12 Things You Need to Know About Your Nest Thermostat

May 23, 2023

A Nest Thermostat is an excellent tool for keeping your home comfortable, no matter what the season or weather. With a number of innovative features meant to maximize efficiency, convenience and comfort, a Nest Thermostat is the perfect solution if you want to manage your energy use — keeping costs down in the process.

That’s why more homeowners are considering adding devices like a Nest to their HVAC system. If you're interested in trying a Nest yourself, reach out to an expert for smart thermostat installation in Long Island.

From auto scheduling to monitoring your home’s energy efficiency, Nest helps make controlling the climate of your home effortless.

Curious to learn more? Here’s a look at 12 things you should know about your Nest Thermostat.

1. How to Reset a Nest Thermostat

One of the first things to know about resetting a Google Nest Thermostat is that resetting is different from restarting.

  • Restart: This process is similar across most electronics, including your tablet or computer, restarting your Nest Thermostat means a quick off/on cycle. This preserves current settings and should be attempted if your Nest is frozen or not connecting to Wi-Fi.
  • Reset: Conversely, resetting eliminates most if not all of your preferred settings. People normally only use a reset when they’re moving to a new home and bringing the thermostat with them, or if they're moving out and prefer to erase any personal details from the Nest before leaving it behind for the next resident.

To initiate a reset, it helps to record existing temperature settings so you have them if they get erased. Next, find Settings -> Equipment and record your system wires, heating type and safety temperature settings.

Then, to manually restart or reset your Nest, go to Settings, select Reset and press. You will be presented with five options:

  • Restart: Shuts your Nest down before rebooting it with your settings. Another way to restart is to press the outside of the Nest and hold it there until it turns black, and then pull your hand away.
  • Schedule: This type of reset clears all scheduling information—including for your hot water, if you've connected it to your Nest. With this option, you’ll need to create a new schedule or wait until the Nest learns your schedule.
  • Away: An Away reset erases all the information your Nest has learned about how often you walk by, so that it can update the temperature on its own.
  • Network: By selecting a network reset, it erases connection info and your Nest will no longer be connected to Wi-Fi. Use this option if you want your Nest to forget your Wi-Fi password.
  • All Settings: The most far-reaching option, using the All Settings reset option strips away all your personal settings and learning.

2. How to Connect Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi

Staying connected to your Wi-Fi is important to getting the most out of your Nest.

To connect your Nest to the internet:

  • Turn the thermostat ring to the Quick View menu.
  • Locate the Settings icon.
  • Select Network.
  • Once your Nest has scanned nearby networks, locate your Wi-Fi and, if you have one, enter your password.

3. Does a Nest Thermostat Use a Battery and How Long Will the Battery Last?

Nest thermostats are powered indirectly through HVAC system, but also have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for backup power in case of an outage. According to Google, who manufactures the thermostat, a Nest Thermostat battery last an average of several months. It can be recharged using a USB charger that comes with the Nest.

4. Shutting Off a Nest Thermostat

If you aren’t going to be in your home for a long time, consider setting your Nest Thermostat to Off mode, though Eco mode is also a good option. Off mode shuts down all your regular heating and cooling schedules, while maintaining existing Safety Temperatures to keep your home from getting especially hot or cold.

To choose Off mode on the thermostat:

  • Hold the touch bar until the display reads “Turn Off” before sliding the bar to highlight Turn Off, and then touch the bar to select.
  • Or, from the main menu, go to Mode and select Off.

Off mode can even be accessed from your Google Home app:

  • Select Thermostat from home screen
  • Tap Temperature mode
  • Select Off

5. Is Alexa Compatible with a Nest Thermostat?

Yes, your Amazon Alexa can be used to control a Nest Thermostat. Alexa can also be integrated with with Nest doorbells and cameras. Google's own voice control technology, like Google Assistant, can be used to operate your Nest.

6. Can a Nest Thermostat Work Without Wi-Fi?

In short, yes. Your Nest Thermostat can still control temperatures even without Wi-Fi. At the same time, a lack of an internet connection means your Nest doesn’t have the ability to use the smart functions that most people enjoy.

7. Can You Lock a Nest Thermostat?

If you’re having a battle over the thermostat in your home between people who like things hot and others who prefer them cold, Nest can help you bring a little order back to your household.

A user can 'lock' the Nest to stop any temperature adjustments outside of a preset range. This doesn't mean you're stuck with a single temperature—a locked Nest still has access to programmed settings—but simply keeps these settings from being changed.

