Ashburn, VA

How Much Does A Thermostat Cost To Install or Replace In Home?

$80 – $200 Labor Only
$140 – $350 Install + New Unit

The cost to replace a basic programmable thermostat is $100 to $340, while a smart thermostat like Nest costs $270 to $450 for the unit and professional installation. A new thermostat costs $15 to $250 depending on the type and features. Labor costs $80 to $200 to install a thermostat. Get free estimates from thermostat installers near you or view our cost guide below.

Thermostat Replacement Cost

The average cost to replace a thermostat in a home is $140 to $350, including the unit and professional installation. Thermostat prices range from $15 to $250, depending on the type, brand, and features. Nest thermostat installation costs $100 to $200 for labor if the unit is provided.

Thermostat Replacement Cost Chart

Thermostat Replacement Cost
Type Thermostat Cost Install Labor Total Cost To Replace
Smart $100 – $250 $100 – $200 $200 – $450
Wi-Fi $70 – $200 $100 – $200 $170 – $400
Digital Programmable $80 – $140 $80 – $200 $160 – $340
Electronic Non-Programmable $20 – $50 $80 – $150 $100 – $200
Manual / Mechanical $15 – $40 $65 – $150 $80 – $190

DIY installation is possible is you have basic electrical knowledge. Otherwise, electricians charge $40 to $100 per hour for a home thermostat replacement, which takes 30 minutes to 3 hours on average.

Average Cost To Install Thermostat Chart

Average Cost To Install A Thermostat
National Average Cost $229
Minimum Cost $80
Maximum Cost $450
Average Range $142 to $346

An improper DIY installation runs the risk of blowing out the new thermostat, HVAC unit, or circuit breaker, or suffering an electric shock. Get free quotes from thermostat installers near you, or compare prices and types of units below.

Table of Contents

  1. Thermostat Replacement Cost
  2. Thermostat Prices
  3. Thermostat Installation Cost Factors
  4. New Thermostat Costs By Brand
  5. Cost to Change Furnace, Refrigerator, & Oven Thermostats
  6. Thermostat Energy Cost Savings
  7. Considerations When Replacing a Thermostat
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Hiring A Thermostat Installer
  10. Thermostat Installation Near Me

Thermostat Prices

Thermostat prices range from $15 for a basic mechanical unit, up to $320 for a smart self-learning unit that saves energy. Costs depend on the type, brand, and amount of features included. Professional installation adds $80 to $200 to your total cost.

Thermostat Prices - Manual, Digital Programmable, Smart

Thermostat Prices
Type Cost Features
Smart $150 – $320 Control remotely, learns automatically, energy savings
Wi-Fi $70 – $200 Digital, control remotely, programmable
Digital Programmable $60 – $140 Digital touch-screen, programmable, auto-adjusts
Electronic Non-Programmable $20 – $50 Digital display, manually controlled
Mechanical / Manual $15 – $40 Lowest cost, non-programmable

Choices to consider before purchasing are:

  1. Battery-powered or hardwired? Single-stage, two-stage, or variable capacity?
  2. Programmable by day or week or controlled manually or self-adjusts with learning?
  3. Dial or touchscreen or buttons?
  4. Controlled remotely by a smartphone app or by voice? Built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth?
  5. No display or digital/electronic display? Backlit?
  6. Connected to a central control hub or just to your heating/cooling system?
  7. Switch automatically from heating to cooling or not?
  8. Filter and battery indicator? Lockable?
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Cost To Install Smart Thermostat

The average cost of installing a smart thermostat is $225 to $400, depending on the brand, model, features, and if the wiring needs updating. Without installation, the cost of a smart thermostat unit ranges from $100 to $250.

Cost To Install Smart Thermostat Chart

Cost of Installing Smart Thermostat
Brand Thermostat Unit Unit + Installation Cost
Ecobee $170 – $240 $270 – $440
Hive $120 $220 – $320
Honeywell $99 – $229 $200 – $430
Lux / Kono $103 – $149 $200 – $350
Google Nest $150 – $249 $250 – $450
Emerson Sensi $95 – $128 $200 – $330

Smart thermostats like Nest automatically learn your preferences over time and optimize the energy used to save money. Plus, you can connect to the thermostat remotely over Wi-Fi to adjust temperatures or program a heating and cooling schedule.

