In my previous post I was going to remove our old thermostat and install a digital one that can be programmed. The instructions was a 15 minute installation guide.
Well, it took longer than 15 minutes, longer than an hour. It took a total of about 4 hours to totally complete because I also had to spackle and paint where the old thermostat was because the shape and size was different on the new one. Another hold up was the need for very small screwdrivers to loosen pretty small screws. We had one somewhere…..
I also had to call Honeywell for further instructions because, of course like everything else in the old house, our old thermostat wiring didn’t match anything in their diagrams. The customer service was very thorough making sure about how our system was set up before giving me the instructions on how to proceed. It was almost annoying because I had to run to the basement twice for the answers to questions. I know they don’t want to be responsible for wiring something wrong and then have the system get ruined but ours only had the two simple wires to deal with and was pretty straight forward but I just needed to know what screws to attach them to. But they were friendly and helpful. I did manage to figure out how to program it by myself using the operation manual. I just had a little trouble with the AM/PM which caused us to wake up in the morning very cold. It has since been corrected. Brrrr.
The installation directions said to cut the power to heating system at the switch. I looked for the switch in our basement like the instructions showed and sure enough we had one and it even said “off” and “boiler.” The wires led to the boiler. I used my tester to make sure the power was off to the boiler. I wasn’t totally at ease using that switch but I didn’t want to cut the power to the whole house if I didn’t have to.
Below is our old thermostat. It was a White-Rodgers. We are guessing pre 80s. Maybe even 60s? It is really ugly.
I removed the cover and this is what it looked like.
Then I loosened the screws on the thermostat but it wouldn’t budge. I had to take a box cutter and score the old paint around the thermostat and then it let loose.
That just left the faceplate and wires.
There was wallpaper behind the faceplate that I didn’t know was there. I removed the faceplate to reveal the wallpaper (below.) It is the same wallpaper that was on the living room walls when we bought the house. It was pretty busy and I can’t imagine it running through both living room and dining rooms but at some point in its past, it did.
I drew around the new thermostat with pencil. I was going to have to spackle and paint over where the old thermostat’s footprint was.
I put spackle on with a sponge to give it texture to match the wall. It will leave some points and rough spots when it dries.
When it dried I took a damp sponge over it to smooth the very top just a bit so it matched the rest of the texture. The ridges are smoothed off below.
Below shows the new paint. After it dries a week or so the sheen will match. I was lucky to still have some of the left over paint from that room. If not, I would have had to buy a bigger thermostat to try and cover the old thermostat’s footprint or repaint the wall. I decided to leave the old wallpaper there for another owner in the future to someday discover.
Woohoo! It’s done. It is very much a DIY project and if you don’t understand something you can call the number they give you on the instructions. The hardest part was programming it. Ours had factory presets but you can program time and temperature to be different, which I did.
I’m so glad I finally got this installed. Below, with the cover on, it blends better than the old one and will be much more efficient.