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

June 09, 2021

When you’re looking for methods to reduce heating and cooling bills, getting a smart thermostat is a smart decision. These devices learn your favorite temperatures and routine and then create an energy-efficient schedule that fits. What’s even better is that you can regulate and watch your settings from nearly anywhere with your phone, whether you’re lying in bed or away from home. (You might even be able to receive a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility company in Suffolk/Nassau County.)

In many instances, installing a smart home thermostat with the assistance of Airmax Long Island Inc is a simple job if you have a newer residence. But what if your home is older or doesn’t have the proper wiring? Can you still have 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 switching to a smart thermostat, you’ll discover that many need a C wire, or common wire, for power. If you don’t use this wire, your new thermostat may cause your heating and cooling system to have malfunctions.

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

  1. Turn off power to the thermostat at the breaker.
  2. Remove the thermostat and find the wiring.
  3. If there are five or six multicolored wires, you have what’s needed for a smart thermostat. You might be wondering what color is the C wire on a thermostat—and the answer to that is often blue.
  4. If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re almost there. Ensure the C wire isn’t rolled up inside the wall. If you can’t find one, we may be able to add one for you or you may be able to use 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 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 could be a match for you.

Nest says its thermostats are created to need minimal power and can typically share it with your heating and cooling system. However, you may need to have a specialist like Airmax Long Island Inc put in 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 good if you don’t have a thermostat C wire.

Rely on Airmax Long Island Inc for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs

At Airmax Long Island Inc, we’re always on the lookout for ways to keep you more comfortable while keeping energy expenses reasonable. If you want to learn more about upgrading to a smart thermostat without a C wire, give us a call at 631-737-5566. We can help you pick the right model for your home and even add new wiring if needed.