Nest Thermostats have stood out as pioneers in the realm of smart home devices, earning early acclaim.
Given their decade-long legacy, it’s only natural that numerous Nest Thermostat users might encounter troubleshooting scenarios or other common problems.
This guide is designed to help you tackle common problems that can arise with Nest Thermostats and guide you through the steps to resolve them.
The goal is to make sure you don’t have to go through the same struggles and to ensure that your Nest thermostat works as smoothly as possible.
Nest Thermostat Troubleshooting Tips
We’ve put together this guide to help you with the most common problems people search for when it comes to Nest Thermostats. We’ll show you how to fix these issues step by step.
Notably, a significant portion of these issues stems from wiring concerns or even battery-related issues that can be fixed easily.
This guide not only helps troubleshoot existing problems but can also be used proactively before acquiring a Nest Thermostat.
Also, by familiarizing yourself with the most common causes, you can preemptively address potential problems and ensure that the system works correctly.
How to Tell Which Nest Thermostat You Have?
Before we dive into the problems, it’s a good idea to know exactly which model of Thermostat you have. This is important because some of the issues we’ll cover have different fixes depending on the specific Thermostat you own.
Understanding the names of Nest Thermostats can be a little confusing. You’ve got the Nest Thermostat, Nest Learning Thermostat, and Nest Thermostat E. You might even wonder if this is a Nest product or something from Google.
Here’s the scoop: Google bought Nest back in 2014 for a huge $3.2 billion. Nest had its own name until 2019 when Google decided to bring it under a new name, Google Nest.
So yes, Google and Nest are pretty much the same company now, but the names they use can sometimes make things puzzling. Below we’ve listed the Nest thermostats, take a look carefully and identify which model you actually own.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The original Nest Thermostat made its debut back in 2011, marking the inception of this innovative line. Presently, the model has evolved into its third generation, which was introduced in 2015.
Positioned at the higher end of the spectrum, this iteration carries a relatively higher price point and boasts an array of advanced features.
One common aspect across all three generations is the built-in rechargeable battery. This battery is crucial for the Thermostat’s operation, and here’s the good news – you don’t need to worry about changing it.
It’s designed to last and shouldn’t require any replacement throughout the lifespan of the device.
Nest Thermostat E
In 2017, Google Nest introduced the Nest Thermostat E as their original budget-friendly offering.
Positioned as a more accessible alternative to the Learning Thermostat, this model maintains a sleek design while opting for a plastic construction instead of stainless steel. As a result, it carries a pared-down feature set compared to its counterpart.
Similar to the Learning Thermostat, the Thermostat E is equipped with an internal rechargeable battery that keeps things ticking smoothly.
The beauty of this battery is that it’s designed for the long haul and isn’t something you need to worry about replacing. Its enduring nature ensures that the thermostat remains functional throughout its life cycle.
It’s important to note that while the Nest Thermostat E has been succeeded by a newer model, it’s still very much supported by Nest.
In 2020, Google Nest brought forth the latest Nest Thermostat model, offering both modern design and budget-friendliness. This new model took the place of the Thermostat E as the wallet-friendly Nest thermostat option.
The most noticeable change with this version is that it doesn’t come with Learning features like its predecessors. Another difference is that it lacks the rotating ring found in earlier models.
Unlike its predecessors, this thermostat runs on two regular 1.5 V AAA alkaline batteries, which will need replacement eventually.
You don’t need to worry about suddenly running out of battery – the thermostat, the Google Home app, or the Nest app will give you a heads-up when the battery levels are getting low.
Common Error on Nest Thermostats
When your batteries start to run low, you’ll get a notification on the thermostat itself and in the Google Home app. To fix this, all you need to do is replace the AAA batteries.
Here’s how you can change the batteries in your Nest Thermostat:
- Remove the thermostat from the wall.
- Take out the old batteries.
- Put in two new AAA alkaline batteries.
- Attach the thermostat back to the wall and make sure it clicks into place.
Applicable to Nest Thermostat only. Battery replacement is a standard maintenance task.
Nest Thermostat Low Battery
The Nest Learning Thermostat and Thermostat E models don’t come with replaceable batteries. Instead, they feature an internal rechargeable battery that’s supposed to recharge on its own.
However, over time, many of them end up not getting enough power to keep the battery charged adequately.
The root cause of this issue almost always points to the wiring of the thermostat. Here’s the thing: smart thermostats demand more power compared to traditional ones.
This is because they’re constantly communicating over Wi-Fi with the apps managing them. Such continuous communication requires a steady stream of power.
Now, older homes often have a 4-wire thermostat setup, which is sufficient for conventional thermostats.
