SECURITY

6 Smart Thermostats You Can Install Without a C Wire

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Smart thermostats are incredibly convenient, allowing people to automate their home's heating and cooling system.

The ability to connect your home's thermostat to a Wi-Fi connection means you can control your smart thermostat from anywhere, even if you aren't at home. This not only allows you to schedule the right temperature for your environment but also helps you save costs on your energy bill. It's the perfect way to start building a smart home as many smart thermostats offer integration with other products like locks, cameras, and more.

When looking for the best smart thermostats, it's important to understand whether you need to purchase a smart thermostat with or without a C wire.

What Is a C Wire?

The C wire (common wire) powers a smart thermostat by providing a constant flow of 24 VAC (volts AC).

The term "constant flow" is the key here, because the C wire isn't the source of power. The R wires are the actual source of power, but they are not continuous, hence the use of the C wire.

However, not all home wiring consists of a C wire. The good news is, some of the best smart thermostats do not require the power from the C wire to work.

In fact, some of the best smart thermostats like the Google Nest Thermostat have no requirement for the C wire as they contain rechargeable batteries or other technology that removes the need for one. Here's a look at some of the best.

1. Google Nest Thermostat E

google nest thermostat e smart thermostat

Google's Nest Thermostat E is a simple smart thermostat that uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This bypasses the need for the C wire, offering an always-on display that details the current temperature setting.

Compatible with most voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, the Google Nest Thermostat E can be adjusted easily using voice commands, or via the handy smartphone app.

From one simple dashboard, you can see how much energy you've saved, invite other family members to control the smart thermostat, and set temperature schedules in each of your rooms.

Best of all, the Google Nest Thermostat E is incredibly easy to install and is one of the most versatile Wi-Fi thermostats with no C wire.

2. ecobee Lite SmartThermostat

ecobee lite smartthermostat

If you're searching for a smart thermostat that you can install without a C wire, on a budget, the ecobee Lite SmartThermostat is a wise choice.

While it doesn't feature all of the bells and whistles the latest generation ecobee does, it still allows you to control your heating and cooling directly from the app. This means you can schedule programs efficiently.

The ecobee Lite SmartThermostat ships with a Power Extender Kit that allows you to bypass the C wire requirement.

Aside from controlling your HVAC system, this smart thermostat is small and easy to install, making it a great option if you want to install a smart thermostat without a C wire.

3. Google Nest Learning Thermostat

google nest learning thermostat

Google's Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the most popular smart thermostats, and for good reason. It's a fully programmable thermostat that boasts voice controls, compatible with Alexa, and comes in a range of designs.

One of the added benefits of opting for the Google Nest Learning Thermostat is that it can be installed with or without a C wire. So if you move homes, you'll have both options available.

A word of caution, however, is that some users may experience issues with their HVAC systems due to the smart thermostat taking power from the furnace control circuits to charge up the internal battery.

In most cases, this won't be an issue, and you'll be able to enjoy your feature-rich smart thermostat without a C wire.

4. Sensibo Sky

sensibo sky smart thermostat without c wire

For those that don't have a central heating system or want to control just their AC units, the Sensibo Sky is an excellent smart air conditioner system.

With quick and easy installation, the Sensibo Sky doesn't require a C wire to be able to control your AC units. You can connect the smart system via Wi-Fi to control it via the smartphone app.

Alternatively, use voice assistants like Apple's Siri, Google, and Amazon Alexa to control your home's temperature.

By leveraging the Sensibo Sky's smart features, you can save energy and reduce your bills with scheduling and geo-fencing.

5. Lux GEO-WH Wi-Fi Thermostat

lux geo thermostat

While not the most stylish smart thermostat, the Lux GEO-WH Wi-Fi Thermostat is a safe bet if you've tried other smart thermostats without a C wire that aren't compatible with your heating system.

It can be powered via two AA batteries, micro-USB, or C wire. This gives you multiple options, making the process far more straightforward, and easy to install.

You can program your Lux GEO-WH Wi-Fi Thermostat via the unit or through the app with a Wi-Fi connection.

The only scenario where you would need a C wire for this smart thermostat is if you wanted to use its Alexa voice control capabilities.

6. Emerson Sensi

emerson sensi cheap smart thermostat without c wire

One of the most affordable smart thermostats you can install without a C wire is the Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat. It works with Alexa and boasts DIY installation.

For most applications, the C wire isn't required. You'll only need a C wire if you have a heat or cool-only system, heat pump, or you want to use Apple HomeKit.

Using Wi-Fi connectivity, the Emerson Sensi's dated style can easily be overlooked in favor of its easy controls, allowing you to program your home's heating from anywhere.

It's compatible with iOS and Android and displays usage reports so you can keep on top of your energy usage.

No C Wire—No Problem

Buying a smart thermostat that doesn't require a C wire for installation doesn't mean you're in for a poor experience.

In fact, some of the most advanced and popular smart thermostats like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat are among those that can be installed without a C wire.

Now it's easier than ever to keep an eye on your spending and control your energy usage using smart technology.

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