Smart Thermostat Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • Energy Star smart thermostats save up to 15% or $180 per year on your energy bill.
  • Remote management access over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  • Automatically learns your preferences and can self-adjust the temperature by using the local weather forecasts, sensors, or by detecting when you’re home.
  • Simple, user-friendly interface that also alerts for scheduled maintenance such as filter changes
  • Compatible with voice-command apps like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
  • Can sync with a home’s security system and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Can also control fans, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers in the home
  • Sends alerts if the power goes out or if the system is down
  • Costs more than electronic or manual units, and may require professional installation.
  • Might not be compatible with your HVAC system. Older homes typically require installing a C-wire, which costs $90 to $135 extra.
  • Takes time to recognize and learn heating and cooling patterns once installed
  • May frequently disconnect if it's quite far from the router
  • The software, app, and thermostat unit can be tricky to learn if you're not tech-savvy.

Nest Smart Thermostat installed in living room

Wi-Fi Thermostat Installation Cost

A Wi-Fi thermostat costs $70 to $200 for the unit and between $100 to $200 for professional installation. A Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-controlled thermostat allows for remote access, but doesn't learn like a smart unit over time. Popular brands include Lennox, iComfort, and Honeywell.

Wi-Fi Thermostat Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • Remote access lets you change the temperature settings for maximum energy savings
  • Saves on energy costs if your schedule is unpredictable
  • Not worth the extra expense if you have a predictable schedule
  • Older homes typically require installing a C-wire, which costs $90 to $135 extra.

Cost To Install Digital Programmable Thermostat

The average cost to install a programmable is $200 to $300, depending on the type and features. A digital programmable thermostat costs $80 to $140 for the unit only. The more expensive ones may include a touchscreen, vacation override, keyboard lock, and programmable scheduling.

Cost To Install Programmable Thermostat Chart

Programmable Thermostat Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • Digital touch screen that shows the temperature and a clock
  • Allows you to program preferred temperatures over a 7-day schedule
  • Switches automatically from heating to cooling in some models
  • Will run on batteries or a circuit with backup batteries
  • Saves at least $9 per month in energy costs. Some claim up to 30% savings on energy costs
  • The lighted display can often be seen in the dark
  • Older models merely turn on or off at a time you have set without adjusting to the home’s temperature
  • Can have up to a five-degree difference in temperature compared to the default setting
  • About 40% of homeowners don’t program the unit, thereby forgoing the potential savings
  • The program offered might only be one stat setting for all 7 days rather than versatile

Two-stage heating systems that have two heat outputs will require a digital thermostat unique to that system.

Digital Programmable Thermostat installed and being setup

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Electronic Non-Programmable Thermostats Cost

The average electronic thermostat costs $20 to $50 for just the unit, with installation labor adding $80 to $150 to that amount. These use an electronic temperature sensor to open or break the electric circuit to the heating or cooling system.

Electronic Thermostat Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • Faster to heat up and cool down than mechanical thermostats
  • Adjusts the temperature based on the default temps you have programmed into the thermostat
  • Digital sensors ensure accurate room temp readings
  • Can adjust the temperature to a one-degree difference of the default setting
  • Many new programmable models have touch screens which illuminate at night
  • Must be turned on and off manually
  • You’ll either have the thermostat set to heat or cool and the fan set to auto-adjust or to stay on

Mechanical, Manual, Analog, or Non-Programmable Thermostats

A manual thermostat costs $15 to $40, and the labor cost to install ranges from $65 to $150 unless you DIY. Mechanical or manual units are being phased out since some contain small levels of mercury and have minimal features. About 80% of the mechanical thermostats are heat-only types.

Mechanical Thermostats Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • Most affordable type of thermostat; uses a lever or dial to set the temperature
  • Some people like having an On/Off switch
  • Unaffected by power surges
  • Has a coiled bimetallic strip that is a heat-activated switch to the heating and cooling system
  • Must be turned on and off manually, and switched between heating and cooling
  • Has no display panel and offers minimal features
  • Might have a mercury vial connected to the coil to complete the circuit
  • Takes a while to heat up and cool down (lag time)
  • Can have up to a five-degree difference in temp compared to the set temp

Analog Central Heating Thermostat Replaced and Being Tested

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Thermostat Installation Cost Factors

Thermostat installation costs depend on the cost of the unit, labor, running new thermostat wire, replacing the housing, moving a thermostat, installing a central hub, additional remotes, or hooking it up to a multi-zone system.

Replacing a thermostat with a similar unit is quick and easy as the wiring is the same, but if you’re replacing an old analog unit with a smart unit, additional costs for working with drywall or adding new wiring may apply.

