Is programmable thermostat installation an appropriate do-it-yourself project for the average homeowner? The old-school manual thermostats now rapidly becoming extinct were less complex and generally not a challenge to install. Programmable thermostat installation can be a very different experience, however.
While a standard manual thermostat is basically a switch that simply turns the furnace or AC on and off, a programmable (or “smart”) thermostat performs many additional functions which may impose special installation requirements. A qualified HVAC service technician is trained and experienced in this technology and arrives with the specific tools and techniques to get the job done right.
For the average homeowner, however, programmable thermostat installation may not be the best place to practice DIY techniques. Here are some reasons why:
- Voltage requirements may differ. Programmable thermostat installation requires a low-voltage, 24-volt power source. Existing wiring for the previous manual thermostat may provide voltage that differs from the programmable model.
- Not enough wires. Standard manual thermostats typically require just four wires. Smarter thermostat models, however, require an additional wire, known as the C-wire, to provide continuous power to the thermostat. Running an additional new wire from the proper voltage source to the new thermostat is generally best left to a trained technician.
- Advanced features. The functions of higher technology incorporated in a new unit may impose special considerations for proper thermostat installation. These include Wi-Fi connectivity, compatibility and interface with smart home systems, and maintenance issues. In order to get the full benefit of all features included in these more complex units and systems, professional installation may be required — or at least strongly advisable.
- Potential warranty issues. A DIY programmable thermostat installation could violate the terms of your HVAC warranty. If HVAC components like the furnace or air conditioner are damaged by improper thermostat installation, warranty coverage may be denied, and the homeowner/do-it-yourselfer may have to bear the entire cost of repair or replacement.
To ensure you get all the benefits of today’s advanced technology, contact the experts at Detmer and Sons for qualified, professional programmable thermostat installation.