You’ve just taken the plunge and bought your first smart thermostat, but you’re not exactly sure how to install Smart thermostat, right? Don’t worry.
Whether you’re installing a Nest or Honeywell, the process of installing a smart thermostat isn’t as scary as it might seem.
Follow these tips from Consumer Reports and soon you’ll be enjoying all the savings from your new best smart thermostat in no time at all!
How to install a smart thermostat in 8 steps
Step 1: Check HVAC compatibility
Before you go out and buy a smart thermostat, it’s important to make sure that your HVAC system is compatible with these new devices.
The easiest way to do that is by purchasing an online compatibility checker like those offered by Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell.
If your HVAC system is compatible, you’re ready to move on. If not, it may be worth having your system serviced or replaced before buying and installing a smart thermostat.
Step 2: Turn Off Power to the HVAC System
If you’re working with gas, make sure there are no active pilot lights. If you’re working with electricity, turn off power at both main and sub-panels. If your thermostat is hardwired, make sure power is turned off at the circuit breaker or fuse box.
If it is connected by wire to an HVAC unit or furnace, follow instructions provided by your manufacturer to shut down power. Make sure all settings on thermostats have been changed from heat to cool (or vice versa).
Step 3: Remove Existing Thermostat
Before you can install your new smart thermostat, you need to remove your old one. First, find its wires or circuit breakers and shut off its power supply. To do so, contact an electrician if necessary.
Then, use a screwdriver or wrench (or whatever you need) to get rid of it; take note of where it was attached so that you can easily plug in your new device when everything is ready.
Step 4: Separate & Label Wires
When you’re wiring your thermostat, you should identify all of your wires and label them. Then, match those wires with their corresponding terminal on your thermostat.
In most cases, there are only two wires that need to be connected: one black wire (for low voltage) and one red wire (for high voltage).
But if your unit has other colors or types of wires, consult its installation instructions for guidance.
Step 5: Install a C-Wire if Needed
For most smart thermostats, you will need at least one C-wire (as well as two wires from your old thermostat). But what is a C-wire? It’s just another name for an extra wire that can be used for thermostats.
If your thermostat doesn’t have one, you may need to call an electrician and have one installed before proceeding with the installation. Check out our guide on installing C-wires here.
Step 6: Install the New Thermostat Base and Wire
At each of your thermostat locations, there’s typically a white plastic base plate where you’ll install your new smart thermostat. First, remove your old one and disconnect wires for any on/off settings like heat or air conditioning.
To remove it, just turn it clockwise with an adjustable wrench until it comes loose. Be sure not to over-tighten as you might damage some of its internal mechanisms.
Step 7: Mount Thermostat and Restore Power
While wall mounting your thermostat, it is important that you don’t disconnect any wires. Once you have mounted your thermostat and restored power, connect your WiFi account with your thermostat.
Step 8: Thermostat Wiring Tips
In order for you to install your smart thermostat, you’ll need to make sure that your existing thermostat wiring is compatible with your new system.
Most smart thermostats require a C wire, which can be used to connect power from either side of a central air unit.
So you have your new smart thermostat, and it’s time to install it. You’re not alone if you’re nervous about wiring, circuit breakers, and humidity levels.
But installation doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these five easy steps and get ready for savings on your energy bill.