So want to upgrade your home to be more energy-efficient and a new smart thermostat seems like a good place to start. Here are some things that you will want to know if you are installing the new thermostat on your own.

You’ve read articles and you have done the math on the savings and now you are ready get started. Before you go buy your new smart thermostat you will want to make sure your home and heating and cooling system are compatible with the new thermostat. Of course once that is done you will want to make the install process as quick and painless as possible.

Is Your Home Compatible with a Smart Thermostat?

First you will want to look at your existing thermostat to see if it is smart home ready. If you are sure that your thermostat is not smart home ready then consult an electrician because it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t upgrade. You just might have to make some changes to the existing wiring.

1. Remove the cover of your thermostat and look at the wires.
2. If you are seeing thick wires banded together by wired nuts, then a smart thermostat probably won’t work in your home.
3. If the wires are marked with the letters “C, W, R, Rh, or Rc,” or is marked with the word “common,” then you should be set for a smart thermostat.

Can’t find a “C” wire? Call a local electrician and they should be able to tell you if you can rewire your HVAC system to get power to your thermostat. Keep in mind that just because your current thermostat doesn’t match up perfectly with compatibility doesn’t mean you can’t still have your smart thermostat, you may just need some professional help.

Checking the Compatibility of your HVAC System

Your thermostat should have the voltages listed on the inside of the faceplate. If your current thermostat indicates you have a direct line or a high voltage system (using 110v or 240v), then a smart thermostat most likely will not work for your home. Whenever you are unsure we suggest that you call an electrician or an HVAC expert.

Don’t Forget to Check Your Wi-Fi Speeds

You will most likely want to upgrade your router if it is more than 3 years old. Routers older than this may not be able to handle the additional demand of smart-home tech. You can also check your internet speeds at speedtest.net. Not sure? You can always upgrade later after you test out your smart thermostat.

How to Uninstall Your Existing Thermostat

First you want to locate your homes circuit breaker and switch off the power to your thermostat. Do not do anything until you’ve turned off the power to your thermostat! (Important Note: Some thermostats are operated by batteries and will remain active until you take the batteries out. Remove the batteries).
Remove your thermostat’s faceplate. It’s a good idea to take a picture of how it looks now to avoid confusion during installation later.
Label the wires connected to the base plate of your current thermostat. Remove jumper wires (the wires that connect other wires). Unhook the wires from your thermostat. Remove the base plate from your wall, taking care that the labels do not fall off the wires.

How to install your smart thermostat

Before you install your new smart thermostat, you’ll want to patch up your wall with spackle or paint. That will just make things look nicer, and it’s easier when the device is out of the way.

When you go to install your smart thermostat, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to secure your new thermostat to its base plate, then to the wall.

Connect all your labeled wires to the correct ports (again, refer to your instructions). Only connect the labeled wires from the old setup. Do not connect new or additional wires to the new thermostat. The “C” wire may not be used and, in some cases, may need to be added during the installation process. You can reference your picture for reference, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you get the help you need from a home professional such as an electrician.

Installing a Smart Thermostat in Your HomeMake sure your thermostat is secure and flush against your wall. Turn your power back on, go back to the thermostat, it should now be able to walk you through a step-by-step setup for its design. You will then want to download your respective app and connect your thermostat to the Wi-Fi.

Looking for Help?

You should feel confident about your electrical and technical skills if you’re going to tackle this project. A mistake could mean destroying expensive equipment or worse yet zapping yourself so please be careful. If you don’t have the time or need some help, feel free to contact the professionals at Solar Max.

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