how much is a thermostat

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022


How Much Does a New Heating and Air Thermostat Cost?

Low Estimate

$45 – $75

Average Cost Estimate

$75 – $395

High Estimate

$390 – $760

Type of Thermostat Basic Non-Programmable Digital Programmable Smart Programmable Thermostat
Installed By DIY or Friend DIY or Pro Pro Suggested
Programmable No Yes Yes
Programmable Settings None Moderate Functionality Extensive Programming Options
Communicating No No Yes
Touchscreen No Varies Yes
Wifi or Remote Setting No Varies Yes
Zoning Compatible No Optional Yes
 Auto Switchover Not Likely Yes Yes
 AC / Furnace / Heat Pump Compatible Yes Yes Yes

Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro | Web Compare | Shared Pricing

Overview of Thermostat Replacement

The Furnace and AC thermostat in your home controls the indoor air temperature and lets you make adjustments based on whether you want it to be hotter or cooler inside your home. For many years it was simply a mechanical device in which you slid a pointer left and right, setting it to the desired temperature. The heating or cooling system would maintain at that setting until manually changed again. Today, new thermostats have many options and features that not only allow you to program based on time of day and day of the week, but they can also monitor the health of your HVAC systems, allow you to connect via web to adjust, and many other comfort features.

This Costimate will help you understand your options and costs associated for replacement of your home heating and air conditioner thermostat. You’ll learn about the  cost differences for standard to programmable thermostats, as well as how much smart or communicating features add to the cost. We’ll also share installation costs and other expenses you may face at the same time. Finally, you can see what others have paid to have a new thermostat installed for their HVAC system.

Related Cost Estimates

New Thermostat and Supplies Cost

Thermostat Cost Factors

Before you choose a thermostat it’s important to understand the features that are available, and how they affect the cost and operation of your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump system, humidifier and other HVAC components.

  • Mechanical or Digital – Mechanical thermostats are the most affordable and simple to use. You install it, set a dial or pointer to the temperature, and forget it. Digital thermostats cost a bit more, but tend to have a few more features like auto switch-over from heat to cool, etc.
  • Programmable or Non-Programmable – Programmable thermostats cost a bit more at the time of purchase, but when properly setup, they can save money as compared to a non-programmable model. Consumer reports states that they can pay for themselves in just one year of energy savings.
  • Programmable Features / Options – More expensive thermostats have advanced programming features, such as multiple settings for each day, per-programmed features, different hour settings, etc. Basic programmable thermostats offer few settings.
  • Smart or Communicating – Smart thermostats are designed to work with your specific model of heating and air conditioner. Sensors that are built into the furnace, ac unit and evaporator coil, duct work, humidifier, and other components, all report back, or communicate with the thermostat on the health of the system.
  • Touchscreen Controls – Touchscreen is a common, but slightly more expensive feature on new thermostats. If you want a touchscreen thermostat, expect your replacement cost to increase.
  • Wifi or Remote Access – Like other comfort features, Wifi, phone app, or remote web access allows you to program and adjust your thermostat settings without having to stand in front of it.
  • Zoned System Compatibility – Zoned HVAC systems have additional sensors in each zoned area of the home. If you have a zoned system, the thermostat has to have zoning capabilities. In many cases, the HVAC contractor will provide support for setting up and adjusting a zoned system.

Cost of Installation Supplies

Replacing a thermostat is a very common DIY project and there are not many extras needed during installation. In different cases though, you may need a few supplies to complete the project.

  • $10 – $25 | Oversize backplate to cover the area of your older, or larger thermostat if the newer unit is smaller in size.
  • $5 – $10 | Batteries. Many replacement thermostats do not need a power source, or get it from the HVAC unit. Others use batteries.
  • $10 – $15 | Misc paint supplies for touching up the area after the new thermostat is installed. This most often occurs with new versus old thermostat size differences.

Note: When having a new gas furnace or central air conditioner system installed, the new system may have more features than the existing thermostat wire can is designed to deal with. If new thermostat wiring is needed, the contractor usually includes that in the cost of the unit installation, as well as a new thermostat designed to work with the system. This is not common when replacing a thermostat, and should affect cost.

Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs

Permits and Inspection

  • $0 | It’s very uncommon to require an inspection or permit of any kind for thermostat replacement.

Thermostat Installation Cost and Time

In most cases, a new thermostat can be installed in less an hour or two. Programming, on the other hand could take an hour or two longer, depending on how detailed you get, and whether you ask a contractor to teach you how to program it yourself.

  • $60 – $75 per-hour | HVAC Service Company Hourly Rate

DIY or Hire a Pro

If you can rewire an electric socket, you can install your own thermostat. Putting that aside, connecting it wrong or not knowing the proper settings for your specific heating and air system could result in lower performance and cost savings than expected. If you have a high efficiency HVAC system, I firmly believe it’s in your best interest to have the company who installed the system, install your thermostat and set t up to work correctly.

  • You only need basic hand tools.
  • Wiring is color coded.
  • Programmable thermostats take time to setup, unless choosing a preset model, ready to go.

I consider myself a very able handyman, 8/10 on my skill level. I would install my own thermostat, and then consult with my HVAC company to be sure its setup correctly.

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Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

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