Can I install a thermostat myself?

How to guides

When something needs to be done around the house, a question often pops up in your mind: could I do this myself? That same question probably brought you to this blog. 

With a little bit of understanding of the task and the right tools at hand, installing a thermostat could be easy. It requires about the same level of ability as rewiring a plug. You’ll need to uninstall your old thermostat, place and rewire your new device, and perform the necessary finishing repairs to the wall. But as with any electrical work, it is always worth considering consulting a professional to make sure the job gets done right.

How to install a thermostat

1. Gather your tools

The main thing you’ll need is a screwdriver. Many new thermostats have wire terminals that simply click the wire into place, but it might be useful to have a smaller screwdriver at hand too, to disconnect the wires from your old thermostat.

2. Turn off the power

Since you’ll be working with electrical wires, it is essential that you make sure to turn off the power to the existing thermostat before you begin. The circuit breaker to your heating or air conditioning system should be marked on the main service panel.

3. Remove the old thermostat

  • Remove the face of the old device so you can access the wires

  • Take a picture of the old wiring 

  • Disconnect the wires

  • Remove the old mount from the wall

At this point, make sure to secure the wires to prevent them from slipping back into the wall. A good way to do this is to tape them to the wall while you get your new thermostat ready to be installed.

4. Install your new thermostat

  • Install the new thermostat mount.

  • Wire the thermostat by connecting each wire to its corresponding terminal. The terminals will be labeled, make sure to refer to your photo to make sure you are connecting the right wire to each terminal. The manufacturer manual might also provide a wiring diagram.

  • Tighten any loose wire connections, make sure all the wire sheathings are in good condition, and push any extra wire length back into the wall.  

  • Now attach the new control unit or thermostat face to the base.

5. Turn the power back on

You’re almost there!

6. Configure and test your new thermostat

Make sure you are following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that your new thermostat is working and that your heating and air conditioning unit is cycling properly. 

Potential downsides to DIY

Making the wrong electrical connections might lead to blowing a circuit breaker or damage to your new thermostat. And depending on the type of device you have chosen, the task might be less straightforward than expected. For example, if you are replacing an old thermostat with a new, smart one, you’ll need to make sure that your home has a C-Wire, that can provide the extra power that a thermostat with more functionality needs.

Know when to call a professional

A professional will be able to ensure that your new thermostat is installed correctly, and will also be able to advise you on the correct placement and settings for the device, helping you save money and energy in the long run. If you think you would benefit from the help of a qualified electrician, contact us. Home Assist provides Fully qualified experienced electricians across the North of England to help with a wide range of electrical installations and repairs.

Scott Flannigan

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