Baby It’s Cold Outside – But Warm In Here

old thermostat

You will note that this thermostat is set at 80 degrees and yet the temperature in the room is only 70.  And that is good.  Usually I wake up and it is between 64-66 degrees up here – with the thermostat set at 80.

That’s because this thermostat – which came with the house – has not worked in two years and what heat I have in the upstairs comes from the radiators in the downstairs – which has a working thermostat.

This thermostat has not worked for two years because, well, the house is old and installing thermostats is not Chip’s forté.  It is not made of leather or wood or anything naturally occurring in nature.  It involves wires and electric and plastic and technological stuff.  And it wasn’t that cold last year.  But this year . . . .  We had to really figure this out.

Realistically, its not like the wiring that came with this 137 year old house is made to correspond with current technology.  Heck, there are so many generations of wiring inside my walls that we have found live wires attached to, oh, nothing in our ceilings when wiring lights.  (Which we fixed, but still. . .)  So Chip has a reason to be tentative when working with the wiring in this old house.

But my husband loves me.  As my office is in the upstairs family room, he has seen me doing a lot of typing while wearing my fingerless mitts to keep my hands warm.  So, before the year ended, Chip ran out and bought a new thermostat for the upstairs.  Not a programmable one but a basic one.  He had tried installing a programmable one when we installed the downstairs thermostat and we were rather quickly on the phone to our friend Ray to please come to the house to install it for us while the temperatures dropped.  That one was just a little beyond his self taught expertise in bringing our 1875 home into the 2000s.  So this time we went a little more basic.

Still – there were some things to figure out.  Like the old thermostat used 4 wires in making its connections.

old wires in old thermostat

The new one used two.

Chip knew he had to combine them, but did the red go with the yellow or the black or the green?  In the end he went red with yellow and black with green and crossed his fingers.

wiring on new thermostat Then he discovered that the new thermostat had switches on the back that had to be set depending on your type of heating system.

switch box on new thermostat

You will notice that the old one did not.

backs of both thermostats

Chip figured that out after nothing happened the first time he set it up.

But set it up he did – and an amazing thing happened.  Chip set the temperature at 70 degrees.  And the heat came on.  And it heated the upstairs to 70 degrees.

the new working thermostat

It’s a beautiful thing.  I am typing this without wearing fingerless mitts.  I love my husband.

So why do a blog post about putting in a new thermostat?  Because it is one of those everyday types of things that we do that is important.  It should be celebrated because it was an accomplishment, even if small.  My house is a little bit better for it.  My everyday life is definitely better for it.  And my beloved husband did something that he could not do before – he installed a thermostat.  Cool.

Onward and Upward.


About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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7 Responses to Baby It’s Cold Outside – But Warm In Here

  1. My house is 92 years old, and I so get this post. Love it. Way to go, Chip!

    • Shelly R. says:

      Thanks – he is loving all the feedback 😀 He usually doesn’t get so many pats on the back when he does something in the house – I think he is liking my blog more.

  2. amanda says:


  3. becky says:

    Bill would have LOVED figuring out that one. He is currently trying to figure out why the back upstairs bedroom radiator refuses to get HOT instead of just warm. He has bled the air and it refuses to gush water out. He closes it up and waits a bit to release more air. Bill WILL get to the bottom of this issue. We really are blessed!

    Chip, consider this an atta boy and a smack on the butt for a job well done!

    • Shelly R. says:

      I don’t know Beck, he smiled awfully big when he read that we was getting a smack on the butt from you. 😉 Now he’s trying to figure out what is wrong with your radiator too. I’ll send him over if he figures it out. 😀

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