrieve the one other thing you forgot. The first thing you’ll need is a small screwdriver, matched to the screws on the wires, and another one, matched on the mount for the wall. You may need a pair of small pliers within reach as well in the event that something has been stuck for some time and needs a little coercing to come loose. 

Start Working 

Next, you’ll take the face off the thermostat, a pretty simple task. Once you’ve done that, take out your smartphone and take a picture of the way the wires are configured at this moment. This will serve as a great reference as you install your new thermostat. Then, you’ll likely have to use a small screwdriver to disconnect the wires. They’ll be screwed into place, depending on the current model of thermostat you’re using, so to get them loose and ready to adjust, you’ll need to pull the screws free, first. After the wires are loose, you’ll remove the mount of the current thermostat, which is essentially the plate that holds the thermostat control panel on the wall in front of the various wires you just unhooked. Once that’s gone, get your new thermostat mount and place that on, over the wires. Most mounts have similar installation ports, and will certainly have a cut out where you’ll be able to connect the wires, thus you shouldn’t have to modify the plate or your wall in anyway to insure a successful installation. 

Connection

Once everything hardware wise is in place, you’ll need to hook-up the wires. You can do this two ways: reference the picture you took before of how the wires were set before, or you can reference the instructions on the mount. You’ll be able to find letters in certain areas on your new thermostats mount. Those letters are representative of the different colored wires they correspond with. You’ll see a “G” for green, and other colors depending on your set up. These letters will be labeling the receptors on the thermostat mount. As long as each colored wire is connected and then screwed into the corresponding color for the receptor, you’ll be a success. Some receptors won’t need screws to hold the wires in place, others will, so if you can’t find a spot for a screw. Don’t force the issue as you could break the receptor. Once the receptors are hooked up, the mount is screwed into the wall and the new face plate is twisted on, you’ll be in business. 

Test

To test your handy work, go out to your breaker and turn on your HVAC system’s switched to start pushing the power back into your appliances. Once that’s all set, you should be good to go, unless you’re installing a smart home thermostat. Those often need to be configured, but they also usually include pretty in-depth instructions to help you configure them. Most of the smart home thermostats will connect to your wifi so that you can toggle it from your desk at work if you’d like to. You’ll be able to fine-tune that in your own time, but once it’s configured, you should be able to both manually and, in the case of smart homes, electronically increase or decrease the temperature. Do so now by turning your furnace all the way up, or the air conditioner all the way down and listen for if the appliance turns on. If it does, you’re in the clear. 

Troubleshooting

If you find that your appliances are still not turning on, troubleshooting will likely have to be done on a model-by-model basis. Be sure to try both temperature directions, so that you can rule out if it’s a certain appliance that’s letting you down, or if the thermostat has been set up incorrectly. Unfortunately, with all DIY projects, there’s always room for error and more complex thermostat systems might just need a professional’s hand. 

Reach out to Arthur Hagar 

If you’re concerned that your thermostat is installed improperly or if you’re worried about the state of some of your HVAC appliances, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re passionate about helping people in the Fort Worth community stay happy and healthy in their temperature controlled environments. And we know all too well how rough it can be when a temperature monitoring appliance isn’t working well. Schedule a consultation with us today, or if we installed your appliances already, feel free to reach out with questions about your thermostat now. 

Looking for a reliable HVAC company in the Fort Worth area? You’ve managed to find more than that. We’re dedicated to our work, our employees and our community. Which is why all of our technicians are licensed, bonded and insured for the consumer’s safety and the guaranteed high-quality it provides. That’s also why you’ll find unrivaled discounts and deals on our services all throughout the year, because staying comfortable is a passion of ours, and we’ve been striving to make that easier for folks since we opened in 1949. Reach out to us today to schedule a service call, request an estimate on a new system and appliance and much more. We provide competitive financing options an array of specials on both installation and preventative maintenance on top of our promise of quality. We look forward to adding your name to our list of happy customers. 

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