Thermostats are temperature-sensitive units that turn your cooling and heating systems on and off when the temperature in a particular room or entire house reaches its pre-set limit. They keep your home comfortable, safe and also aids in reducing energy consumption.
The type of thermostat you should buy generally depends on the kind of cooling and heating system in your home, the features you want in it, how you wish to use the thermostat and how much you want to spend.
If it’s the cost of new thermostat that plays a major role in your buying decision, then you are at the right place. This post will talk about different types of thermostats with a primary emphasis on the price of a thermostat to provide you with a clear idea of what kind of thermostat will be suited for your budget.
Moreover, if you are not someone who likes DIY projects, we’ll also talk about the labor cost for thermostat replacement to ensure that you can buy a thermostat only after understanding the total buying as well as installation cost.
Cost to Install Thermostat
If you are thinking to buy a new thermostat, no matter what your budget is, you’ll have a gamut of options to choose from. The days when a thermostat used to be a small, metal unit which you used to adjust with the help of a glass dial are long gone.
Modern thermostats are available in many different types and have innovative features that can improve the efficiency of your cooling and heating system while also providing you with considerable energy savings. Keep reading to know more about different types of thermostats and how much does it cost to have a thermostat installed.
Types of Thermostats
- Low Voltage and Line Voltage – If your home is old or uses electric resistance heaters or baseboards, you’ll be required to buy a line-voltage thermostat which is directly installed in the electrical system of your home to allow you to control your cooling and heating units. However, majority of the homes now have oil, gas or electric-powered heating systems and a low-voltage thermostat will be required with such families.
An ideal way to know whether you have a low voltage or line voltage thermostat in your home is by checking the wiring. Low voltage thermostats have thing wiring, just like the one that is used in your speakers, whereas line voltage thermostats have thick wires.
- Programmable Thermostats ($20 to $200 and even more) – Majority of the modern thermostats are programmable. These thermostats allow you to pre-set an upper and lower limit of temperature, based on which, the thermostat will turn your air conditioner of the heater on and off.
Apart from setting temperature, programmable thermostats, like Honeywell THR870, also allow you to adjust your thermostat as per the day and night temperature, as well as for individual times and days of a week.
- NonProgrammable Thermostats ($20-$50) – Also known as mechanical thermostats, these thermostats do not provide you with the ability to pre-set temperatures. They only offer basic control of house or room temperature, and you need to adjust them manuallyto control your cooling and heating unit.
Moreover, the non-programmable thermostats that use bimetallic strip are known to respond slowly to temperature variations. Also, remember that not every digital thermostat is programmable.
- Learning Thermostats ($200-$800) – The latest addition to the world of thermostats are learning thermostats. These are programmable thermostats that do not require you to pre-set the temperature limits. Learning thermostats, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, learn about your preferences over time and then adjust themselves accordingly to offer enhanced comfort.
They can be connected to the Wi-Fi network of your home and can be easily managed from your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Moreover, many of them are internet-based and allow you to control the thermostat through a mobile application even when you are away from home. As they offer a large number of innovative features, the cost of a new thermostat of this type is generally higher than all the other types of thermostats.
Choosing a Thermostat to Match the Existing Equipment
While choosing between different types of thermostats, make sure that you also focus on your existing cooling and heating equipment. Many of the thermostats are only meant to control the heating equipment, while other can control both- heating and cooling equipment.
Moreover, if you have a cooling or heating system that works in multiple stages, like a heating furnace that features dual burners, heat pump, dual-speed air conditioner, etc. you will need a thermostat that can handle this complex functioning of the equipment.
A large number of thermostats have features that allow you to match the unit with the existing equipment. For instance, they can have wire or a small switch that lets you match the thermostat with equipment. This adjustment feature is essential as there are many heating systems that heat up slowly and some of them also feature fans, while others don’t.
There are also zoned heating and cooling systems that function as per the individual temperature needs of different rooms in a home. Such type of systems will also require a thermostat that can manage these zones.
How Much to Install a Thermostat?
Once you’ve selected a thermostat, the next thing you’d like to know is how much does it cost to replace a thermostat at home? While removing the existing thermostat and replacing it with a new one is not a very complicated process, and you can do it yourself, it involves working with wires and electricity. As a result, it is recommended that you should let a professional handle this process.
As the process is not very complicated, the labor cost shouldn’t be too high. A qualified professional can charge around $100 to $150 for removing the existing the thermostat and replacing it with the new one. Moreover, additional supplies and materials, like fittings and connectors might also be required. This will cost an additional $20-$25.
If you want to install multiple thermostats, ask the professional about the total installation charges. While the cost of installing multiple thermostats will be higher than installing a single thermostat, the average cost of installing every unit will be lower as the professional will be able to finish it in a single visit.
However, you will be required to spend some money on additional supplies and materials. It is also recommended that you should consult with multiple electricians or other qualified professional to ensure that you do not overpay for the job.
Thermostat Repair Cost
Many of the times when your cooling or heating system stops functioning, the problem is not with the system itself but with the thermostat. Rather than repairing or replacing your HVAC system, first check the functioning of your thermostat.
Tripping of the circuit breaker, blowing a fuse, faulty wiring, improper calibration, etc. are some of the reasons that can result in the malfunctioning of a thermostat. The average repair cost of a thermostat ranges between $60 and $150, depending on the problem. Moreover, if the thermostat consistently malfunctions even after replacing the batteries and resetting the breaker, completely replacing the thermostat is an economical option.
Consult with a professional before taking a decision and keep the above points in mind before buying one.
While there are many different types and brands available in the market, make sure that you thoroughly research about the type of thermostat you need and check reviews about the model you want to buy, to ensure that the thermostat you choose is well-within your budget, has the latest features and can offer the required comfort and energy-savings.