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The 3 best smart thermostats that don’t require a C wire.

Upgrading your thermostat to a smart thermostat is a great way to save money on your monthly utility bills, but it’s no light decision. In addition to sifting through dozens of products and finding the ones that offer all the features you’re interested in, you’ll also want to make sure they’ll work with your existing HVAC system. And if you live in an older home or a home without a C wire, shopping for a smart thermostat can be challenging.

Fortunately, there are a few great smart thermostats that don’t require a C-wire. Here’s a closer look at three smart thermostats you should consider.

The Nest Thermostat E is wall mounted.

Google Nest Thermostat II


  • Easy to install

  • Powerful smartphone app

  • Simple design

The Google Nest Thermostat E delivers almost everything you could want from a smart thermostat. It’s sleek, easy to use, and installation is about as simple as it gets. Best of all, C-wire is not required – although it may not be compatible with all setups, so be sure to use Google’s guide before making your purchase.

If all checks out, you will be treated to one of the best smart thermostats on the market. Featuring a frosted display, the simple thermostat blends easily with most home decor and looks more modern than traditional units. It also comes with a unique feature that lets you know you’re working at an environmentally friendly temperature by displaying the Nest Leaf on the screen.

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

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

Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat


  • Modern design

  • It syncs with other Ecobee products

  • Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Home support

This entry comes with a few caveats—while the Ecobee3 Lite doesn’t require a C cord, you’ll probably need to install a power adapter (included with your purchase). It’s not an impossible task for the average homeowner, though it does involve some rewiring. But if you don’t mind spending a few minutes tweaking a setup, the Ecobee3 Lite is a great option.

Ecobee says you can save up to 23% annually on heating and cooling costs, making this a smart investment. It also integrates well with other Ecobee products, as you can install a variety of sensors to allow the thermostat to turn off when you open a window or when you leave for the day. Combined 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.

Sensibo Sky


  • Designed for standalone air conditioning units

  • Easy to install

  • Versatile smartphone app


  • It does not support central air conditioning units

People without central air conditioning are not left out from the fun of a smart thermostat, as the Sensibo Sky is designed specifically for portable, wall-mounted or stand-alone units. It works with most remote-controlled models on the market, allowing you to quickly turn it into a smart device.

The Sensibo Sky is smart enough to turn the air conditioner on and off when you arrive or leave, adjust to the “true feel” of your home on the go by measuring both humidity and temperature, and even lets you program a schedule for its performance. It may not be as powerful 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 conditioner system - quick and easy installation.  Maintain convenience with the energy-saving app - Auto On/Off.  WiFi, Google, Alexa and Siri.  (ashen)

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