How to Wire a Thermostat


Your common electronic programmable thermostat operates off four wires to control both the heater and the air conditioning unit. When you wire your new thermostat, you may notice that there are more than four wires in your existing system. You don't have to use them all when you wire your new thermostat. Simply cap off the ends and tuck the wire behind your new thermostat and your unit will work just fine.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Flip the appropriate circuit breaker to turn the air conditioning and heating unit "Off." Test the unit to make sure it's off by turning your existing thermostat to the "On" position and seeing if it turns on. Wiring a thermostat when the circuit breaker is on could cause you to blow the transformer that powers the HVAC unit.

  • Remove the existing thermostat from the wall by unscrewing the connectors that hold it on. Disconnect the wires as you pull the thermostat off. The screw terminals that hold the wiring simply unscrew, allowing you to slide the wires out of the existing thermostat.

  • Gather your thermostat wires into a bunch and wrap them around a pencil. This will help prevent your wiring from falling back behind the wall while you work on wiring the thermostat.

  • Connect the red wire, which powers the transformer for both the heater and the air conditioner. The red wire in your existing system connects to the new thermostat in the red terminal.

  • Run the green wire to the green terminal to control the fan and relay that operates the blower.

  • Control your air conditioning when you connect the yellow wire into the yellow terminal.

  • Hook the white wire to the white terminal to control the heating unit.


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