To lock a Nest:

  • Tap the Settings icon, scroll to the bottom and tap on Lock.
  • Enter a 4-digit pin number you can remember, and keep in mind this has to be entered twice.
  • To lock your Nest in Heat or Cool mode, fine-tune your maximum and minimum temperature range and then tap Lock at the bottom of the screen.

To unlock a Nest, open the settings and choose Unlock. As soon as you've provided your 4-digit pin, your device will be unlocked.

8. Adjusting a Nest Thermostat from a Phone

Nest thermostats can be controlled by your Google Home app, which can be accessed from your phone or desktop computer. Other versions of Nest, including the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat, are also compatible with remote control via the Nest app.

Before you can control a Nest on your phone with Google Home or the Nest app, you need to follow a few steps:

  • Download the Google Home app or, with premium Nest models, the Nest app to your phone.
  • Plug in your Nest Thermostat.
  • Access the Google Home app on your phone and follow the instructions to select your account, link to your new device and connect to Wi-Fi.
  • Google has created a more comprehensive setup guide, for those needing extra assistance in connecting.

As soon as you've connected the Nest to your Home app, you can find and adjust it by clicking Thermostat on the home screen. Once you do that, you can make changes to the temperature by dragging your finger along the screen or tapping on a plus or minus sign.

The app also allows you to change the Nest's preset temperatures. From the home screen, choose Thermostat and then select Settings. Once there, press Temperature Preferences and then Temperature Presets. This will display your preset Comfort, Eco and Sleep temperatures. By selecting one of those three options, you can change the temperature for that preset.

9. Creating a Nest Thermostat Schedule

You can set a temperature schedule on a Nest Thermostat either on the device or on the Google Home app. Newer and advanced models of the Nest, such as the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat, also can be controlled via the Nest app.

You have two primary ways to establish a temperature schedule on a Nest Thermostat:

  • Quick Schedule: Quick Schedules are based on the national average schedule for energy efficiency. When you are setting up your Nest, the Google Home app gives you the option to change the temperature with a schedule. If you choose that option, it displays a preset schedule and allows you to make changes. Once setup is complete, that’s the schedule it uses.
  • Temperature presets: If you prefer other basic preset options, open the Google Home app and press Thermostat. Then, tap presets and select Edit. After the changes are complete, select Done.

For anyone wanting to edit their schedule, open the Google Home app, select Thermostat and then tap on Schedules. You can then pick the day of the week that you want to add a temperature. After the day is selected, tap Add and find the preset you want. Finally, select Time before touching and dragging the numbers to change the time. Select Done to save changes.

10. Setting a Temperature Range on a Nest Thermostat

The Nest features an Eco mode ideal for setting custom temperature ranges. A key part of this feature is the Nest's ability to adjust the temperature based on whether it detects you at home or not.

To access Eco mode for customized temperature ranges, go to settings and select Eco. The thermostat's display should list existing “Heat to” and “Cool to” temperature settings. You can select each and make any and all adjustments. When complete, select Done.

11. What Should I Do If My Nest Thermostat Isn't Compatible?

Nest thermostats can be integrated with most HVAC systems. Google, Nest's manufacturer, has an online compatibility checker that shares questions concerning your location and existing setup to learn which Nest model would be compatible with your system.

If you don't think your Nest is compatible with your system, you should get in touch with local pros for smart thermostat installation in Long Island. Experienced technicians evaluate your system and, if your Nest is compatible, get it installed and on the road to saving you money in no time.

12. Can I Manually Control My Nest Thermostat?

Nest Thermostats come with many features designed to increase comfort and decrease costs. However, you can actually turn off the smart features if you want to control a Nest manually like a normal thermostat.

Remember, by doing this you're eliminating your temperature schedules and your Nest will work like any other thermostat—it will display the temperature and allow changes, but that’s about it.

You can achieve this by disabling the settings in a series of steps:

  • Auto-Schedule: From the main screen, go to Settings and then scroll to Nest Sense. Go to Auto-Schedule, select No and click Done.
  • Eco: From the main screen, go to Settings, scroll to Eco. Once in Eco, select Off for both the current Heat to and Cool to temperatures, before selecting Done.
  • Home/Away Assist: From the main screen, go to Settings and select Home/Away Assist. Then, select Stop Using and click Done.
  • Reset: Once you’ve turned off the settings, reset your nest. From the main screen, go to Settings and select Reset, highlight Schedule and then select Reset to clear out any saved scheduling data.