When you’re seeking approaches to decrease energy expenses, getting a smart thermostat is a wise move. These devices learn your favorite temperatures and routine and then develop an energy-efficient schedule to match. What’s even better is that you can change and watch your settings from nearly anywhere with your phone, whether you’re sitting in bed or out and about. (You might even be able to get a free smart thermostat depending on rebate programs from your utility company in Cedar Rapids.)

In most instances, adding a smart home thermostat with the help of Ilten's is a straightforward task if you have a more modern house. 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 demystify the process so you can select the recommended thermostat and receive energy savings for years to come.

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

The majority of programmable thermostats use batteries. When you’re switching to a smart thermostat, you’ll find that many require 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 determine if you have a C wire by doing the following:

  1. Turn off power to the thermostat at the breaker.
  2. Take off the thermostat and look at the wiring.
  3. 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 often blue.
  4. If there are three or four thin multicolored wires, you’re almost there. Check the C wire isn’t hidden 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 use 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 isn’t right and you don’t want to put in new wiring.

Do Nest or ecobee Need a C Wire?

Two of the top brands are the Nest smart thermostat and ecobee smart thermostat. If you have two to four wires, these thermostats may be an option for your home.

Nest says its thermostats are designed to need minimal power and can often share it with your heating and cooling system. However, you may need to have a professional like Ilten's 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 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 Ilten's for Your Smart Thermostat Installation Needs

At Ilten's, we’re always on the lookout for methods to keep you more comfortable while keeping heating and cooling costs reasonable. If you want to learn more about upgrading to a smart thermostat without a C wire, contact us at 319-208-2351. We can help you pick the right model for your residence and even put in new wiring if needed.