Thermostat Installation Cost Factors
Item Average Cost
Thermostat Unit $15 – $250
Labor $65 – $200
Drywall Repair $75 – $150
Wiring Repair $6 – $10 per foot
Moving Unit $135 – $450
Smart Hub $70 – $230
Accessories $20 – $150

Thermostat Labor Cost

The average labor cost for a thermostat replacement is $80 to $200, depending on the amount of time the install takes and if it's a basic or smart thermostat. HVAC service costs $50 to $150 per hour to install a new thermostat, which takes 30 minutes to 3 hours on average.

Thermostat Labor Cost Chart

Thermostat Labor Cost
Type Labor Cost
Smart $100 – $200
Wi-Fi $100 – $200
Digital Programmable $80 – $200
Electronic Non-Programmable $80 – $150
Manual / Mechanical $65 – $150

Replacement may include changing the location of the unit, additional wiring or circuitry, programming, or cutting into walls that adds to the overall cost. States with a higher cost of living, such as Alaska, California, and New York have higher labor rates.

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Number of Thermostats

Contractors may offer discounts for installing multiple thermostats at once, such as if you have a multi-zone HVAC system with electronic dampers or baffles. Multi-zoned systems save on enery costs and have remote sensors to set the temperature in each zone the HVAC system controls.

An HVAC zoning system costs $1,700 to $4,500 on average.

Cost To Run New Thermostat Wire

The average cost to run a new thermostat C-wire is $90 to $135, depending on the access points and placement of existing wire. Installing a C-wire is required in older homes when upgrading to a thermostat that uses continuous power to run the display and Wi-Fi connection.

About 90% of thermostats require a C-wire to get running. Some brands include a C-wire adapter with the kit.

Repair, replacement, and connection of existing thermostat wiring costs $60 to $200 for complex jobs over a longer distance. Some furnaces must be wired to the thermostat while others have sensors added.

Cost To Move A Thermostat

The average cost to move a thermostat is $135 to $450, depending on the distance. Drywall repair costs $75 to $150 to patch the old hole and cut a new one, while wiring installation runs $6 to $10 per foot.

Cost To Move A Thermostat Chart

Cost To Move A Thermostat
Labor Average Cost
Moving 10 Feet $135 – $250
Moving 20 Feet $195 – $350
Moving 30 Feet $255 – $450

*Does not include cost of a new thermostat.

Moving a thermostat to a temperature-stable area saves on energy bills since the HVAC won’t be triggered to start unnecessarily. Move the unit out of the sun, away from drafts, electronics, or dead air space. HVAC professionals recommend moving it near a return-air duct to measure the temperature accurately.

Thermostat Accessories

While thermostat accessories often come with the unit, sometimes you’ll need to buy them separately.

Thermostat Accessories Cost
Accessory Average Cost Use
Cover $20 – $40 Prevents others from changing the controls, locked with a combination number or key. Other covers merely change the exterior color of the unit.
Wall Plates $6 – $20 Typically included with the thermostat. Helps hide holes in drywall.
Temperature Sensor $40 – $100 Addition to control heating and cooling zones efficiently.
Batteries $1 – $5 For backup or primary power source.

Smart Home Hub / Remote System

Smart hubs or remote systems cost $70 to $230 on average and can control temperature, lighting, security, and appliances all from one app. Remote hubs for thermostats require a C-wire (common wire) to give continuous power.

Smart Home Hub Costs
Brand Cost Range
Amazon Echo $49 – $99
Wink Hub $69 – $99
Apple HomePod $199 – $299
Google Nest Hub $75 – $229
Samsung SmartThings Hub $69 – $129

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New Thermostat Costs By Brand

Prices for buying a new thermostat also vary by brand and the unit's features. Most popular thermostats can be purchased from local home improvement stores, or online via Amazon. Here are the costs of top-rated thermostats by type.

