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

June 09, 2021

When you’re seeking ways to reduce energy expenses, installing a smart thermostat is a wise idea. These devices adjust to your temperature preferences and routine and then make an energy-efficient schedule that fits. What’s even better is that you can change and monitor your settings from almost anywhere with your phone, whether you’re relaxing in bed or away from home. (You might even be able to get a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility supplier in Williamsport.)

Most of the time, installing a smart home thermostat with the help of George Home Services is a straightforward task if you have a new residence. But what if your house is older or doesn’t have the right wiring? Can you still add a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you navigate the process so you can select the correct thermostat and get energy savings for a long time.

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

Many programmable thermostats need batteries. When you’re upgrading to a smart thermostat, you’ll find that many have to have a C wire, or common wire, for power. Without this wire, your new thermostat may cause your heating and cooling system to have glitches.

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

  1. Cut power to the thermostat at the breaker.
  2. Pull off the thermostat and check the wiring.
  3. If there are five or six multicolored wires, you have what’s required for a smart thermostat. You might be pondering 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. Make sure the C wire isn’t hidden within 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.
  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 operate a battery-powered smart thermostat, like the Lux Geo Wi-Fi Thermostat, if your wiring won’t work 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 be a fit for your needs.

Nest says its thermostats are made to run on very little power and can frequently share it with your home comfort system. However, you may need to have a specialist like George Home Services add 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 has a C wire adaptor. So, you’re taken care of if you don’t have a thermostat C wire.

Depend on George Home Services for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs

At George Home Services, we’re always seeking ways to keep you more comfortable while keeping utility expenses reasonable. If you want to learn more about installing a smart thermostat without a C wire, reach us at 570-244-2510. We can help you pick the right model for your home and even put in new wiring if needed.