Smart technology is a growing market in America. By the end of 2018, over 45 million homes across the country had installed smart devices.
And why not? Fitting smart devices in your home can save you both time and money. They also give you the power to control your home from anywhere in the world, so you no longer need to panic about leaving the heating on!
This is why smart thermostats are among the most popular gadgets for homeowners. In fact, 63% of homeowners have considered installing a smart thermostat in their homes.
If you’ve just bought yourself one of these handy gadgets, you need to know just how to install a smart thermostat. Well, you’re in the right place! Read our installation guide to find out everything you need to know.
How Did We Arrive at a Smart Thermostat?
Most of us are familiar with what a thermostat does in our home. It is the device that controls our home’s temperature. It runs the heating and any airconditioning systems.
The most traditional thermostats used to be manually operated. This meant that whenever you wanted to change the heating temperature you would have to adjust it on the thermostat control panel. And there are obvious downsides to this system.
You can’t always pre-empt a cold snap or heatwave and most systems take a while to readjust their temperatures. Manual operation thermostats also mean that you can’t pre-set your thermostat. So if you wanted the house to be warm in the morning you would have to leave the heating on all night and pay a hefty bill!
This is why manual operation thermostats, quickly made way for programmable thermostats. These are in most standard homes now. They allow you to set a program for your heating and cooling from the control panel.
Let’s say, for example, you’re out all day at work but you want the house to be warm when you come home. You can program the heating to come on thirty minutes before you get back.
This function is extremely handy, but what happens if your plans change? Or if the weather suddenly turns and you aren’t at home? Well, this is where smart thermostats come in.
What Does a Smart Thermostat Do?
Like programmable thermostats, you can set a smart thermostat in advance from the control panel that you install at home. But this panel also connects to the internet.
This internet connection means that you can control the thermostat remotely using apps on your smartphone or tablet. So if your plans change you can alter the pre-programmed settings without having to dash home! Sounds useful right?
These devices are all about making your life easier. If you’re chilling on the couch and start to get a bit too chilly, simply use voice commands to adjust the temperature!
Some smart thermostats also have extra features, such as movement sensors. These allow them to sense when people are moving around the house. They then adjust the temperature to the right setting for these peak times and save energy when the house is empty.
They will also monitor your heating and air-con systems and send you alerts if something is wrong with them.
Why Install a Smart Thermostat?
There are loads of benefits to installing a smart thermostat.
As we’ve already mentioned, it gives you remote control over your heating so you can have the house ready when you come home from work or from a holiday. But a snug home isn’t the only thing you’ll enjoy with a smart thermostat!
All this saving doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. The more you use a smart thermostat, the more it will adjust to your personal heating preferences. It will then use these to adjust the heating automatically and efficiently, so you don’t even have to think about it.
Finally, your smart thermostat doesn’t just gather data from inside your home to regulate the perfect temperature. It also uses its internet connection to stay in tune with weather forecasts. This means that it will adjust your home’s temperature depending on what it happening outside.
Neat, isn’t it? So once you’ve got your smart thermostat ready, it’s time to install it. Let’s take a look at how to install a thermostat.
What You Need When Installing a New Thermostat
Smart-technology might seem like something fancy you’d find in Bill Gates’ home – and you would! But installing it is actually very simple.
You will need:
- Your smart thermostat (obviously)
- The instruction manual – you should always read this before installing it to ensure you use it properly
- Screwdrivers for loosening screw terminals and the base plate
- A smartphone with a working camera
- A spirit level
If you need to make new screw holes, you’ll also need a drill and a pencil to mark up the wall.
Before you start installing your smart thermostat you should make sure that you turn off your furnace using the service switch. This should be on the side of your furnace. Doing this stops you from shorting any wires while you install the new thermostat.
Removing Your Old Thermostat
Once your furnace service switch is off, you’re ready to install your wifi thermostat.
Start by removing your existing thermostat’s faceplate. This should just clip onto the base plate so you can pop it off. Underneath you’ll see that the wires are each connected into screw terminals.
