How to Install a Smart Thermostat (to Save Energy)

 Another addition to the “smart home” here at the SSL Homestead and we love it! Using a smart thermostat can be a great way to control heating and cooling costs and reduce your monthly energy bills! With our intentions to get off the grid someday and eventually get Wind and solar power for our home I am always looking for ways to reduce our energy costs and save us some money!

For years this has been our thermostat, boring, ugly, inefficient, and just plain no fun. This is the thermostat that came with our home and was no doubt the one installed when the home was build 27 years ago. It is digital at least but has no options for scheduling temperature changes.

WiFi- Color Touchscreen Thermostat – 3 inch color

And this… the new one, much nicer looking and much easier to use. Now, I know there are a lot of choices out there when looking for thermostats and also many different price options. If you are just looking fort the ability to be able to program different temps for different days of the week you can get a 7 day programmable thermostat for much cheaper. But we wanted more control; full control of the temperatures whether we were home or not home. This Honeywell Smart Wifi thermostat fit the bill. After looking at the competition (mainly Nest) we decided to go with this model, it was about $100 cheaper and met our needs.

First things first, we need to get under the hood. Pop the front cover off of whatever old hideous thermostat you have. You should now see some wires, if you have just heating it might only be 2 or 3, if you have heating and AC you should see 5-7 wires depending on your setup. Either way, Honeywell makes this easy. They send you a bunch of stickers that match the labels on the thermostat so carefully remove each wire here using a screwdriver and then label it appropriately as you remove it. Once all of your wires have been removed and labelled go ahead and take off the entire baseplate from the wall. To watch the video of the installation please click here.

Now you are ready to put on the new baseplate for the new thermostat. Just attach it using the provided screws and/or drywall anchors. Next, connect the wires to the appropriate terminals using your labels as a guide. Each wire should line right up to a labelled terminal on the new baseplate.

 Press on the smart thermostat firmly to the baseplate until it snaps into place. Your new thermostat is now installed! It should now power up and give you a welcome screen with some info. You can then download the app or go to a computer to setup your account. Once this is done complete the setup steps before first use of the thermostat.

Once everything is setup you can control your home’s temps from anywhere in the world! I would recommend setting up a schedule for heating and cooling first right from the app so that you can immediately start saving money. While your at work, turn the heat down about 5 degrees and then an hour before you get home have it turn back up. At night, turn it down as much as you can comfortably bear and have it turn back on in the morning before you are awake. Just using a simple schedule can save you so much on heating and cooling!

The home screen on the thermostat and the app home screen are almost the same and offer you all the main controls you will need regularly. At a glance you can see the temp inside, outside, humidity, and weather. You can change the temp and deviate from your schedule if you are home on a day off or just feeling like a manual adjustment for the time. It will automatically revert back to your schedule at the next scheduled temp change time.  Now my wife and I can fight over the temp in the house from our phones!

WiFi- Color Touchscreen Thermostat – 3 inch color

We have been using this thermostat for a few months now and absolutely love it. This is an investment that will pay for itself in savings over the first 2 years easily. There are also so many other expansions in the smart home realm that work with this such as voice control through Amazon Echo and other smart products that can all work together. If you are interested in watching the full setup click here for the video. More info on the Honeywell smart thermostat here.