Heating and cooling account for the largest energy expense for most homes. To lower your energy costs, try replacing an old thermostat with an Energy Star programmable thermostat.

Appliances receive an Energy Star listing when they meet government standards for energy efficiency. Energy Star thermostats preserve energy through their programming; it's not that the thermostat device itself uses less electricity, but rather that it offers precise programming options that allow you to optimize your air conditioning and heater use.

When shopping for a new thermostat, check the packaging to ensure the thermostat is compatible with the heating or cooling system you have in your home. Most programmable models will work with gas, oil, or electric furnaces, and all will specifically state if they cannot be used on a certain system.

Tools and Materials

  • Energy Star programmable thermostat
  • Screwdriver
  • Wall anchor
  • Batteries

Replacing a Thermostat How-To

1. Turn power off at the heating/cooling system.

2. Remove face from old thermostat. Use terminal screw designations to identify and label each wire.

3. Disconnect wires and remove old wall plate.

4. Mount new wall plate using a light wall anchor. Connect wires to coordinating terminals with the same letter.

Note: If a labeled wire does not match any terminal designation, refer to the specific instructions in your thermostat's installation guide. If you are ever in doubt, hire a licensed electrician.

5. Install batteries on the back of thermostat. Attach thermostat to wall plate.

6. Turn power back on at the heating/cooling system. Program, as desired, to personalized settings.


Comments (3)

Martha Stewart Member
December 31, 2018
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SLEEPBABY.ORG<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SLEEPBABY.ORG<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!
Martha Stewart Member
May 28, 2014
Replacing a thermostats is not as much difficult job as the most of the people think. On figuring out the the common reason why ac's is not chilling the room . I have found that sometimes the thermostats stops to do the job which is required from it. Your tips regarding replacement is quiet help full.
Martha Stewart Member
February 8, 2011
Thank you Martha for this inspirational segment on your show! Also I would like to thank you for the $186 I had to shell out for a HVAC repair person to come fix my AC after I fried one of the fuses in the outside unit. This SEEMS like a straight forward upgrade but don't be fooled by this wolf in sheep clothing. The slightest miscalculation will cause a giant dent in your bank account.