When you’re wanting methods to decrease utility bills, getting a smart thermostat is a wise idea. These devices adjust to the temperatures you like and routine and then make an energy-efficient schedule to match. What’s even better is that you can change and watch your settings from nearly anywhere with your phone, whether you’re relaxing in bed or out and about. (You might even be able to get a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility supplier in York.)
In many instances, hooking up a smart home thermostat with the help of Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning is an uncomplicated process if you have a new house. But what if your house is older or doesn’t have the correct wiring? Can you still install a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you navigate the process so you can select the recommended thermostat and receive energy savings for years to come.
What Is a C Wire and What Does It Do on a Thermostat?
The majority of programmable thermostats use batteries. When you’re upgrading to a smart thermostat, you’ll learn that many have to have a C wire, or common wire, for power. If you don’t use this wire, your new thermostat might cause your heating and cooling system to have malfunctions.
You can ascertain if you have a C wire by doing the following:
- Switch off power to the thermostat at the breaker.
- Pull off the thermostat and find the wiring.
- If there are five or six multicolored wires, you have what’s required for a smart thermostat. You might be wondering what color is the C wire on a thermostat—and the answer to that is typically blue.
- If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re nearly there. Ensure the C wire isn’t tucked inside the wall. If you can’t find one, we may be able to add one for you or you may be able to run your new thermostat without one.
- If you have two thick wires, you may be able to use a smart thermostat with an adaptor specifically for high-voltage systems. Or you may be able to use a battery-powered smart thermostat, like the Lux Geo Wi-Fi Thermostat, if your wiring isn’t right and you don’t want to install new wiring.
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 could work for your needs.
Nest says its thermostats are made to need very little power and can typically share it with your home comfort system. However, you may need to have a pro like Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning 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 is compatible with 24-volt systems (ones with three to six thermostat wires) and includes a C wire adaptor. So, you’re taken care of if you don’t have a thermostat C wire.
Depend on Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs
At Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re always seeking methods to keep you more comfortable while keeping utility expenses reasonable. If you have questions about installing a smart thermostat without a C wire, give us a call at 717-383-4479. We can help you pick the right model for your house and even put in new wiring if necessary.