How to Install a Modern Thermostat


Whether you are facing the cold of winter or the heat of summer, a thermostat can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The thermostats of today are far more advanced than those old dials on the wall. Have you considered upgrading? Wondering how it’s done? Follow these steps and your home will be nice and cozy in no time!

What You’ll Need

  • Drill and Drill Bits
  • Screwdrivers
  • A Small Level
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • A Skewer
  • A Pencil
  • Batteries (for the thermostat)

Step 1: Remove the Old Thermostat

The very first thing you have to do is turn the electricity off that runs to the thermostat. This should be your first step in all electrical projects. Dismount the thermostat from the backplate. Start by taking out the screws. Before you lift the thermostat, make sure to break the paint seal around the casing of the thermostat. This will keep the paint on your wall from peeling as you remove the thermostat.


Make sure to properly dispose of your thermostat. An old thermostat may have mercury in it. If it does you need to recycle it properly. Click here to find a location where you can dispose of your mercury thermostat.

Step 2: Remove the Old Backplate

Before you remove the backplate, be sure to take a picture of how your wires were set up. In this case, the thermostat only controls heating in the house so there are only two wires. If your home has heating and cooling then you will have more wires. Make sure you write down where each wire is attached. This will make installing them easier.

ss2Unscrew the back plate. As you lift the backplate from the wall, be sure to grab the wires. You do not want them to fall back into the wall. A good idea is to tape the wires to the wall.

Step 3: Install the New Backplate

Next, put the wires through the opening in the backplate. Make sure backplate is level and screw it into the wall. Your new thermostat should have come with instructions and a quick start guide. Follow them to ss3ensure the wires have been connected properly. The markings on your thermostat will correspond with the markings on the instructions.  Simply pull down the tab, insert the proper wire, and release the tab.

Step 4: Install and Program the New Thermostat

Finally, attach the thermostat to the backplate. Insert new batteries into the thermostat and turn on the power. Follow your on-screen prompts and instruction booklet. Then you are all ready to go!


This project is simple and doesn’t take a lot of tools or know-how. Tiny upgrades like this one can make your home great! Have you thought about upgrading the outlets around your home? How about installing a new light fixture?

Learn how to do all of these great projects and more at Home & Garden For Mere Mortals!

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