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Question DetailsAsked on 3/2/2017

How does it cost to install wi-fi thermostats in your 3yr old house?

1 upstairs and 1 downstairs

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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


Cheapo units with minimal functionality cost about $20-50 each, full-function wi-fi thermostats (though that seems to me to be the ultimate in laziness rather than just walking a few feet to adjust it unless this is to control and monitor a remote cabin or such) run $125-300 range each, more $300-500 range if controlling more than just a single furnace or boiler plus a single A/C or heat pump (say for very large houses with multiple A/C units or heating units or whole-house fan or swamp cooler in addition to conventional HVAC) - on up to $1000 for really expensive with little or no more functionality models.

If you want WiFi to play with go for it - but realize most of them are never used in WiFi mode after the initial "playing with it" period - a normal 7-day programmable thermostat with wake, away, return, and night periods for each day (or just for weekdays and weekends) from Honeywell for $30-50 range is all most people ever need, at the most. Installation labor typically minimum service charge (1 hour charge) for that type for two of them.

Installation labor on most HVAC systems about $75-200 (around $125-150 typically in most areas) per hour - typical installation for simple units would do two zones (2 units) in an hour or so, fancier ones more like 2-3 hours including all the programming and connectivity testing and such. The connectivity and testing can be the bugaboo - not all systems like all routers (some, especially some foreign ones, even require non-standard router frequencies so you have to install a separate add-on router repeater with the controller frequency on it), and of course getting reliable connection depends on where the thermostat and the router are, whether building has a lot of metal in it or metallic vapor barriers, etc. I have heard of cases where it took basically a day to get a new WiFi HVAC control system up and running correctly, so most vendors will not give you a firm fixed price for this type of work.

And for goodness sakes be sure to document the access password and WiFi user name several places or tape inside cover, because lose that and your goose is cooked. Also, don't let them use the manufacturer default passwords - because people cruising around the airwaves can access it and change the settings or turn off your furnace or such on you. And don't lose the manual (though usually on manufactuear website also) because if you change routers in the future you may have to reprogram the thermostats to connect correctly - sometimes they autosearch and connect OK, sometimes not.

Oh - and be sure it is hooking up to the correct WiFi network - I have heard of "Internet of Things" devices accidentally connecting to a neighbor's unsecured device, then they wonder why it does not work when the neighbor moves away or changes to a router wioth different frequency or network name or finally secure it.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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