How Much Does HVAC Thermostat Replacement Cost?

Common Range: $75 – $395

National Average: $267, Includes Thermostat and Installation

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Updated: October 31, 2022, by: Steve Hansen

Replacement Cost for a Home HVAC Thermostat

The cost range to have your home thermostat replaced is between $75 to $395, including the thermostat and installation from an HVAC company near you. The final cost is going to depend on the type of thermostat you need, as well as any added features like being programmable, communicating with the main equipment, Wifi ready, smart-home ready, etc.

Expect the contractor to arrive, diagnose and complete the thermostat replacement in less than 2 hours. They will first test the existing system to assure the thermostat is bad. Once determined, they’ll remove the old thermostat and if needed, install a thermostat backing plate behind the new thermostat to cover the area and assure a clean finished look. Once all wiring connections are completed, they’ll test the new thermostat and should provide a walk-through of how it works, features you may need to understand, etc. When completed, they’ll clean up the work area and complete the repair.

Average Replacement Cost Range

Average Do It Yourself Cost
Average Contractor Installed Cost
Typical Cost Range
$75 – $395

home thermostat replacement

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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.

New 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.
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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 Time and Labor Cost

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
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Here are several other common projects related to having a home HVAC thermostat installed.

Are You a Home HVAC or Thermostat Replacement Pro?

If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.

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.
  • Home Depot has a nifty video to help a handy homeowner install your thermostat.

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.

Get Free Thermostat Replacement Cost Estimates

Get Free Thermostat Replacement Cost Estimates

Compare Costs from Leading Resources

  • HomeAdvisor: $115 - $235, Thermostat Cost Range
  • HomeGuide: $140 - $350, Thermostat Replacement, including Installation
  • HomeWyse: $320 - $380, Includes Thermostat and Installation Cost
  • Fixr: $100 - $400, Thermostat and Installation
  • HowMuch: $315, Average Replacement Cost

Common Questions and Answers

Are AC and Heat Pump Thermostats the Same?

No. On the less costly models, you'll want to get the correct type of thermostat for your AC or Heat Pump system. On more advanced and programmable models, there are usually ways to setup the thermostat to work for either a heat pump or central ac and furnace.

Reviewed and Edited by Steve Hansen of Costimates

steve hansen of costimates-sm Steve Hansen is the Lead Editor of Costimates. (Learn more) An avid home improvement professional with more than 35 years experience in both DIY projects and working as a construction foreman in residential new home building, upfits, repairs and remodeling.

"Like most homeowners, I became frustrated with the lack of quality information available on specific home improvement repairs and renovations. In 2015, Costimates was formed to help homeowners learn as much as possible about various projects and their costs so they could make better financial decisions."