When you’re wanting methods to lower heating and cooling costs, getting a smart thermostat is a smart decision. These devices adjust to your favorite temperatures and routine and then develop an energy-efficient schedule that matches. What’s even better is that you can regulate and monitor your settings from just about 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 provider in Pella.)
Most of the time, hooking up a smart home thermostat with the assistance of Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating is a straightforward job if you have a more modern house. But what if your residence is older or doesn’t have the correct wiring? Can you still add a smart thermostat without C wire? We’ll help you navigate the process so you can pick the right thermostat and enjoy energy savings for years to come.
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 find that many require a C wire, or common wire, for power. Without this wire, your new thermostat may cause your heating and cooling system to malfunction.
You can find out 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 pondering 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 close. Make sure 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 run your new thermostat without one.
- If you have two thick wires, you may be able to run a smart thermostat with an adaptor specifically 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 is incompatible 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 your needs.
Nest says its thermostats are created to consume not a lot of power and can typically share it with your home comfort system. However, you may need to have a pro like Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating install 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 works 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 Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs
At Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating, we’re always on the lookout for methods to keep you comfier while keeping heating and cooling bills reasonable. If you want to know more about upgrading to a smart thermostat without a C wire, give us a call at 641-628-3621. We can help you choose the right model for your residence and even put in new wiring if necessary.