DIY – Wi-Fi Thermostat

My brother was in town recently, which means it was a great time for some DIY projects.  The big one during his visit was a Wi-Fi thermostat.

Working for a large company definitely has its perks.  Honeywell recently offered our employees a great deal on their two Wi-Fi thermostats.  Being practical, I of course chose the less expensive of the two. A touchscreen is hardly worth the added cost, in my opinion.

The thermostat requires a “C” wire, which I currently didn’t have.  That meant a trip to the hardware store for some 5-wire thermostat wire.  We only needed about 20 feet due to the placement of the thermostat in relation to the furnace.  I have a townhouse so the furnace is in the hallway, just a few feet from the thermostat, but it had to go up the wall, through the attic and down to the furnace.

We first took pictures of the connections at the furnace and thermostat, just in case we needed them for reference. After disconnecting all the wires, we taped the end of the wire at the thermostat to the end of the new wire and fed it through the wall and attic. It was much easier and faster than I expected.

We then proceeded to connect the new wires to the furnace and the thermostat plate.  Ensuring that the wires matched the hookup in the furnace, we then attached the plate to the wall.  Luckily my old thermostat was also a Honeywell (and also installed by my brother) so the plate was identical to the old one and I didn’t need to drill new holes to attach it.

After verifying that everything was hooked up correctly, we connected the thermostat to the plate and it powered up. From there I set up the Wi-Fi access and my account.  We tested the a/c and the heat and both worked fine, after realizing a small mistake we make regarding the condenser connection to the furnace, which was easily fixed.

The whole process was much simpler than I expected and I’m very happy with it so far.  I can quickly pull up the app on my iPhone and see what the temperature is, what I have it set at if the heat or a/c is on, and what the temp is outside.  The app also allows me to turn the system on or off or change the schedule. Honeywell also has email notifications if you want to know if the temperature goes above or below a certain point. I’m hoping that they’ll implement text notifications in the future, just in case I don’t check my email for an extended period of time.

Hopefully this will provide some peace of mind when I’m on vacation, as well as those -20 degree days in the winter or 95 degree days in the summer.  I’m sure my cats will appreciate it as well 🙂