But the newer homes, including remodeled ones, usually come equipped with a 5-wire thermostat setup. This fifth wire, called the C or Common wire, serves the purpose of providing a constant flow of power.
If you’re still in the process of deciding which thermostat to purchase, it’s a smart move to first determine the wiring you have at home. This information can guide your decision-making effectively.
Basically, if you own a Nest model that doesn’t require changing batteries, but you still get the low battery message, then you need to check the wiring and ensure it’s hooked up correctly.
Nest Not Turning ON (No Power)
Are you facing a situation where your Nest Thermostat seems to lack power and remains unresponsive? This concern can stem from various factors, but one common and likely cause is the absence of a C wire.
First of all, inspect the top of your thermostat to check for any blinking lights. These lights come in different colors, each indicating a distinct situation.
Blinking Green Light
If you see a blinking green light atop your Nest Thermostat, it means that the device is in the midst of a software update.
While these updates shouldn’t take too long, if it’s been more than 15 minutes and the blinking persists, your thermostat might be stuck.
A blinking green light at the top of your Nest Thermostat means that the device is updating the software. These software updates should not take very long, so if it has been 15 minutes or more, then your thermostat is likely stuck.
To fix this issue, you will need to reset your Nest Thermostat:
- Restart the Nest thermostat.
- Remove the display from the base and replace it.
- Check your WiFi connection and signal strength.
Power off the unit, wait one minute, and then power it back on. Let the system update the software and see if it gets unstuck.
Blinking Red Light
If a red light is blinking at the top of your Nest Thermostat, it’s an indication that your device’s battery is charging. However, this seemingly positive message carries a twist – the battery doesn’t have enough power to fully charge. Essentially, the battery is in a “sort of charging” state.
Typically, this issue is related to the low battery error, suggesting insufficient power supply to your thermostat. In this case, the internal battery is nearly depleted.
To fix it:
Charge with a USB cable. Although this is a short-term fix, you can charge your Nest Thermostat battery using the USB port. You will have to do it again in the future, but it is the simplest and fastest solution for this issue.
Charging could take several minutes or up to an hour. If it takes longer than an hour, you might have an issue with the internal rechargeable battery.
Once the device has enough charge, the display screen will light up with a message to reconnect to the base. Reconnect it to the wall base to complete the fix.
No Blinking Lights
When there are no blinking lights on your Nest Thermostat, it signals a complete lack of power to the device. This situation can arise due to a fully drained battery or an absence of a power supply altogether.
This might be a result of a missing C wire or a loose connection between your thermostat and its power source.
Try the steps below:
- Check if the display is properly secured to the base. Remove the Nest Thermostat from the base. Inspect the thermostat wiring. It is possible that the wires are too bulky and are pushing the display off its base.
- Check if your breaker tripped
- Check the fuse box.
Delayed Message and Sluggish Response
Encountering a delayed message on your thermostat can sometimes be a non-issue. If there’s a timer counting down, it’s best to wait until it finishes to see if your HVAC system starts working again. But if it doesn’t, read on.
This is another issue related to power. When you see the “delayed” message, it usually means the thermostat is trying to save a bit of battery to keep its data safe. It’s using the little power it has left for essential functions.
There are a few ways to fix this issue, but a good first step is to charge your Nest Thermostat using a micro USB cable.
This is a temporary solution, but it will give your thermostat the power it needs while you plan for a more permanent fix.
Nest Thermostat Not Cooling
Are you finding that your cooling system doesn’t kick in even when your Nest Thermostat indicates it’s cooling? Instead of cool air, does it seem to blow out warm air?
This is a frequently encountered issue, often showing during the initial installation of your Nest Thermostat. Mistakes can easily happen, particularly if you’re tackling this task for the first time.
To address this, a careful review of the wiring at your thermostat is essential to ensure it was correctly installed.
If your Nest thermostat isn’t delivering the cooling you expect, the problem might lie in the way you labeled your wiring.
It’s possible that you matched it with the “Conventional” side of your old thermostat instead of the “Heat Pump” side.
To set things right, you’ll need to relabel the wiring based on the “Heat Pump” configuration from your old thermostat setup. Once you’ve correctly labeled the wires, make sure to rewire your Nest Thermostat accordingly.
Dealing with technology, especially amidst the array of smart home devices, can certainly present its fair share of challenges.
The Google Nest Thermostat is no exception. However, the good news is that for the most prevalent issues users encounter, there are practical solutions at hand.
Common problems that users may face with the Google Nest Thermostat include the need to change the battery when it’s depleted, addressing issues related to a low battery charge, resolving power-related problems such as a blinking green light (caused by stalled software updates), a blinking red light (indicating partial battery charging due to low power), or instances where there are no lights at all (signifying a lack of power supply).