How to set up your Nest thermostat

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Goodbye stupid thermostat, hello smart Nest Thermostat (which, like other Nest products, is brought to you by Google). It’s the gift that gives you comfortable temperatures and reasonable heating bills. Fortunately, its commissioning is not as daunting as it might sound.

Your first step, which you or your loved one has hopefully done before purchasing it, should be to make sure your wiring is compatible. Otherwise, no dice. Fortunately, Nest has a tool to check compatibility yourself. The short version: if you have “thick stranded wires held together by clamps” under the cover of your current thermostat, this will not work. If you have two labels for each thread… it is possible.

Once you’ve confirmed your Nest compatibility, go ahead and turn off power to your HVAC system for safety reasons. Then you are ready to roll up your sleeves and do some manual labor. Everything you need, except maybe the appropriate screwdriver, is included in the box. As for home improvements, it’s pretty straightforward; just remove your old thermostat, attach the Nest base, connect the cables, and connect the Nest display. There are enough steps in these steps that your best bet is to follow with this video guide:

Or better yet, if you don’t trust anything electric, Nest lets you find a professional in your area who can help. And, if you have any further questions, be sure to refer to Step-by-step instructions specific to Nest.

Once your Nest is set up and turned on, you’ll need to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. From there, use it as you would any other thermostat. In a few days, Nest will learn your habits and make those adjustments on its own.

Physical installation is also only part of the process. Much of the “smartness” of your smart thermostat comes from hooking it up to your phone. To do this, simply download the Nest app and create a Nest account. From there, you can use your smartphone (or computer) to change the temperature remotely and track your energy consumption.

Become the Nest expert

This setup guide was updated in December 2020


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