New Thermostat Costs By Type & Brand
Type Model Estimated Price
Mechanical / Analog Honeywell 1025 Deluxe Manual Thermostat (RTH5100B) $44
Honeywell CT50K Non-Programmable Manual Thermostat (CT50K1028) $30
Lux Products Mechanical Heating and Cooling Thermostat (T101143SA) $18
Digital Programmable ELECTECK Thermostat, 5-1-1 Day Programmable, Large Digital LCD Display $28
Honeywell T4 Pro Program Mable Thermostat (TH4110U2005/U) $42
Honeywell E1 Digital Heat/Cool Pump Thermostat (RTH3100C1002) $48
Electronic Non-Programmable PRO1 IAQ Non-Programmable Electronic Thermostat (T701) $42
Emerson Conventional (1H/1C) Non-Programmable Thermostat (1F83C-11NP) $36
Honeywell Focuspro 5000 Non-Programmable Thermostat (TH5220D1029) $83
Wi-Fi Honeywell Wi-Fi Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat (TH9320WF5003) $139
Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat, 7 Day Programmable (RTH9585WF1004) $199
Honeywell Home Wi-Fi 7-Day Programmable Thermostat (RTH6580WF) $68
Smart Google Nest Learning Thermostat + 2 SENSORS (BH1252) $279
Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen, 2 Pack Wifi Smart Plug (T3007ES) $249
Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat for Smart Home (ST55) $94
Ecobee3 Smarter Wi-Fi Thermostat with Remote Sensor $170
Ecobee 3 Lite Smart Thermostat 2nd Gen with 2 Room Sensors $279
Hive Heating and Cooling Smart Thermostat Pack $120

*All pricing from Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, Amazon, and Google Store.

Nest Thermostat Installation Cost

The average Nest thermostat installation costs $100 to $200 for labor-only if you provide the thermostat unit. Installation takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on if you’re also setting up the Nest hub.

Nest Thermostat Installation Cost Chart

Nest Thermostat Installation Cost
Item Average Cost
Nest Thermostat Unit $169 – $249
Installation Labor $100 – $200
Total Cost $269 – $449

DIY Nest installation is also possible for tech-savvy homeowners. Watch their installation video series to get started.

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Hive Thermostat Installation Cost

The average Hive thermostat installation costs $100 to $200 for labor-only if you provide the thermostat unit. Installation takes less than 90 minutes, depending on if you’re also setting up the Hive hub. Hive's smart thermostat comes with a one-year warranty and is Energy Star certified. Watch their video guide for DIY installation.

Hive Thermostat Installation Cost
Item Average Cost
Hive Thermostat Unit $139
Installation Labor $100 – $200
Total Cost $239 – $339

Other Popular Thermostat Brands & Prices

Other Popular Thermostat Brands & Prices
Brand Cost Range
Honeywell $13 – $229
Carrier / Infinity $296 – $655
Lennox iComfort / Comfortsense $80 – $499
Lux Kono / GEO $103 – $149
Ecobee $169 – $328
Trane Comfortlink II $590
Xfinity $120
Emerson / Sensi $94 – $169

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Cost to Change Furnace, Refrigerator, & Oven Thermostats

The cost to change a thermostat for a furnace, refrigerator, oven, or other appliances depends mainly on the labor and difficulty of access.

Cost To Change Thermostat By Appliance Chart

Cost to Change Appliance Thermostats
Appliance Thermostat Labor Total Replacement Cost
Furnace $40 – $80 $150 – $400 $190 – $480
Wall or Floor Heater $30 – $85 $200 – $400 $230 – $485
Refrigerator $10 – $40 $200 – $400 $210 – $440
Electric Water Heater $30 – $70 $100 – $150 $130 – $220
Gas Water Heater $90 – $140 $100 – $150 $210 – $340
Oven $30 – $140 $50 – $100 $80 – $240
Boiler $160 – $280 $120 – $200 $280 – $480
Dryer $10 – $35 $200 – $400 $210 – $435
Air Conditioner $30 – $80 $90 – $120 $120 – $200
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AC & Furnace Thermostat Replacement Cost

In some homes, the AC and furnace thermostats are installed seperate. The average cost to replace a furnace thermostat is $190 to $480, while replacing an AC thermostat runs $120 to $200. These individual systems apply to homes that have an alternative heating source, or only need to cool certain rooms.

Wall or Floor Heater Thermostat Replacement Cost

A wall or floor heater thermostat replacement costs $230 to $485 on average , depending on the type and voltage. Each manufacturer typically has a list of compatible replacements and most work off low-voltage while others are plug-in.

  • High-voltage or line-voltage thermostats cost $30 to $85, plus labor. They are usually mounted beside the unit and have a twist dial.
  • Millivolt thermostats cost $20 to $50, plus labor. Many of these heaters are gas-fired.

