I Want a Smart Thermostat but Don't Have a C Wire - What Do I Do?

June 09, 2021

When you’re wanting approaches to decrease energy expenses, upgrading to a smart thermostat is a smart idea. These devices pick up on the temperatures you like and routine and then make an energy-efficient schedule to match. What’s even better is that you can adjust and watch your settings from almost anywhere with your phone, whether you’re lying in bed or on the go. (You might even be able to get a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility supplier in Bossier City.)

In many instances, adding a smart home thermostat with the support of Brooks Heating and Air Conditioning is a straightforward job if you have a new home. But what if your house is older or doesn’t have the proper wiring? Can you still install a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you navigate the process so you can select the ideal thermostat and enjoy energy savings for many years.

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

Most programmable thermostats need batteries. When you’re switching to a smart thermostat, you’ll find that many need a C wire, or common wire, for power. If you don’t have this wire, your new thermostat might cause your heating and cooling system to malfunction.

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

  1. Turn 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 pondering what color is the C wire on a thermostat—and the answer to that is typically blue.
  4. If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re nearly there. Ensure the C wire isn’t rolled up inside the wall. If you can’t find one, we may be able to put in one for you or you may be able to operate your new thermostat without one.
  5. If you have two thick wires, you may be able to run a smart thermostat with an adaptor designed for high-voltage systems. Or you may be able to install 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 most popular brands are the Nest smart thermostat and ecobee smart thermostat. If you have two to four wires, these thermostats could work for you.

Nest says its thermostats are created to consume minimal power and can typically share it with your home comfort system. However, you may need to have a professional like Brooks Heating and Air Conditioning 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 constantly drained.

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

Trust Brooks Heating and Air Conditioning for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs

At Brooks Heating and Air Conditioning, we’re always looking for ways to keep you comfier while keeping utility bills inexpensive. If you want to learn more about switching to a smart thermostat without a C wire, reach us at 800-COOLING. We can help you pick the right model for your home and even install new wiring if required.