The 3 Best Smart Thermostats That Don’t Require a C Wire | digital trends

Upgrading your thermostat to a smart thermostat is a great way to save money on your monthly utility bills, but it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Beyond browsing through dozens of products and finding the ones that offer all the features you’re interested in, you’ll also need to make sure it will work with your existing HVAC system. And if you live in an older home or one that doesn’t have a C wire, shopping for a smart thermostat can be a challenge.

Fortunately, there are a handful of great smart thermostats that don’t require a C wire. Here’s a closer look at three smart thermostats to consider.

Google Nest Thermostat E


  • Easy installation

  • Powerful smartphone app

  • minimalist design

The Google Nest Thermostat E offers almost everything you want from a smart thermostat. It’s stylish, it’s easy to use, and installation is as simple as it gets. Best of all, a C cable is not required, although it may not be compatible with all configurations, so be sure to use Google’s guide before making a purchase.

If all goes well, you will receive one of the best smart thermostats on the market. With a frosted display, the understated thermostat blends easily into most home decor and looks much more modern than traditional units. It also comes with a unique feature that lets you know it’s running at an eco-friendly temperature by displaying a Nest leaf on the screen.

Other notable features include the ability to set schedules, sync with Google Home, and scroll through your energy history graphs to see how you can improve your usage.

Google Nest Thermostat E - Programmable Smart Home Thermostat T4000ES - 3rd Gen Nest Thermostat (Frosted White) - Compatible with Alexa
Ecobee3 Lite installed in a home.

Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat


  • Modern design

  • Synchronizes with other Ecobee products

  • Support for Alexa, HomeKit and Google Home

This entry comes with a small caveat: while the Ecobee3 Lite does not require a C cable, you will likely need to install a power adapter (which is included with your purchase). It’s not an impossible task for the average homeowner, although it does involve rewiring. But if you don’t mind spending a few minutes tweaking your settings, the Ecobee3 Lite is a great option.

Ecobee says you can save up to 23% annually on your heating and cooling costs, making it a smart investment. It also integrates nicely with other Ecobee products, as you can install a variety of sensors to allow your thermostat to turn off when a window is opened or when you go out for the day. Coupled with an intuitive smartphone app and sleek thermostat design, it’s easy to see why the Ecobee3 Lite is so popular.

ecobee3 lite thermostat

Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

Sensibo Sky on a white background.

sensitive sky


  • Designed for standalone air conditioning units

  • Easy installation

  • Versatile smartphone app


  • No central air conditioning units

People without central air conditioning aren’t left out of the smart thermostat fun, as Sensibo Sky is specifically designed for portable, wall-mounted or freestanding units. It works with most remote-controlled models on the market, allowing you to quickly turn them into a smart home appliance.

The Sensibo Sky is smart enough to turn your air conditioner on and off when you arrive or leave, adjust the “real feel” of your home on the fly by measuring both humidity and temperature, and even allows you to schedule a schedule for your performance. It may not be as robust as other smart thermostats, but if you’re working with a stand-alone unit, it’s hard to find a better device than this.

Sensibo Sky, smart home air conditioning system: quick and easy installation.  Stay comfortable with the Energy Efficient - Auto On/Off app.  Wi-Fi, Google, Alexa and Siri.  (Grey)

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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