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 lower heating and cooling bills, upgrading to a smart thermostat is a smart move. These devices learn the temperatures you like and routine and then create an energy-efficient schedule that fits. What’s even better is that you can change and keep an eye on your settings from nearly anywhere with your phone, whether you’re lying in bed or out and about. (You might even be able to get a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility company in Hamilton.)

In most instances, installing a smart home thermostat with the assistance of Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC is a straightforward task if you have a newer home. But what if your residence is older or doesn’t have the proper wiring? Can you still install a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you demystify the process so you can select the ideal 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 need batteries. When you’re switching to a smart thermostat, you’ll discover that many have to have a C wire, or common wire, for power. Without this wire, your new thermostat could cause your heating and cooling system to have malfunctions.

You can find out 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’s required for a smart thermostat. You might be thinking what color is the C wire on a thermostat—and the answer to that is usually blue.
  4. If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re close. Ensure the C wire isn’t tucked within the wall. If you can’t find one, we may be able to put in 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 install a smart thermostat with an adaptor just for high-voltage systems. Or you may be able to operate a battery-powered smart thermostat, like the Lux Geo Wi-Fi Thermostat, if your wiring isn’t right and you don’t want to replace it.

Do Nest or ecobee Need a C Wire?

Two of the best-selling brands are the Nest smart thermostat and ecobee smart thermostat. If you have two to four wires, these thermostats may work for your needs.

Nest says its thermostats are created to need very little power and can frequently share it with your heating and cooling system. However, you may need to have a professional like Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC install a C wire with the Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat if you’re running into power problems or a battery that’s always drained.

ecobee works with 24-volt systems (ones with three to six thermostat wires) and includes a C wire adaptor. So, you’re good if you don’t have a thermostat C wire.

Depend on Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs

At Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC, we’re always seeking approaches to keep you cozier while keeping energy costs reasonable. If you have questions about switching to a smart thermostat without a C wire, give us a call at 513-268-5164. We can help you pick the right model for your residence and even install new wiring if needed.