Aairco San Diego – Air Conditioning & Heating System

Smart Thermostat Install

Can I Hook Up A Smart Thermostat To A Wall Heater?

Are you looking to hook up a smart thermostat such as the Nest, Ecobee or Honeywell Lyric thermostat to your wall or electric baseboard heater? It’s possible to do that, but you’ll need to do a bit of extra work to make it happen. Here’s why:

The Nest, Honeywell and other smart thermostats are designed to work with central home heating systems. Those are controlled by low-voltage thermostats, which use 24-volts. Electric baseboard and fan heaters work with line-voltage thermostats, which can be either 120- or 240-volts. If you hooked up a low-voltage thermostat directly to one of our heaters, it would fry the thermostat. Not the best way to spend $250.

But that’s where relays come in. The relay will make it so the low-voltage thermostat can control a line-voltage heater without being damaged. That means you can remotely control your heater with your smartphone, tablet or computer.

But before we move on, you’ll want to make sure that the relay has an integrated transformer (power supply). Without one, you won’t have any power running to your smart thermostat — and if you’re spending all this time and money on getting your smart thermostat hooked up to your heater, it’d be a shame if it didn’t power on.

You also need to check and make sure your relay works with your heater’s voltage — ours come in either 120-volts or 240-volts. We sell a relay with a built-in transformer through The Home Depot that costs about $70 that will work with 240-volt heaters.

The specifics of the installation process will depend on what thermostat, relay and heater you have in your home, but here’s how it will work in general:

  • The relay will need to be installed in a junction box in your wall behind a blank wall plate or in your attic.
  • Power will run from your circuit to the relay.
  • Line voltage wires will then go from the relay to the heater; while low-voltage wires go from the relay to the thermostat, which will be installed in another junction box on the wall.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our Tech Support department. They’ll be happy to help walk you through the process.

We also offer smart thermostat installation services. Call or email us to get pricing and appointment availability.

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