Do You Know About C-Wire?

Do You Know About C-Wire?If you’re looking forward to the advantages and convenience of a new smart thermostat, an HVAC c-wire may be in your future, too.

Unlike the old thermostat it’s probably replacing, smart thermostats need consistent electrical power for great features like Wi-Fi connectivity, a large, bright touchscreen and other extras. In order to supply the continuous 24-volt power to the new unit, the c-wire (short for “common wire”) is required.

What Are The Options?

    • Maybe you already have one. In newer homes, the HVAC system usually includes a c-wire. If your house falls into this category you’re already good to go for installation of the newer, smarter thermostat.
    • Maybe not. Old-school thermostats in many homes are battery-powered and didn’t need continuous additional electrical power. These HVAC systems typically lack a c-wire. In that case, you may need the wire installed as part of the new thermostat installation.

How Can You Tell?

Here’s an easy way to determine whether your home is already wired with a c-wire.

    • Take the existing thermostat off the bracket that secures it to the wall. It’s a simple task—usually the same steps as changing the batteries in the unit.
    • Look for wires extending from inside the wall to the thermostat bracket terminals and count the wires.
    • If you count five wires, you’ve probably already got a c-wire and installation won’t be necessary. Note: the c-wire may not necessarily be connected, but loose or folded up behind the existing thermostat.
    • If you count only four wires, you’re probably going to need a c-wire put in when the thermostat is installed.

What Now?

C-wire installation is a routine procedure for a qualified HVAC service technician. The wire will typically extend from the new thermostat to a spare connection, probably on the electronics board at the furnace or A/C.  This completes the circuit to power your new smart thermostat with 24 volts continuously.

Your source for new HVAC technology since 1922, the professionals at Paitson Bros. can tell you more about a c-wire to power your smart thermostat installation.

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