Wiring for New Thermostat


Like many do-it-yourselfers, my house was built around the time of the dinosaurs and much of the equipment was so antiquated that replacement was a matter of necessity. I noticed that my thermostat, a non-digital dial type that I am pretty sure was installed my Thomas Edison, wasn't quite working up to snuff.

It was time to replace it, and while I was no expert at electrical wiring, I was determined and dedicated. As the temperatures begin to fluctuate and winter turns to spring you may be thinking of replacing an old thermostat too.

I want to make sure that everyone understands that this is for an furnace and A/C unit and not a heat pump system. A heat pump system is wired a little...

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First, you need to read the manual and determine the type of HVAC system you have and the thermostat you are installing to determine the number if wires you will need for the bundle.
load (outer wall), and out of direct sunlight. Another place where thermostats should not be installed near sources of heat or sources of something that cools or blows cool air. All these things will cause problems and you will find yourself either too hot or too cold because the thermostat will never work properly if it is not installed in the proper location inside the house.

After you get the wire and all the tools listed above then you need to fish the wire through the wall and to the either the crawl space, basement, and in some cases the attic. The key is that you must get the new wire from where the tstat is located to where the gas furnace or air handler is located. If you are lucky then you can use the old thermostat wire and attach it to the conductor bundles securely and use the...

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Download the Sensi app on your smart phone or tablet for easy, step-by-step installation instructions. Learn more by downloading the Sensi Installation Guide which walks you through wiring and connecting to Wi-Fi.

If you are not connecting your Sensi thermostat to Wi-Fi, follow the instructions below to wire and correctly configure your thermostat for your heating and cooling equipment.

1. Turn off power

Turn off the power to your heating and air conditioning system at your fuse box, or flip the switch next to your furnace. To confirm power is off, try to turn on heating or cooling by adjusting the temperature on your old thermostat.

2. Remove existing thermostat face plate

Remove the face plate using a screwdriver or by pushing the pressure latch. Some face plates pull off while others need to be released using a screwdriver.

3. Take a photo of your wiring

Take a photo of your existing wiring before removing your thermostat from the...

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When I install any new thermostat, I always take a look at one thing first: the c wire. Why? This thermostat wire is used by Wi-Fi models, like the ever popular Nest. But not every thermostat has a c-wire, which can become a major issue.

What is a C-Wire, and Do I Have One?

In short, this wire provides power to a thermostat. Since older models were often dials, they didn’t have a need for immense power consumption. Models now have LED screens, a variety of settings and features that make controlling a home’s heating and cooling a breeze. In technical terms, the c-wire is the 5th wire and supplies a 24vac power source.

Smart thermostats require this wire to run properly.

When removing an old thermostat, the easiest way to find if the c wire is present is to look at the number of connecting wires available. If you count 5 wires, you’re good-to-go. Typically, the c wire will be the blue wire that is connected to the thermostat, but colors may...

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Thermostat Wire Connections
Electrical Question: I am wiring a thermostat, How do I know which wires to connect to the terminals?

I am purchasing a home which I noticed the thermostat is missing and the wiring is there but no thermostat. I have replaced the one in my current home and used the old thermostat wiring set up to do the new one and it works fine. The thermostat which I am wanting to install is a Honeywell programmable. My question is how do I know which wires go to what terminals since the instructions say do not worry about the colors, use the old one to set up the new one, but there is no old thermostat there.

This electrical question came from: Sid, a Homeowner from St Lucie, Florida.

Additional Comments: Your website has great articles for the homeowner and the novice.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Sid.

Yes Sid, that is a bit odd. The wire colors and number of wires are typically the same as shown below in the...

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In this article, I am going to explain the function and wiring of the most common home climate control thermostats. This information is designed to help you understand the function of the thermostat to assist you when installing a new one, or replacing or up-grading an old one. We will focus mainly on the basics of home heating / cooling thermostats, and first of all, I will explain the function of them.

The thermostat is the control device that provides a simple user interface with the internal workings of your homes climate control system. By the use of an adjustable set-point, the job of the thermostat is to turn on either the heating or cooling system to maintain the desired room temperature in the home, and to turn off the system when the desired temperature is achieved.

The most basic of systems (such as an older ‘heat only’ forced air / gas furnace with a standing pilot light) only need two wires for control. They connect to a two-wire thermostat (generally a...

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I just got a two stage furnace installed, the installer hasnt installed a two stage thermostat yet because they were out of stock. He will come back later.

My question is...Can the old one stage thermostat wires be used for the new two stage thermostat? Or do they have to run new wires?

they will need one extra wire for proper wiring of a two stage. if you have an extra wire in the bundle, no problem. if not, then yes they will need to run a new wire.

make sure they actually put up a two stage stat if that is what you paid for. (and i hope you did). they can wire a single stage t-stat, which will control the stages via a timer. although workable, not the way to go for maximum comfort.

good luck.

I paid for a two stage thermostat, they brought over a single stage one and i caught it before they did the installation. I refused that and they will come back to do the two stage install. Can't the furnace control the...
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Thermostat Wiring Information

You want to purchase a new thermostat, but you're not sure where to start. Well, we understand your confusion and we're here to help. The first step is determining what type of thermostat would be compatible with your existing thermostat and the equipment it controls. Easier said than done, right? No worries, we've written this article to help you correctly identify your type of heating and cooling system. The main types of heating and cooling systems we'll be covering are single stage, heat pump and multistage.

Typically, the easiest way to determine thermostat compatibility is to look at the wires present in your existing thermostat . Start by taking off your thermostat cover and counting the wires. The next step is determining which terminals are connected to the wires. If you're able to do this, then you're well on your way to finding a replacement thermostat that will suitably fit your needs.

The color of the wires in your...

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When in the market for a new Honeywell thermostat, make sure you understand your Honeywell thermostat wiring needs before upgrading.

Q: I installed my new programmable thermostat, but it won’t turn on.

A: If you plan to upgrade to a new thermostat make sure you have the proper number of wires available, otherwise your new thermostat won’t work. If you do need additional wires, you will want to consider how difficult installing new wires will be for your application, and if you need to budget for an electrician or hvac tech to install the proper wiring.

Modern electronic thermostats are no different from any other technology, in that they can do more, but can also seem complicated to install and understand. One comfort to know is the basic wiring hasn’t changed much, with exception of an additional wire to get some programmable digital thermostats operating.

Note: For specific thermostat model installation manuals and wiring instructions, refer to our...

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