What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

old non-programmable thermostat

on February 4, 2014

Painting the sitting room has been the nudge to make more than one domino fall. We reached the wall the thermostat is on today. We had ordered and received the new programmable unit a few weeks ago. So, in a long-anticipated shed, we replaced our manual, analog thermostat.

We investigated doing so years ago, but found we needed something more than an off-the-shelf version. The price for one compatible with our heat pump and auxiliary electric heat gave us pause—literally. Like computers and mobile phones, though, digital programmable thermostats cost much less now than when introduced.

And they can save a lot of energy: 1% for every degree the temperature is lowered for a setback period of at least eight hours, the US Department of Energy says. Tonight, about 3 am, we plan to be warm under a comforter while it’s 62°F in the house.

25-year-old Bryant heat pump thermostat

25-year-old Bryant heat pump thermostat

It was an easy DIY job. We were grateful the mounting holes on the new thermostat matched those of the old. The bases aren’t the same size and shape, so I spread joint compound, sanded, and primed to hide the paint lines. Connections for control cables are fairly well standardized, so we just followed the instructions. The hardest part was waiting for the plaster to dry.

Our old thermostat used a mercury switch, which can present a disposal problem. But it appears our county recycling division accepts them through an HVAC-industry-funded solution.

I knew this project/shed wouldn’t be hard, but it was even easier than I thought. My happiness at getting it done quite exceeds my sorrow I didn’t sooner.

shedding styles: replace, recycle
destination: household hazardous waste recycling program

Comments welcome … what might you shed today?

3 responses to “old non-programmable thermostat

  1. Jtoxx says:

    Good morning! I realize this is a 5-year-old post, but I’m in a bit of a bind as I attempt to replace my old thermostat, which appears to be the same as yours with a similar setup. I’ve been trying to find information on a compatible digital replacement. However, I’m a novice to all things HVAC and wiring in general, and I haven’t been able to locate a diagram identifying the functions of the parts and wiring on the left. Would you Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

  2. revdarkwater says:

    I don’t recall what functions are associated with each terminal, but four of them correspond to the colors of the wires (Y-yellow, G-green, R-red, O-orange). Our new thermostat came with pretty good instructions about where to connect the two other wires, as I recall. I also checked the terminals on the control board in the heat exchanger; they were labeled with the same letters. Good luck!

    • Jtoxx says:

      Thanks for responding! I realize now that I must not have worded my question clearly, because everyone I’ve asked so far explains the wiring on the right side of the thermostat (which are pretty straightforward) as opposed to the left, which is what had me stumped. I ended up figuring out on my own that the left side’s wires have to do solely with the mercury bulb and are not needed with the new thermostat at all. :-)

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