Installing a Programmable Thermostat

Here in Minnesota, energy efficiency is pretty critical to keeping your heating bills down in the winter. In our last house, we were able to keep our monthly gas bills down to about $120-$140 during the coldest months of the year. We’re a little worried to find out what it will cost to heat this place over the winter.

One thing that definitely helps, however, is a programmable thermostat. This is the type of home improvement project I definitely recommend to everyone. It’s very easy, and programmable thermostats range anywhere from the $35-$100 range. Most houses will be served perfectly well with a $35 unit – especially if you keep a pretty routine schedule week to week (i.e. work 8-5 weekdays, home most weekends).

After we painted the living room, our old thermostat was left just kind of dangling in place. We had pulled it off to paint under it, but never hung it back up because we knew we would be replacing it.

Dangling in place.

This is kind of a problem, since I’m pretty sure the mercury thermometers in these things need to be mounted upright to work properly.

Right Side Up.

Replacing one of these is as easy as pulling 3-5 wires off the old unit and screwing them onto the new unit. Even if you have no idea what you’re doing and have to sit down to read the entire instruction booklet, this will take you no longer than an hour. All the wires are low-voltage, so there is no risk of receiving an electric shock. Folks confident doing this kind of thing can be done in 15 minutes or less.

New Thermostat

No, it’s not really 75 degrees inside our house, but I’d had my grubby hands all over this thing, so it was reading a higher than normal temperature. After a few hours, it dropped down to a more appropriate temperature.

Obviously, we still need to fill some holes left in the plaster from the previous couple of thermostats that had been mounted in this same location.

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