Thermostat Replacement Cost

An HVAC professional with gloves on replacing the batteries on a thermostat

Your choice of thermostat can make or break your home’s energy efficiency.  Fortunately, thermostat replacement cost is among the least expensive HVAC repairs, but it can have a powerful impact on your home’s comfort level and HVAC systems’ functioning.

This guide will help you determine how much a new thermostat costs, factors to consider, and the energy efficiency benefits you’ll enjoy by installing a new thermostat.

Average Cost of Thermostat Replacement

Like any home improvement project, it’s important to have accurate cost expectations for a new thermostat. The good news is that the average cost ranges from $15 – $500, depending on the type and the labor involved.

It’s one of the lower-cost home improvements, but it can have a large impact on your home’s comfort level. While generally inexpensive, there are situations that may increase the overall cost of thermostat installation.

For example, in homes with older or improper wiring, installation costs may increase. Your cost may also increase if you need additional accessories, such as a thermostat cover or wall plate.

Cost Breakdown of Different Types of Thermostats

The largest variation in thermostat replacement cost stems from the type of thermostat choses.

Basic Thermostats

Manual thermostats are the easiest to replace and the most affordable. However, they offer the fewest benefits. Their average cost is $15 to $35 per thermostat, and homeowners can often install them without professional support.

If you want to upgrade your current manual thermostat, which was manufactured before 2006, be careful as it may contain mercury. Fortunately, today’s models do not. But if your current model has mercury, hiring a professional to replace it is best.

The downside of basic thermostats is that they don’t do much except set the temperature in your home. You must turn them on and off manually or change the temperature yourself, as needed.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats were the first innovation after manual thermostats. They allow homeowners to set temperatures for different times of day without manually changing them.

You can set programmable thermostats to turn on and off at certain times of the day or change temperatures based on the home’s activity, such as coming home from school or work. The average cost of programmable thermostats is $20 to $150, but the actual costs depend on the brand and features needed.

Smart Thermostats 

Smart thermostats cost the most but have the most features. The average cost ranges from $130 – $300, so they’re not incredibly inexpensive, but they have a high ROI. Like programmable thermostats, you can set different temperatures for different times of the day or have the system turn on and off as needed.

However, additional features include managing your HVAC system from your phone or for the thermostat to determine the house’s temperature based on its activity level. Many smart thermostats can also learn your family’s habits or preferences and set the temperatures accordingly.

Factors Influencing Thermostat Costs

When choosing the right thermostat for your home, consider these factors that affect how much a new thermostat costs.

Type of Thermostat

As we discussed above, the type of thermostat plays a vital role in its overall cost. Smart thermostats cost the most but have the most features. Basic or manual thermostats cost the least but have the fewest features.

Compatibility with Existing HVAC Systems

Not all thermostats are compatible with all HVAC systems. Before buying a new thermostat, ensure it works with your existing system for optimal performance. Check the system’s voltage and ensure it matches the thermometer’s for compatibility.

Brand and Model

Like any purchase, there are different brands and models at every price point. The installation fee is generally the same, no matter the brand or model, but the unit itself may cost more.

For example, Nest thermostats are among the most expensive, with some models topping out at $500, whereas Honeywell has models starting at $69.99 and up.

Additional Features

Some thermostats, namely smart thermostats, have additional features that increase their efficiency and cost. Smart/Wi-Fi thermostats justify their higher price tag with advanced features like:

  • Remote access to control  from your phone
  • Learning capabilities to adapt to your schedule
  • Voice control via smart home assistants
  • Integration with other smart devices for automation
  • Detailed energy usage data and reporting
  • Customizable settings for different rooms/zones

While smart models have the highest upfront cost, their efficiency and convenience provide long-term savings that can offset the investment.

Installation Complexity and Labor Fees

Like most home services, thermostat installation pricing varies based on your geographic location. Larger metropolitan areas tend to have higher labor rates.  

The average cost to install a new thermostat is $65 to $100 per hour. The total cost varies based on the time it takes to handle all the steps in the installation process . For example, if you have a brand new thermometer installed, there are costs to cut the wall, install new wiring, and set up the thermostat. 

If you’re simply replacing a thermostat and the existing wiring is still good, it may not take as long or cost as much.

When to Replace Your Thermostat

If you already have a thermostat, you may wonder why you’d consider replacing it. While the cost isn’t excessive, it’s still another cost of maintaining your home. Here are some common signs that indicate you need a new thermostat.

  • HVAC system starts and stops constantly: Your thermostat and HVAC system must be able to communicate. If the thermostat stops working because of frayed wires, damage, or old age, it’s time to replace it.
  • Incorrect thermostat readings: If your thermostat isn’t registering temperatures properly, your HVAC system won’t be able to keep your house at comfortable temperatures and may run too often or not enough.
  • High energy bills: If your energy bills suddenly increase, it could be a sign that your thermostat doesn’t have accurate readings. The more your HVAC system must run to keep a comfortable temperature, the more it costs. If your thermostat is off, it could make your HVAC system run needlessly.
  • The thermostat is old: Most thermostats last ten years or less. If you’ve had your thermostat for over ten years, even if it runs, it may not be efficient or accurate, causing your HVAC to run harder than necessary.

