Instructions to Wire a New Thermostat on a Heat Pump


Properly installed and controlled heat pumps can offer significant energy savings over conventional heating and air conditioning systems. New digital thermostats offer increased accuracy over older, mechanical thermostats. Wiring a new thermostat to a heat pump is a straightforward procedure that can be accomplished in a few easy steps, and with minimal tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Shut off the electricity to your heat pump and air handler/furnace at your main electric panel.

  • Connect each wire to the corresponding screw terminal on your thermostat. Refer to your equipment's installation instructions if your wires are not labeled. For typical heat pump systems, the red wire will connect to the "R" thermostat terminal. The yellow wire will connect to the thermostat "Y1" terminal. The blue wire will connect to the thermostat "Y2" terminal. The white wire will connect to the thermostat "W1" terminal. The green wire will connect to the "G" terminal, and the orange wire will connect to the thermostat "O" terminal.

  • Locate and set the DIP switches (a series of switches built into circuit boards) on your thermostat according to manufacturer instructions for your system. Install the batteries provided with your new thermostat.

  • Snap the thermostat on to the wall mount plate. Do not force the thermostat. The thermostat and wall plate should easily snap together. Turn the electricity back on to your system and test each function to ensure proper operation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most modern digital thermostats can control a variety of heating and air-conditioning equipment. Read the instructions of your new thermostat carefully before proceeding. Set any switches and jumpers according to your thermostat's instructions for heat pump installation. An incorrectly wired thermostat can damage the components of your heat pump system.
  • Before you begin, make sure the electricity is turned off to your heat pump and your air handler or furnace. Shorted thermostat wires can burn out expensive electronic components in both the heat pump and air handler.

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  • Photo Credit control panel image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
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