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Start Saving Money On Your Heating Bill By Installing A Programmable Thermostat

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If you have one of the old dial thermostats that you have to manually set to the desired temperature, you're wasting energy dollars. When you're in bed or aren't home, you can turn down the thermostat and save a few dollars. But it's easy to forget with a manual device. You can set a programmable thermostat to control the temperature for you. If you are uncomfortable working with electricity, contact an electrician to do the thermostat installation. If you're a DIY homeowner, you can install your own programmable thermostat in a couple of hours. Here are the steps to update your thermostat so you can start saving on your heating bill.

Supplies You'll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • wire cutters and stripper
  • drill and drill bit (optional)
  • new thermostat

Removing the Old Thermostat

  1. Turn the power off to your furnace and air conditioner at the circuit breaker box.
  2. Turn the power off to the room containing the thermostat.
  3. Pry off the cover plate on the old thermostat.
  4. Remove the screws holding the thermostat onto the wall plate.
  5. Pull the thermostat away from the wall and look at the back where the wires are connected.
  6. Make a note of where each of the wires connect to the thermostat. There will likely be a letter, number, or plus and minus sign associated with each connection.
  7. Loosen the screws holding the wires onto the thermostat and pull the wires off.
  8. Place the old thermostat aside. If the device contains a small glass tube containing mercury, you'll need to dispose of the thermostat with a local toxic waste recycling company.
  9. Remove the old thermostat plate from the wall.

Installing the New Thermostat

  1. Hold the new thermostat plate up to the wall over the old opening and mark where the screws will go into the wall.
  2. If you need to use drywall anchors to secure the plate, drill out the holes in the wall.
  3. Secure the plate to the wall with wood screws or drywall anchors.
  4. Look at the back of the new thermostat and match the wires coming out of the wall to the proper connections.
  5. Secure the wires to the thermostat with the screws or terminal clips provided.
  6. Attach the thermostat to the wall plate with screws or by snapping it into place.
  7. Turn the power back on to the heater, AC and room.
  8. Test the thermostat per the accompanying instructions.

Problems You May Encounter

  • If you have two wires coming out of the wall, then you'll need a battery-operated device which is easy to install yourself.
  • If there are three wires, then the device is powered from the house current, and you should have an electrician do the work.
  • If more wires are involved, have an electrician sort them out for you. The additional wires may come from other outlets and switches so it's important to get them right so everything works after the thermostat installation.

For more information, contact Global Electric & Lighting Inc. or a similar company.