When you’re seeking methods to decrease heating and cooling expenses, getting a smart thermostat is a smart idea. These devices learn your favorite temperatures and routine and then create an energy-efficient schedule that matches. What’s even better is that you can adjust and monitor your settings from just about anywhere with your phone, whether you’re lying in bed or away from home. (You might even be eligible for a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility company in Houston.)
In many instances, installing a smart home thermostat with the help of Air Current AC & Heat is a simple process if you have a new house. But what if your residence is older or doesn’t have the right wiring? Can you still install a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you demystify the process so you can pick the correct thermostat and enjoy energy savings for many years.
What Is a C Wire and What Does It Do on a Thermostat?
The majority of programmable thermostats run on batteries. When you’re upgrading to a smart thermostat, you’ll find that many require 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 malfunction.
You can determine if you have a C wire by doing the following:
- Cut power to the thermostat at the breaker.
- Take off the thermostat and look at the wiring.
- 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 often blue.
- If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re nearly there. Ensure the C wire isn’t hidden within the wall. If you can’t find one, we may be able to install 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 install 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 is incompatible and you don’t want to put in new wiring.
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 may be an option for you.
Nest says its thermostats are made to require minimal power and can typically share it with your HVAC system. However, you may need to have a pro like Air Current AC & Heat install a C wire with the Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat if you’re experiencing power problems or a battery that’s always drained.
ecobee is compatible with 24-volt systems (ones with three to six thermostat wires) and has a C wire adaptor. So, you’re good if you don’t have a thermostat C wire.
Trust Air Current AC & Heat for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs
At Air Current AC & Heat, we’re always seeking methods to keep you comfier while keeping utility costs reasonable. If you want to know more about installing a smart thermostat without a C wire, give us a call at 713-322-4318. We can help you choose the right model for your home and even put in new wiring if needed.