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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Programmable Thermostat

Programmable Thermostat Cost


How Much Does a Programmable Thermostat Cost?

 
low costLow: Thermostats start $25-$80average costMedium: More Advanced Models Run $80-$250high costHigh: Installation Can Add $75-$150
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A thermostat turns on the furnace or air conditioner until the indoor temperature reaches the set temperature, then turns the system off. With a traditional dial thermostat, you have to turn the heat or air conditioning on and off manually each time you want it changed. A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperatures you want at specific times of the day, so the system doesn't get left on while you are asleep or out of the house.

Typical costs:

  • Prices start around $25-$80 for a basic programmable thermostat that lets you set a daily temperature schedule. More advanced models run $80-$250 or more, and include features such as separate weekday and weekend schedules (called 5/2 or 5/1/1 programming) or a different schedule for each day of the week (7 day programming); vacation override; easy-read displays; remote sensors for separate zones; remote programming; a keyboard lock to prevent unauthorized changes to the set schedule; and other options. Programmable thermostats designed for electric heat pumps are usually more expensive because of two-stage heating.
  • Installation costs are extra. Many basic units can be installed by a do-it-yourselfer with simple wiring skills, although other folks may prefer to hire a pro. A heating/air conditioning contractor may charge $75-$150 (depending on local rates) to remove an existing thermostat and install a programmable one, bumping the total cost to $100-$400.
Related articles: Furnace, Furnace Tune-up, Programmable Thermostat, Weatherstripping

What should be included:
  • Most programmable thermostats are digital, electromechanical, or some combination of those two. Electromechanical models are usually relatively simple to program, using pegs or sliding bars. Digital models may be difficult for some people to program, but offer the most features such as multiple setback settings, overrides and adjustments for daylight savings time. The US Department of Energy provides an overivew[1] of thermostats and control systems.
  • Location can affect a thermostat's efficiency and performance; it should be installed in a spot where it's easy to program but away from direct sunlight, drafts, doorways, skylights and windows. Installation involves turning off the power, disconnected the old thermostat, and mounting and wiring the new programmable thermostat. CornerHardware.com gives detailed instructions[2] , ThisOldHouse.com provides a how-to video[3] and FrugalDad.com shares his installation experience [4] .
Discounts:
  • Check with your local power company or utility department to see if they offer a rebate for installing a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is intended to save heating and cooling costs by resetting temperatures according to a set schedule, and the US Environmental Protection Agency provides a calculator[5] to estimate how much you'll save using a programmable thermostat instead of a regular dial model.
  • Have a dial thermostat removed and a programmable one installed at the same time as a spring air conditioner or fall furnace tune-up to save a few bucks by avoiding having a technician make a separate trip, but be sure to say you want a new thermostat installed when you schedule up the tune-up.
Shopping for a programmable thermostat:
  • Programmable thermostats are available from most hardware and home improvement stores. Major manufacturers include American Standard, Honeywell[6] , Hunter and Lux.
  • EnergyStar.gov gives tips for choosing[7] and installing[8] a programmable thermostat, and lists stores[9] that carry Energy Star-approved products.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
BGE Peak rewards
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Kathryn in Edgewood, MD.Posted: April 18th, 2009 12:04PM
If you are in the Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) service area, you can get a FREE programmable thermostat and up to $100 in bill credits for signing up for the Peak Rewards program. I get on that works with my heat pump and cut $100-200 off of my monthly bill. http://peakrewards.bgesmartenergy.com/
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External Resources:
  1.  energy.gov/energysaver/articles/thermostats-and-control-systems
  2.  www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht018.html
  3.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20053916,00.html
  4.  frugaldad.com/how-to-install-programmable-thermostat/
  5.  www.energystar.gov/ia/business/bulk_purchasing/bpsavings_calc/CalculatorProgrammableThe...
  6.  www.honeywell-thermostat.com/
  7.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=thermostats.pr_thermostats_features
  8.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=thermostats.pr_thermostats_installation
  9.  www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=store.store_locator
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