Refrigerator Thermostat Replacement Cost

The average refrigerator thermostat replacement costs $100 to $250 to replace. A refrigerator thermostat costs $10 to $40 for just the part. Installing a digital thermostat is preferable since it can keep the desired temperature accurate and consistent.

The thermostat needs to be replaced if there is no click when you turn it from the lowest to the highest setting or if a multimeter shows it has no continuous voltage, current, and resistance.

Hot Water Heater Thermostat Replacement Cost

A hot water heater thermostat replacement costs $150 to $350 on average, depending on if it's gas or electric and whether the heating element is replaced. Most water heaters have two thermostats and two elements that are replaced at the same time. Many technicians recommend replacing it with a programmable wireless option.

Hot Water Heater Thermostat Replacement Cost Chart

Hot Water Heater Thermostat Replacement Cost
Type Average Cost
Electric Water Heater $130 – $220
Gas Water Heater $210 – $340
  • Electric – Replacing an electric water heater thermostat is an easy DIY job if you're comfortable working with electrical wiring and are sure to turn off power to the unit.
  • Gas – Replacing a gas water heater thermostat requires a professional as it’s usually part of the gas valve.

Boiler Thermostat Cost

The average cost of a new thermostat for a boiler is $279 to $479 for a complete replacement. Prices range from $159 to $279 for the unit, and $120 to $200 for the installation labor.

Oven Thermostat Replacement Cost

The average cost to replace an oven thermostat is $80 to $240. An oven thermostat has a sensor bulb and capillary tube in a mounting bracket within the control panel, and the entire thing will be replaced.

Dryer Thermostat Replacement Cost

Replacing a dryer thermostat costs $150 to $300 on average, while purchasing the parts to make the repairs yourself runs $40 or less. Replacing the electronic control board, which ties to the thermostat costs $100 to $200 more. Compare this to buying a new dryer for $300 to $1,200.

If there is no heat at all or it overheats quickly and shuts off, replace the thermostat. Otherwise, if the clothes are taking ages to dry, check if your lint duct is clogged.

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Thermostat Energy Cost Savings

Upgrading to a digital, programmable, or smart thermostat with proper settings can save $180 per year on your energy bills. Using a ceiling fan for air conditioning saves $42 per season, and $5 during winter when operated in reverse.

Also, changing the house temperature by 7 to 10 degrees while sleeping saves up to 10% on your heating and cooling costs, or about $106 per year. Check the Energy Star site for possible rebates in your area when you install or upgrade your thermostat.

Energy providers in some cites offer a $25 rebate for each smart thermostat you purchase and install, and up to an $85 incentive to enroll in a voluntary power management program. The program briefly adjusts your temperature setting during peak energy demand to save money.

Are Smart Thermostats Worth The Cost?

Smart thermostats save up to 15% on your energy bill when programmed correctly. Smart thermostats learn your temperature adjustment habits and save $180 per year by optimizing the heating and cooling cycles.

Cost of Raising or Lowering Thermostat 1 Degree

Reducing or increasing your heater by one degree lowers or raises your heating bill by 5.4% for that month or about $3 on an average $60 bill. Changing the AC up or down by 1 degree adds or subtracts 10% to 18% in energy costs per month, or $30 on an average $200 bill.

Savings or expenses depend on the cost of gas and electricity; your HVAC equipment’s performance, condition, and size; insulation; and your local climate. Consider improving the insulation in both the attic and basement before changing comfort levels in the home.

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Considerations When Replacing a Thermostat

Considerations when replacing a thermostat include its disposal method, the location of the new thermostat, scheduling the replacement work, the contractor’s experience, and the amount of expected drywall damage.

  • Hazardous waste – Thermostats older than 2002 might contain mercury, and disposal methods must follow state laws. If you see an ampoule of silver mercury, bring it to a hazardous waste facility, HVAC supplier, or ask your contractor.
  • Location – Install the thermostat away from direct sunlight, heat sources, drafts, warm appliances or devices, or dead air space (behind doors or furniture), so it can accurately assess the temperature.
  • Scheduling the Install – Choose a day and time when you likely won’t need heat or cooling in case the installation takes longer than expected.
  • Renting – If a landlord pays the energy bills, ask if they will cover the installation cost. However, this means you cannot take the thermostat with you when you move.
  • Drywall or Wall Plate – Expect to pay more to add a wall plate or fix and paint the drywall if the new thermostat is smaller than the old one.

