Apr 032009

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Replacing an old, single-setting thermostat with a programmable model is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save big energy dollars.

Such a replacement improves on the automatic temperature control of your home and keeps you from wasting valuable energy. It allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day or week.

Keep reading to learn more, including how you can get the most out of your programmable thermostat and how to install it.

How does a programmable thermostat work?

A typical thermostat that can be programmed has one cycle for weekdays and another for weekends. For each cycle, the thermostat lets you set two to four time settings and temperatures that correspond to when you wake up, leave for work, return home and go to sleep.

Which type of programmable thermostat should I buy?

When buying a thermostat with the capability to program, look for one with a manual override and a hold temperature button. These features allow you to maintain a temperature that’s not specified in the programmed cycles.

This can be handy for vacations where you’re home during the day or out with long absences. Push another button and your thermostat returns to its regular cycle.

Will the programmable thermostat work with my heating system?

Yes, they are designed to work with most heating and air conditioning systems that have 2, 3, 4 or 5 wires connected to the thermostat. If your house has electric baseboard heating, don’t attempt to install the thermostat because it won’t work with the high voltage associated with baseboard heat.

Can I install it myself?

Yes, all programmable thermostats should come with a set of instructions that tell you step-by-step how to remove your existing thermostat and connect the new one. Before you begin the installation process, remember to turn off the power to the furnace at the breaker panel or fuse box.

When you remove the old thermostat from the wall, grab the wires that were connected to it and keep them outside the wall. Separate the new thermostat from its base and then run the wires through the base and attach it to the wall.

Once the base is mounted to the wall, consult your instructions to find out which colored wire should connect where on your new thermostat. Remember to install backup batteries to keep the thermostat from losing its program in case of a power outage.

When you’ve completed attaching the wires, affix the thermostat to the base, begin programming your heating and cooling cycles and start saving money!

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 Posted by at 5:24 pm