When you’re looking for ways to decrease heating and cooling bills, getting a smart thermostat is a smart move. These devices pick up on your favorite temperatures and routine and then develop an energy-efficient schedule that fits. What’s even better is that you can change and monitor your settings from just about anywhere with your phone, whether you’re sitting in bed or on the go. (You might even be able to get a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility company in Chelan and Wenatchee.)
Most of the time, adding a smart home thermostat with the help of Lakeside Heating & Air is a straightforward job if you have a new house. But what if your residence is older or doesn’t have the correct wiring? Can you still have a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you figure out the process so you can pick the proper thermostat and enjoy energy savings for years to come.
What Is a C Wire and What Does It Do on a Thermostat?
Most programmable thermostats need batteries. When you’re making the move to a smart thermostat, you’ll learn that many have to have a C wire, or common wire, for power. If you don’t have this wire, your new thermostat could cause your heating and cooling system to malfunction.
You can determine if you have a C wire by doing the following:
- Cut power to the thermostat at the breaker.
- Pull off the thermostat and look at the wiring.
- If there are five or six multicolored wires, you have what’s needed 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.
- If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re nearly there. Make sure the C wire isn’t rolled up inside the wall. If you can’t find one, we may be able to install one for you or you may be able to use your new thermostat without one.
- If you have two thick wires, you may be able to use 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 most popular brands are the Nest smart thermostat and ecobee smart thermostat. If you have two to four wires, these thermostats could be an option for you.
Nest says its thermostats are made to require not a lot of power and can frequently share it with your home comfort system. However, you may need to have a pro like Lakeside Heating & Air put in a C wire with the Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat if you’re having power problems or a battery that’s frequently drained.
ecobee is compatible with 24-volt systems (ones with three to six thermostat wires) and comes with a C wire adaptor. So, you’re taken care of if you don’t have a thermostat C wire.
Rely on Lakeside Heating & Air for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs
At Lakeside Heating & Air, we’re always seeking methods to keep you comfier while keeping heating and cooling bills reasonable. If you want to know more about installing a smart thermostat without a C wire, contact us at 509-284-4265. We can help you pick the right model for your residence and even install new wiring if necessary.