Lessons of the Thermostat

Monday, November 24, 2014

Right on, here we go!  House project time has started up anew!  clap clap!

Today's project?  Thermostat installation.

Well, that and a million errands were run as well to catch up from my Sirens time away.  Plus a fun trip to the park for Finn.  We had our first Mommy-Finn fenced in off-leash moment together.  It was fun.  :)

Anyway, so the thermostat.  If you've been hanging with me, you read about our blow-in insulation day where we had the second floor ceiling stuffed.  It has helped but ya know, this flipper, I tell ya.  It seems like everything he put in or did needs replacing, fixing, or redoing.

The furnace was cycling too much still, or so it seemed to me.  It would come on, run for a bit, shut off and about five minutes later it would come back on.  The weather isn't even all that cold out yet.  Plus our gas bills were obscene last year.  Obscene.  Just outright red card foul obscene.

I am always always trying to cut down on energy usage, scary bills, but increase comfort and efficiency.  Mike will crank the thermostat super hot or super cold depending on the season, and I'm always the one resetting to "reasonable."  Which is odd, really.  It can be 85 inside and I can still be cold.  In the winter I'm all layers, a sweatshirt, two pairs of socks and slippers.  Oh and a hat and scarf.  Indoors.  Hey, I'm always cold, what can I say?  Weird I am, I know.

So here's the old one.

Old weird random and fussy thermostat.
Not sure of its vintage or its provenance but it gave me fits the other day so why not just replace it anyway.  At least by putting in a new one, I know what I've done.

Mike got minorly upset with me that I didn't consult him about changing the thermostat, but it's not like I bought one of those uber fancy uber pricey wi-fi phone connected cook your dinner for you ones.  While the premise of those seem cool, it's unnecessary for us.  Unless it does cook dinner for me, then I will definitely reconsider.

Um.  The directions.
So I open the package for the new one.  See Finn laughing in the background?  Yeah.  I had a moment of panic and had to reread the package as I swore it said "guaranteed to install in fifteen minutes."

Now.  Usually I'm not one for reading directions.  Or, if I do, and I assume most people do the same, I jump to the key sections, skim for the info I need then have at it.  This time though I'm not sure what came over me but I read more than usual.  And, I must say, I am very glad I did as I learned two very important lessons.

I made sure to follow the directions when removing the old one as I did not want to blow up the house or myself.  First, turn the furnace off at the breaker box.  The new packaging provided little stickers to label each wire as you disconnect them.  Important.  Do not test your memory.  Use seemingly silly stickers.

Unscrewed the old one, popped it off the wall, screwed in new one using the same wall anchors.  Sweet.  Check for level aaaaannndd, all good.

Here's the first lesson I learned thanks to the directions.  It said to insulate around the incoming wire so no air from behind can affect the temperature gauging system.

Ah.  Clever.

Never ever thought that that could be an issue, but it sure makes sense.  Even though our thermostat is on an inside wall, there is a big gaping hole in the wall.  No harm in insulating.  I used the leftover piece of foam from when I plugged up the hole behind the sound bar.

Finn was a very good helper boy on our first project together.  I suspect his previous owners were not avid DIY'ers; he couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing and stuck his nose in everything.  He's on break here.

The whole thing wired up super easy.  Although, I do need my eyes checked.  I thought it said T on the old thermostat when in fact it said Y.  Yeah.  Neat.  :( sniffle.  Don't tell anybody though.  I'm all good.

It was hard to capture that 5 for you as it was blinky.
And here is very important lesson number two.  Now, when I was researching online as to what could be causing the cycling too much thing, every site I went to suggested there could be something wrong with the thermostat.  Which is why I thought to replace the old one.   Aside from it being a piece of crap.

Reading the instructions for this new one (which I of course got at Menards), it pointed out there's a way to adjust the cycling.

Whaaaa?  Huh?  Seriously?!  Did I just read right?  Adjust the cycling?!

Why did all these websites not mention anything like that?  Maybe it's this specific thermostat that's adjustable?  But it led me to believe that others might be as well.

So that's my Tip o' the Day:  if you're having trouble with too much cycling, check to see if your thermostat is adjustable first.  This particular one has a range of 1 through 9 with one being the most frequent, keeping the temperature as constant as possible while nine offers the fewest amount of cycles per hour.  I went with five for now to see how it goes.

And guess what.  The furnace is no longer running for what seems like all the time now.  I will keep my eye on it as well as the overall comfort level.  And the gas bills.

Ah, Finn's off break and has brought me an earless bunny toy.  And he just started tinkling indoors for the first time ever.  Wow.  Do not know what that's about.  I best be moving along now!


  1. great post we need a new one and i didn't know it was this easy thanks...finn might be jealous of time not spent with him as the cause of tinkling im
    indoors xx

  2. Thanks so much! It is surprisingly easy to do and I guarantee you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment by putting in a new one! Yeah, I was trying to finish my post and Finn was ready to play so it was my fault. He gets plenty of love and attention; I guess at that moment I let him down. Thank you!

  3. Great post & info....thanks for taking the time! :)


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