Installing a new smart thermostat can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The hard part is getting from behind your old thermostat, and with the right tools and some preparation, you’ll have no problem at all. In this guide we show you how to remove an old Honeywell Lyric or Nest Learning Thermostat (or any other brand), connect wires to a new base, mount and attach that base on the wall — then test and calibrate so everything works properly before calling your electrician on over!
Prepare the wall.
Before you install your Nest Thermostat, make sure that the wall is clean and dry. It’s a good idea to use a damp cloth to wipe down any dust or residue that might be on the wall, as this will help ensure a strong connection between the base and mounting plate.
Once your wall is ready, use your level against it to make sure that everything lines up properly before you begin applying any pressure. If there are any gaps in between the base and mounting plate, you can use shims (small pieces of cardboard or plastic) to fill them in so they’re even with one another when installed.
It’s also important that both surfaces are clean before installing—if one surface has some dirt or grime on it while attaching another surface without cleaning first then there could be an issue later on down the line—so take this step seriously!
Remove old thermostat.
- Remove the cover plate.
- Remove the wires connected to the old thermostat.
- Remove the batteries from your old thermostat, if applicable (not all models have them).
- Remove any screws that hold your old thermostat in place, then pull out your old thermostat and discard it (make sure to place it in an appropriate recycling receptacle!).
Install new thermostat by following these instructions:
- Find a place on your wall where you can easily reach inside, but where no one will be able to see inside when they walk by;
- Attach mounting plate with included hardware;
- Slide on Nest Smart Thermostat;
- Connect wires according to color codes listed below (if there are no wires coming out of back side of unit);
- Turn power back on at breaker box and test operation!
Connect wires to new base.
Connect wires to new base. The installation manual will tell you where to connect each wire, but there are a few things that you need to know before you do so. First, make sure that the wire is long enough for its destination and not too long (you don’t want it hanging down inside your wall).
Second, make sure that the end of the wire is in good shape; if it’s frayed or damaged in any way (such as by being cut with scissors), replace it with another one from your stash.
Third, make sure that all three wires going into your thermostat have been connected correctly—it’s easy for this step to be missed if you’re distracted by other tasks at hand!
Mount and attach your base.
- Mount the base on the wall using the screws that came with it and mounting hardware that’s appropriate for your wall type (drywall or studs).
- Attach wires from your thermostat to your heating system using wire nuts provided in your HVAC contractor kit, if applicable. (If you don’t have an HVAC contractor kit, you’ll need to purchase one.)
- Test the thermostat by pressing the “On” button at least five times within 10 seconds; then press and hold it until you see a “HEAT” message on its display screen, followed by “C”, then “F”, then “71”. This indicates that all systems are go! You’re ready to calibrate it further if needed.
Test and calibrate.
To make sure the thermostat is working properly, test it and calibrate it before you leave the store. A good rule of thumb is to set the temperature to a little higher than what you need while testing. This will help prevent over cooling and unnecessary energy use as well as setting up your system for success.
Once you get home with your new Nest Learning Thermostat, download the Nest app and adjust settings from there. You can also use this app to turn off alerts that might be irritating (like when someone is at home).
The hard part of installing a smart thermostat is getting from behind the old one!
While it might seem like a daunting task to tackle the installation of your smart thermostat, it’s actually quite easy!
There are plenty of online resources for how to do this yourself. If you’re still not sure about doing it yourself, consider hiring an HVAC professional to help. They will be able to advise you on which type of smart thermostat would be best for your home and help with the installation process.
Once you’ve installed your new smart thermostat, use the app to connect it to Wi-Fi. You can then configure settings and watch over the temperature of your home from anywhere in the world. As we discussed, installing a new smart thermostat is more than just swapping out an old one—it requires some thought and planning ahead on your part! But if you follow our advice here at Green Living HQ, we promise that installing this type of device will be a breeze.
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