Ways to wire the connected home

New construction or retrofit

When constructing a new home, you have the luxury of being able to wire for now and the future.  If retrofitting, you may need to relocate your distribution panel to a location where it will be easy to feed additional wires to other locations in your home.  Either way, you want to make sure you have a good understanding of your home automation needs to wire for communication, entertainment and security.

We suggest the following:

  • Develop a plan that will support your home automation program needs now and years into the future. 
  • Know which devices you will need hard-wired, requiring an Ethernet cable, and those that can work wireless.
  • Consider outlets, light switches, hvac and entertainment needs. 
  • Don't forget the common or C wire. This is typically required for successful powering of most smart thermostat models.

A skilled, professional electrician should be able to help advise wiring options specifically for your needs.

Don't forget the common wire

Common wire, or C wire, is not typically found in homes. Your home may have 4 wires: G wire (fan), R wire (power), W wire (heat), and Y wire (air conditioning). 

The C wire is a fifth wire that enables the continuous flow of 24 VAC power to the thermostat to keep it running, working in conjunction with the R wire. Most smart thermostats need this power, other thermostats typically run on battery.

The common color standards for wires are: 

  • Blue or Black –C, this is the common wire
  • Red – R – power
  • Green – G – fan
  • White – W – heat
  • Yellow – Y – air conditioner

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