6 things you should do before you upgrade to a smart thermostat
If you’re in the market for a new thermostat, you may be considering a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats offer a number of features that traditional thermostats don’t, and they can be controlled remotely via an app on your phone. However, there are a few things you should know before you upgrade to a smart thermostat. Here are 6 tips to ensure a smooth upgrade process.
Confirm your system has a low voltage thermostat (24v)
Before you purchase a smart thermostat, you should make sure that your HVAC system is compatible. Smart thermostats are only designed to work with low voltage HVAC systems, which are also known as central heat or central air. A good way to tell if your HVAC system is compatible is to check for one single thermostat in your house. If you have multiple thermostats in your home, it is likely that you have a line voltage system, which is not compatible with smart thermostats. By taking the time to confirm compatibility, you can avoid any potential problems down the road.
Determine if you have enough wires
When upgrading to a smart thermostat, it is important to check compatibility and wire availability. Many users find that they need a wire to plug into the C-terminal in order to provide continuous power to the thermostat. This may not be present on the thermostat being replaced. The next thing you should do, once you determine your HVAC system is compatible in the first place, is to determine if you have a sufficient number of wires. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with the absence of a C-wire. By following these simple tips, you can ensure a smooth transition to a smart thermostat.
If you are not sure, you can check inside your furnace or behind your current thermostat. If you have enough wires and they are not being used, then you may not need an adapter or new wire. However, if you do need an adapter or new wire, you may want to consider hiring a pro. By making sure your wiring is compatible before you purchase a new thermostat, you can avoid any potential issues down the road.
Take good photos of your existing thermostat wiring
It’s easy to get excited when you’re installing a new smart thermostat and overlook the importance of taking pictures of your old thermostat’s wiring. Every smart thermostat installation manual includes this step for a reason – if something goes wrong during the installation process, having clear photos of your old thermostat’s wiring will make it much easier to put everything back the way it was. Even if you don’t run into any problems during installation, it’s always a good idea to have documentation of how everything was originally wired in case you ever need to call customer support. So before you start taking anything apart, take a few minutes to snap some good, clear photos of your existing wiring set-up. It may not be the most exciting part of the installation process, but it’s definitely worth doing.
Consider what will happen to the wall behind your existing thermostat
In some homes, upgrading to a smart thermostat is no big deal. But in other homes, you might have to take on an additional “wall repair” project in addition to the thermostat replacement. The most common problems revealed when upgrading to a smart thermostat are wallpaper damage and mismatched paint that won’t be fully covered by the new smart thermostat.
Good news: most smart thermostats today ship with a “wall plate” for covering up the mismatched paint or damage revealed by swapping your thermostat. Chances are, the wall plate has you covered. So, if you’re thinking about upgrading to a smart thermostat, don’t let the fear of wall repairs hold you back. In most cases, the process is simple and straightforward – and you might even find that you enjoy the process of giving your home a little bit of a makeover.
Have the correct tools
When removing your current thermostat, be careful not to snap off any of the tips. If you do, you’ll need to make new ones that are suitable for inserting into the new thermostat. To do this, strip the plastic sheath off the wire so the copper bit is exposed. Then, insert the copper bit into the terminal on the new thermostat. With a little care, you can avoid damaging your thermostat wires and keep your home’s climate control system running smoothly.
Decide weather you should hire a pro
If you’re thinking about upgrading your thermostat, it’s worth considering all of the work that pros can do to improve your home’s comfort and efficiency. In addition to simply swapping out your old thermostat for a new one, they can also service your HVAC system, run new wires (including a C-wire if needed), and even move your thermostat to a more ideal location. Of all of these services, I can personally recommend having your thermostat moved to a better location – it can make a big difference in both comfort and energy savings. But no matter what work you have done, an upgraded thermostat will undoubtedly be a worthwhile investment.
How King can help
We offer a variety of thermostats, including smart thermostats that can be controlled from a phone or computer. We also have a team of experienced technicians who can install the thermostat in no time. In addition, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if there are any problems with the installation, we will fix it for free. As a result, King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is a great option for anyone in the Chicago area who is looking to upgrade their thermostat.