Many wall-mounted alarms, ceiling-mounted smoke detectors, and thermostats run on batteries. Replacing these batteries when necessary, either annually or when a low-battery indicator comes on, will keep your thermostat or alarm from losing your programmed settings (not to mention power). Here’s how to change your alarm or thermostat batteries. It only takes a few minutes.
Get New Batteries for Your Alarm or Thermostat
The first step is to have the new batteries available when you need them.
You should have plenty of time to purchase new batteries for your alarm or thermostat. If you’re replacing these batteries annually, you can simply get some new ones whenever you have a chance.
If a low-battery indicator comes on, you should still have several weeks to get new batteries. Manufacturers know that no one wants to make a late-night run for their alarm or thermostat’s batteries, so they generally set low-battery indicators to come on 1 to 2 months before the batteries are actually dead.
To find out what type of batteries you need to get for your alarm or thermostat, check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website. Or look inside your alarm or thermostat to see what is there. You’ll likely need CR2032 3V lithium, 9 volt, AA alkaline or AAA alkaline batteries. Smoke detectors/alarms, in particular, usually use 9V batteries.
Replace Your Alarm or Thermostat’s Batteries
- Remove the housing
- Replace the batteries
- Replace the housing
1. Remove the housing
Look at the housing for the alarm or thermostat to see how it might open. You will need to open the housing to get at the batteries.
- Smoke alarm housings usually twist off.
- Thermostat and other alarm housings might be of several types.
To remove the alarm or thermostat’s housing from its wall-mount plate, you might need to simply pull the housing straight out from the wall, or you may have to first slide it up before pulling it out.
2. Replace the batteries
- Locate the batteries.
They are typically in the part that stays attached to the wall/ceiling – not in the removable housing.
- Remove the old batteries. (A small flat-blade screwdriver may make this easier.)
- Insert the new batteries.
3. Replace the housing
- Put the housing back in place, reversing the way you removed it.
- Check to make sure your programmed settings are still available.
Replacing batteries is one of those tasks that can be done on a when-needed basis when your device alerts you that the battery is low. The advantage of doing it on a scheduled basis is that you can deal with all these battery replacements at the same time. You don’t have to wonder whether that low battery light will come on when you are on vacation or otherwise too busy to deal with the task.
You might also like:
Download our Home Maintenance Schedule to keep up on this and other home maintenance tasks.