How to Install a Central Heating Thermostat

  • 3-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 200-400
What You'll Need
A thermostat compatible with your heating system
Wire strippers

A central heating thermostat works to prevent your central heating system from working unnecessarily by shutting the system down once the desired temperature is achieved. This lowers your electric bill and extends the life of your heating system. If you have a central heating system without a thermostat, you should install one to increase the efficiency and to save more on your bill. Follow the steps given below to learn how.

Step 1 – Take Appropriate Precautions

Before starting work on your heating system, make sure that it is powered off. In case of an electric system, shut off the main breaker. In case of a gas powered system shut off the gas inlet. Using a drill can be a risky business; wear gloves for protection and make sure that the power cables are not anywhere near a wet area. Since connecting a thermostat requires dealing with live electricity, make sure that the main breaker is switched off.

Step 2 – Locating Where to Install the Thermostat

Your central heating system will have a node to which the thermostat will be connected. From that point you'll see a number of wires of different colors. If your heating system came pre-installed in your home, locate the wall plate that has the wires to which the thermostat is to be connected. Make sure that you consult the manual before following any other step.

Step 3 – Installing the Back Plate

The back plate is the structure on which the thermostat is plugged or attached. Install the back plate by using a drill to drill holes in the wall at the appropriate place (usually where the wires arise from). Into these holes, deploy anchors that will hold the back plate in position. After positioning the wires in a way that they come through the hole in the middle of the plate, screw it on with the help of a screwdriver.

Step 4 – Installing the Thermostat

Consult a user manual for the thermostat that you purchased and the central heating system to guide you through this step. Use wire strippers to cut of the insulation from the end of the wires and connect them with the appropriate terminals. Carefully consult the manual to ensure that you are doing this right. Wrong connections will result in malfunctioning of the system or even a short circuit. Once this is done, push the loose wires back into the hole and plug the thermostat in place. You now have a new thermostat.

Step 5 – Finishing up What You Started

Turn on the main power and check to see if your thermostat is powered on and works. Make sure that you don’t radically change the settings often as this damages the heating system. If your thermostat does not function or you notice anything alarming about the connections or wiring then immediately call a professional.