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Outdated thermostats cause wide swings in home temperature that can cost you money in utility bills. For about $40, a new programmable thermostat can automatically control temperatures to match living patterns, resulting in greater comfort and utility savings of up to 10 percent annually. Look for an Energy Star label, which means the unit is efficient and helps protect the environment.
Start by turning off the electrical power. A "DO NOT TOUCH" sign on the breaker box is a wise precaution and a neon circuit tester makes a safe back-up check. The back plate of the new thermostat goes where the old one was. Then, with a new cover and programming, your unit will be good to go. Since some old thermostats contain mercury, disposal in a toxic waste station is recommended.