There are many digital thermostats on the market today. These can be used to replace most conventional low voltage and millivolt thermostats. One of the advantages to a programmable thermostat is the ability to save energy and money on your utility bills. According to the the U.S. Department of Energy, a programmable thermostat can reduce heating costs by up to 35% and cooling costs by up to 25%.
Your savings will largely depend on the length of your energy saving program periods and the temperatures set. Programmable thermostats automatically change the thermostat’s set temperature between comfort levels and energy saving levels at specified times, according to the programs you set up.
Generally, to save energy, you would set up four program periods for each day — two comfort programs (day/night) and two energy saving programs (work/sleep), plus different settings for weekends. Read all instructions before installing. You will need batteries, so purchase at the same time you purchase your thermostat.
Replacing Your Thermostat
You must turn off the electricity to the appliance before installing. Do not turn the appliance back on until the installation is completed. Get your house toasty if it is cold outside before turning off the heater.
Remove the old unit from the wall (figure 1). Note the letters printed near the terminals of the old thermostat that will correspond to the new unit. Attach labels to each wire for identification (figure 2). Do not let the bare wires touch each other or parts on thermostat.
Hold the base against the wall, with the wires coming through so it is convenient for rewiring. Position the base for best appearance (to hide any marks from old thermostat) and mark where the mounting screws will be located (figure 3). Digital thermostats do not need to be level to work but the unit will look better if leveled.
Drill holes where the mounting screws will go (figure 4). If you do not hit a stud use the drywall anchors that came with the unit. Attach the base to the wall. Attach wires to the terminals that are outlined in the wiring diagram that came with the unit. Mount the main unit to the base and turn on the appliance. Some units have an override button, use it to test the thermostat. If you run into problems call your supplier or the manufacture of your unit.
Tools & Materials: Screwdriver, drill with 3/16″ bit, and a level.