Recognize this baby?
Yeah, that thermostat right there is one of the many unfortunate aspects of this little rental apartment. I hate them. Loathe them. Maybe it’s my poor vision, but every time I went to adjust the temperature, I’d end up getting close, standing back, squinting, and then sort of guessing where I thought the temperature was. There were times I’d set the temperature to somewhere around 71 and it would be sweltering in the apartment. Other days, I’d be freezing and having to turn it up. I realize this piece of crap is hardly archaic – in fact it looked rather newly installed – but it had to go.
It also made little sense in retrospect. My schedule was simple. I work a 9-5, so I didn’t need the heat running when I wasn’t around for the better part of the day. I know that I could easily turn it down when I leave in the morning and up when I returned, but I would just prefer to have it automated and having a digital thermostat meant that I knew exactly what the temperature in the house was… without a doubt. Also, did you know that you can save up to 33% on your energy bill by installing one of these guys? Granted the temperatures they suggest are 70 when you’re around and 62 when you’re away. I don’t plan on setting it that low even when I’m not around since I don’t really want to end up freezing my poor cat, but I also don’t think having it set to 70-72 all the time when the only living creature around was my cat made any sense either.
So when I ran to Home Depot, I dipped down the plumbing aisle (oh yeah… because that was intuitive) to look for a new thermostat. I knew I didn’t need a 7-day one as my Monday-Friday schedule is exactly the same. So I could either get a 5-1-1 or a 5-2 programmable one. I decided to go for the 5-2 option for various reasons starting with the fact that it was $20 cheaper sitting at around $50. I also knew that my schedule was a little more all over the place on weekends. This way I can set a basic weekend schedule, but then just have the ability to temporarily override it when I needed to.
There were several other options as far as brands went, but I decided to stick with Honeywell because I knew the name and it came with an Energy Savings guarantee. So the winner is….
Installation was said to only take 15 minutes. It took me a little longer because I didn’t have a little baby screwdriver to attach all the wires, so I ended up using a knife, a pair of tweezers, and a grill fork to get the job done. The easiest part was actually attaching it to the wall. If you watch the tutorial video on Home Depot’s website, it really is that simple. Setting up the schedule and everything was equally simple giving the actually informative manual and now I have a fully automated heating a cooling system. Phew! The only downside is that by replacing the vertical thermostat with the horizontal one, there’s now about 1/2″ gap of the electrical box showing on the top and bottom. So now I need to go buy some drywall tape and putty to cover that up, but once I sand and paint it, you’ll never know…