I Want a Smart Thermostat but Don't Have a C Wire - What Are My Options?

June 09, 2021

When you’re wanting approaches to reduce energy bills, upgrading to a smart thermostat is an intelligent idea. These devices pick up on your temperature preferences and routine and then create an energy-efficient schedule that matches. What’s even better is that you can regulate and monitor your settings from almost anywhere with your phone, whether you’re lying in bed or out and about. (You might even be eligible for a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility supplier in Genoa.)

In most instances, installing a smart home thermostat with the assistance of Assured Appliance and Heating & Air is an uncomplicated process if you have a newer house. But what if your home is older or doesn’t have the proper wiring? Can you still install a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you figure out the process so you can pick the correct thermostat and receive energy savings for a long time.

What Is a C Wire and What Does It Do on a Thermostat?

The majority of programmable thermostats use batteries. When you’re making the move to a smart thermostat, you’ll discover that many require a C wire, or common wire, for power. Without this wire, your new thermostat might cause your heating and cooling system to have malfunctions.

You can determine if you have a C wire by doing the following:

  1. Switch off power to the thermostat at the breaker.
  2. Pull off the thermostat and find the wiring.
  3. If there are five or six multicolored wires, you have what you need for a smart thermostat. You might be thinking what color is the C wire on a thermostat—and the answer to that is typically blue.
  4. If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re almost there. Check the C wire isn’t hidden in the wall. If you can’t find one, we may be able to add one for you or you may be able to use your new thermostat without one.
  5. If you have two thick wires, you may be able to run a smart thermostat with an adaptor just for high-voltage systems. Or you may be able to install a battery-powered smart thermostat, like the Lux Geo Wi-Fi Thermostat, if your wiring won’t work and you don’t want to put in new wiring.

Do Nest or ecobee Need a C Wire?

Two of the top brands are the Nest smart thermostat and ecobee smart thermostat. If you have two to four wires, these thermostats might work for you.

Nest says its thermostats are designed to consume not a lot of power and can frequently share it with your home comfort system. However, you may need to have a pro like Assured Appliance and Heating & Air install a C wire with the Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat if you’re experiencing power problems or a battery that’s frequently drained.

ecobee is compatible with 24-volt systems (ones with three to six thermostat wires) and has a C wire adaptor. So, you’re taken care of if you don’t have a thermostat C wire.

Trust Assured Appliance and Heating & Air for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs

At Assured Appliance and Heating & Air, we’re always on the lookout for methods to keep you comfier while keeping utility costs reasonable. If you want to learn more about switching to a smart thermostat without a C wire, give us a call at 847-306-8990. We can help you choose the right model for your home and even put in new wiring if required.