Benefits of Upgrading Your Thermostat

Despite the cost of a new thermostat, upgrading to a newer and possibly more efficient thermostat has several benefits, especially if you upgrade to a programmable or smart thermostat.

  • Save money: According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% on your energy bills annually by turning your thermostat down 10%—15 % for eight hours a day. If you work outside the house or can turn the temperature down at night, you can accomplish this, and a programmable or smart thermostat makes it easier.
  • Comfort: Having a thermostat that keeps your home at the most comfortable temperature for your home’s activities is incredibly convenient. Knowing you aren’t wasting energy when not at home, you can also rest assured that your home will be a comfortable temperature when you get home when using a programmable or smart thermostat.
  • Increase the lifespan of your HVAC system: Installing a thermostat that decreases the use of your HVAC system when no one is home can increase its lifespan. Not using the system excessively can also decrease the cost of necessary HVAC repairs.
  • Access to more data: Programmable and smart thermostats provide helpful information to understand your energy usage. This may help determine when to decrease your HVAC system’s use and save more money.

Cost-Saving Strategies

While thermostat replacement can be a worthwhile investment, you should consider these tips to keep costs down:

  • DIY Installation: If you’re comfortable working with electrical components and have experience with basic home improvement projects, you can save on labor costs by installing a non-programmable or basic programmable thermostat yourself.
  • Energy Efficiency Rebates or Incentives: Many utility companies and government programs offer rebates or incentives for installing energy-efficient thermostats, which can help offset the upfront cost.
  • Purchasing Refurbished or Open-Box Thermostats: You may be able to find discounted prices on refurbished or open-box thermostats from reputable retailers or manufacturers.

Budgeting Tips and Strategies

Knowing how much a thermostat costs, you can budget and explore your options to get the most energy-efficient option in your home.

1. Set a budget

Determine how much money you have to spend on a new thermostat. Don’t forget the cost of installation. When determining the cost, consider whether you’ll need new wiring or other extensive work, such as cutting out the wall to install it.

2. Consider payment options

Even though a thermostat isn’t a huge investment, knowing your payment options is important. Some companies have payment plans or offer financing options, especially if you’re installing multiple thermostats in your home.

3. Look at the Big Picture

When considering your thermostat options, look at the big picture. While the initial investment can be several hundred dollars, it can pay off by using less energy and decreasing the wear and tear on your HVAC system.

DIY vs Professional Installation Costs

Installing a new thermostat isn’t a terribly complicated job, especially if you’re replacing it with a similar type. If you’re handy and willing to deal with wires, you could save $65 to $100 in labor.

However, if there are any issues with the wires or it’s a new installation, the job is best left for the professionals. Smart thermostats, for example, have many more nuances than basic thermostats, and if they cannot communicate with the home’s systems, they are useless.

It’s typically best to stick with professional installation to ensure it’s installed properly, works well with your system, and provides the energy efficiency you desire by installing a new thermostat.

Additional Considerations and Tips

If you’re planning a more extensive HVAC system overhaul or upgrade, bundling your thermostat replacement with the overall project can be a smart, cost-effective approach. By combining the thermostat installation with other HVAC work, you may be able to secure a package deal or discount from your contractor, reducing the total cost compared to handling each project separately.

Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your thermostat is The key to keeping it in good condition. Here’s what to consider:

  • Keep it clean: Just like you dust your house regularly, be sure to include your thermostat in it. Dust and dirt can build up, interfering with the thermostat’s ability to read temperatures or for your HVAC system to run properly.
  • Keep batteries fresh: Change your thermostat’s batteries regularly, especially if it gives a low battery notification. Not replacing them can make the thermostat run inefficiently, causing more stress on your HVAC system.
  • Watch its performance: If your thermostat starts acting up, address the issues immediately. Calling an HVAC professional ensures you take care of the problem right away and avoid further damage to your HVAC system.

Thermostat Recycling

If replacing an older mercury-based thermostat model, proper disposal is imperative to avoid releasing this toxic substance. Here are some eco-friendly recycling options:

  • Many retailers like Home Depot offer free thermostat recycling
  • Search for local household hazardous waste collection events
  • Some municipalities include thermostat disposal in their standard recycling services

While recycling fees are typically $5 or less per unit, the environmental benefits of responsible disposal are invaluable. Always check before throwing away any old thermostats.


Replacing a thermostat is one of the least expensive changes you can make to your home, but it can pay off big in energy efficiency. The cost of replacing a thermostat can range from a few hundred to $500 or more. It depends on the type of thermostat and the complexity of the installation.

We always recommend having a professional install your thermostat to ensure its proper function and to avoid unnecessary damage to your HVAC system. The investment in professional installation ensures optimal energy efficiency and lower energy bills.


Can I replace my home thermostat myself?

It’s possible to replace a home thermostat yourself, but it’s typically best when left to the professionals. You should only consider a DIY thermostat installation when installing a basic thermostat where one already exists.

How much does Home Depot charge to install a thermostat?

Home Depot thermostat installation costs start at $99, but the actual cost depends on the type and brand of thermostat.

How do I know if my thermostat is bad?

You may notice signs that your thermostat is bad, such as your HVAC system not running consistently or too much, excessive energy bills, or it shows inaccurate temperature readings.

How many hours does it take to replace a thermostat?

Professionals can usually install a thermostat within an hour. If you decide to take the project on yourself, it could take a few more hours, depending on your expertise.

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