How to Change an Old Thermostat to Digital

Written by julie boleware
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Digital thermostats give consumers the most flexibility in settings and other features, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Using digital --- or programmable --- thermostats as directed, the Environmental Protection Agency found that consumers can save as much as £117 a year. Programmable thermostats also help the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions, which is an important step in fighting global warming.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Turn off the power to the air handler at the breaker box.

  2. 2

    Pull the front of the thermostat from the wall.

  3. 3

    Detach each wire on the subbase. Label each wire with the code on the terminal it comes from.

  4. 4

    Unscrew and remove the old subbase from the wall.

  5. 5

    Mount the new subbase.

  6. 6

    Match the wires to the correct terminals, using the labels, and connect them.

  7. 7

    Snap the digital thermostat to the new subbase.

Tips and warnings

  • Place the thermostat away from windows, doors and skylights to avoid false readings.

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