Thermostat Compatibility and Staging

The new thermostat must be compatible with the power requirements of the existing system. Most HVAC systems are called low-voltage systems, and they use 24V power—typically AC units, split units, boilers, furnaces, electric baseboards, and heat pumps.

Installing a thermostat to a line voltage circuit without using an adapter or rewiring can break the thermostat and even cause a fire. All thermostats turn the heating and cooling system on or off through either:

  • Single-stage – Manual control, only runs at full capacity.
  • Two-stage – Two levels of output. Unit runs for longer periods, but provides more balanced temperatures.
  • Variable Capacity – More energy-efficient and quieter than two-stage. Sensors communicate the temperatures to the unit to precisely control how much heating or cooling is required as efficiently as possible.
  • Zoned System – In addition to the stage type, separate heating and cooling zones can turn on or off based on sensors working with the same HVAC system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Replace My Thermostat?

You should replace your thermostat every time you replace your central air conditioner, heater, or HVAC system. Thermostats typically last 10 years before their performance starts to decline or they stop working.

  • Thermostat has a short battery life, dusty coil, or wiring issues.
  • Thermostat has a blown fuse, transformer issue, or primary circuit board problem.
  • Thermostat is tilted or in a bad location and needs to be moved.
  • Programmed settings change on their own.
  • Heat anticipator needs adjustment to a longer or shorter lag time.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Thermostat?

Common symptoms of a bad or failing home thermostat are:

  1. Thermostat display not working or only partially functioning, and there are no power or circuit issues.
  2. Thermostat’s recorded temps in the house don’t match temps measured with another recorder.
  3. It doesn’t switch heat or cool air on or off within 15 minutes of you changing the settings.
  4. Hot or cold air turns on and off too frequently, takes too long to turn on, or doesn’t work at all.
  5. The batteries have corroded the connection points. Replace the batteries once a year to avoid corrosion.
  6. Using a multimeter, check if your electrical connections are working or if it’s the thermostat that’s broken. It measures voltage, current, and resistance.

How Long Does A Home Thermostat Last?

A home thermostat lasts 10 years on average. The life expectancy depends on proper maintenance like dusting the coils, adjusting the anticipator, and making sure the thermostat is level. After a decade, the thermostat’s performance often begins to decline.

How Long Does It Take to Replace A Thermostat?

Replacing a thermostat takes 30 minutes to 3 hours on average, depending on the type, accessories, and if any repairs are needed. Smart thermostats take the longest to install and require rewiring and Wi-Fi setup.

How to Replace a Thermostat?

Most brands and home improvement stores have instructions and instructional videos for how to install or replace a thermostat. Check out Honeywell’s or Lowe’s how-to videos.

  1. Tools and materials – Needle-nose pliers, screwdriver, cell phone camera to record existing wiring, screws, mounting plate, thermostat.
  2. Power – Make sure you turn the power off at the circuit breaker before beginning, and also the power to your AC or furnace unit.
  3. Photo – Once you have removed the thermostat face, take a picture of the existing wiring to ensure the correct new wiring, or label them.
  4. Disconnect wiring – Disconnect wires and take care not to let connecting wires slip back into the wall by taping them or wrapping them around a pencil. Remove old thermostat.
  5. Line up – the new mounting plate against the wall and mark the screw holes with a pencil. Install anchors into drywall.
  6. Connect new wiring – Twist the bare end of the existing and new wires together. Connect:
    • Red to red – the 24-volt AC power to the thermostat
    • White to white – usually for heat
    • Blue or yellow to the B or Y connection – usually for cooling.

    If the thermostat has a ground wire labeled G or C, connect it to the circuit ground wire, which is usually black but sometimes green (which could alternatively be for the blower fan).

  7. Wall repair – Take care of any wall finishing.
  8. Unit – Screw new unit to the wall. Turn the power back on.

What’s the Best Setting for My Thermostat?

According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the mean indoor temperatures homeowners set their thermostats to for the most comfort are:

  • Heating: 70°F (21°C)
  • Cooling: 75°F (24°C)
Still have questions? Ask a thermostat pro. View Pros

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Hiring A Thermostat Installer

When replacing an older two-wire manual thermostat, a DIY replacement is possible once the power to the house is turned off. Installing more complex systems such as a smart, digital, or Wi-Fi unit can have 10 to 12 wires to connect and requires a professional.

An improper installation runs the risk of blowing out the new thermostat or HVAC unit or suffering an electric shock. When hiring a professional, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.
  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Never pay upfront or in cash. Agree on a payment for work completed.

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