Before you do anything else use your phone to take a photo of this setup. This will make connecting the wires to your new thermostat a lot easier.
Then you can start loosening each of the screw terminals. This is quite a fiddly job so make sure you have a small screwdriver to work with.
You only need to loosen the terminals a bit and then you should be able to pull each wire out easily. If the wire isn’t coming out then don’t force it. Keep loosening the terminal until the wire comes out easily.
Once all your wires are loose you can remove the base plate. To do this simply unscrew the screws holding it in place.
How to Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are often smaller than old thermostat’s base plates. Because of this a lot of them come with a wide base to fit the base plate into. This just helps to cover up any marks on the wall where the original thermostat was attached.
Line up your smart thermostat with the old screw holes or make new ones in the right places. If you’re making new screw holes then you must ensure that the wires still come through the center of your thermostat. And make sure to keep the base plate level when screwing it in.
Connect your wires to the terminals on the new base plate. You can check your photo of the old terminals to make sure you’re connecting them in the right places. Not all smart thermostats have screw terminals now, so you might be able to simply click your wires into the terminals.
Once you have connected all the wires you can click the smart thermostat onto its base plate. This should snap straight on without any screws.
Finally, you can turn the furnace back on and your thermostat should wake up!
Connecting Your Thermostat
Most smart thermostats are very quick to set up. The interface should light up and you’ll have a couple of decisions to make to get it going.
You’ll need to choose your preferred language settings and select which internet connection to use. If you have a WiFi password then the thermostat may ask you for this at this point. Connecting to the internet will mean that you can access the thermostat controls from an app.
To make sure you’re controlling the right thermostat, your device might ask you to give it a name. Pick something that won’t get confusing – for example, ‘kitchen’ for a smart device in the kitchen. It might not be very creative but it’ll keep things simple in the long run!
Finally, your device will ask you when your home was last remodeled.
This tells the thermostat how well-insulated your house is. Houses built in the 1960s, for example, will have worse insulation than a house built in the 1990s. And this means that they’ll take a lot more heating!
Setting Your Temperature
The last thing you need to do is to set the perfect temperature for your home.
Set the temperature that you want the house to be when you’re not at home. This involves picking the highest temperature you want it to be when you’re not in. But you can also set the lowest temperature as well to stop your house from freezing during the day.
Have a look through your thermostat’s manual to get to grips with any symbols or alert signs that might flash up on the screen. For example, the screen may change color when the furnace is on. Understanding these symbols will help you to make the most of your new smart thermostat.
For the first couple of days, you will need to adjust the temperature manually. Ideally, try and stick to a routine when doing this. For example, adjust it when you leave for work in the morning and when you come home in the evening.
As time passes, your thermostat will start to pick up on these patterns and reflect them in the temperatures it sets. If you have a thermostat with a motion sensor then this will also use motion activity to control the temperature. So if no one passes it for a while it might assume that no one is in and reduce the temperature.
But don’t panic if you forget to adjust the temperature when you leave in the morning. The beauty of this device is that you can adjust it from your phone wherever you are!
Using Your Thermostat Remotely
Controlling your thermostat from your phone or tablet is quick and easy. All you need is an internet connection and you’re away!
Download the right app for your thermostat. If you aren’t sure which one you need then double-check online or in the manual.
To access your thermostat you will need to use your energy account’s password and log in. Simply tap these in and you’re away! You’ll be able to change your home’s temperature and check your energy usage all from your phone.
If you have more than one smart thermostat in the house, you can even control the temperature of individual rooms from miles away. If that isn’t smart we don’t know what is!
Ready, Steady, Heat!
Now you know how to install a smart thermostat in your home you can start enjoying the perks of ultimate temperature control today!
Say so long to waiting for the house to warm up after a holiday. And say hello to more time on your hands and cheaper energy bills to boot! What’s not to like?
To find out more about using smart technology in your home, take a look at our five easy steps for creating the ultimate smart home.