Thermostat Basics from DIY to Home Automation


The internet has truly empowered us to become confident DIY homeowners. With millions of “How-to” videos on YouTube and step by step tutorials accompanying purchases on Amazon, why shouldn’t we be confident? And some of the most popular projects for homeowners involve home automation. Connecting your lighting, security cameras, remote door locks, and even your thermostat to your phone is now a project for a weekend warrior. But just because you COULD replace your thermostat, we wanted to review some of the pluses and minuses to doing it yourself.

As a Bryant Heating & Cooling System dealer, we work in a variety of settings with an entire fleet of products. In new homes, we can offer homeowners all of the latest and greatest HVAC options including smarthome thermostats. In retrofit applications or residential replacement, there may be limiting factors that control what model thermostat is available to the homeowner. Either way, the options we have as a dealer are unique from the products offered directly to homeowners, and we want to talk about those differences.


Why Have A Pro Replace Your Thermostat?

Of all the different ways you can upgrade your HVAC system, replacing your thermostat is one of the easiest and least expensive. In most cases, you can replace your thermostat without having to make any other adjustments to your HVAC system. If you’re switching from a manual thermostat to a programmable or lifestyle model, the upgrade will often quickly pay for itself in future energy savings.

Choosing a professional to install your thermostat comes with several advantages. A certified technician will check operation in all modes once the new thermostat is installed to verify everything works correctly. They should gaurantee their work so if anything goes wrong, you are covered. The thermostat only turns the HVAC system on and off, so it is also important to keep your system properly serviced in spring and fall. This ensures the thermostat can give you maximum savings.

While replacing your home thermostat yourself can save money over calling a professional, sometimes the risk of improperly installing and doing further damage to your HVAC system is not worth it. Today’s modern HVAC systems require continuous training. When properly installed, a modern thermostat can accent the house while saving you energy and money.

Thermostat Basics from DIY to Home Automation
Thermostat Basics from DIY to Home Automation
Thermostat Basics from DIY to Home Automation
Thermostat Basics from DIY to Home Automation

Types of Thermostats

Remote Energy Management

A remote energy management thermostat allows you to set, program and monitor your heating and cooling system from a computer, smartphone or tablet. The thermostat connects through your home broadband network, allowing you to access it over Wi-Fi from anywhere.

Bryant Evolution Connex™ Thermostat

A Thermostat That’s More Than Smart
The Evolution Connex™ thermostat is part of a new breed of comfort management devices that can save homeowners an average of 20% on their heating and cooling energy costs. With Wi-Fi® capability, you can access your system 24/7 from almost anywhere and view detailed energy reporting from your tablet or web portal. Combine that with custom energy tips and you can make informed decisions about when and how to save even more money. You can also add up to 8 zones to get serious about comfort in specific areas of your home.

 Honeywell 9000WIFI

With your home’s Wi-Fi connection, you can control this thermostat from anywhere in the house. Or with the Total Connect Comfort app, you can monitor or control your heating and cooling system with your smartphone from anywhere and anytime you choose. Back home, you’ll like the look of the thermostat’s colorful, high-definition touch screen. Change the color to any you wish. Simple programming and touch-screen input make the Wi-Fi 9000 thermostat easy to set up and intuitive to use.

Honeywell Lyric

The Honeywell Lyric is a learning thermostat similar to the popular Nest products on the market. The Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat was designed for hectic schedules. Control the Lyric Round from anywhere using your smartphone or let it adapt to your life as you go. No more wasted energy when you’re out for the night, and no more getting in from work to a cold house. It will even let you know when the filter needs changing!

Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat makes the most efficient use of your system by automatically adjusting the set temperature through­out the day. You schedule the thermostat know the preferred temperature at different times of the day and night. While you can’t remotely control these thermostats, you can “set back” your temperatures during unoccupied hours or overnight to help control energy use. Popular models include the Honeywell Prestige, T6 and T4 models.

 Digital Non-Programmable Thermostats

A non-programmable thermostat with a digital read-out is the best choice for people who prefer manually-controlled settings with the convenience of an easy-to-read LCD display.

 Mechanical / Manual Thermostats

With a mechanical or manual thermostat, you control the temperature setting manually. These are best for people who are home often and prefer a fixed temperature.

Thermostat Basics from DIY to Home Automation

The biggest hurdles we’ve encounter when replacing old, boxy thermostats is making sure that we have the right solution to cover the paint lines left from the old unit. Manufacturers have been on top of this and created several ways to make sure you’ve got the old footprint covered if you need to. The newer designs are sleek and more rounded than older digital models. If you’ve got a larger thermostat that needs replacement, we’ll come up with a plan to make sure nothing is exposed when the job is done. This usually only applies to retrofit or replacement projects.


Pharo Heating and Cooling is a local HVAC Contractor in Madison, WI. Our team of HVAC professionals cover a broad range of services in commercial buildings, new home construction, and residential homes and locally represent Bryant Heating and Cooling Products. For more industry info, check our other posts on our company blog at