Troubleshoot issues with the Nest Temperature Sensor

 

This article applies to the following Google Nest thermostats models in the US and Canada:

Nest Thermostat E

Nest thermostat e cooling

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest thermostat gen 3 cooling

How to tell which thermostat you have

 

Note: The Temperature Sensor is only compatible with the Google Nest Thermostat E and 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat. Use the Nest app to connect your sensor to your thermostat and change its settings.

Issues during setup

You can't connect the sensor to your thermostat 

During setup, you’ll connect your sensor to a thermostat in your home. Try these steps if you can’t connect your sensor to your thermostat:

  1. Make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is turned on.
  2. Move your sensor to a different location and try to connect it again. Your sensor should be within 50 feet (15 meters) of your thermostat, but it may need to be closer.
  3. The connection range can be reduced by wireless interference from walls, cabinets and bookshelves. If you still can’t connect your sensor after a few tries, check for other things that are causing wireless interference. Cordless phones, microwave ovens, and other electronics can affect the Bluetooth connection.
The sensor fails the connection test 
  1. Test the connection a few more times. The sensor may pass the test on a different try without any further troubleshooting steps.
  2. Move the sensor closer to the thermostat. Even just a foot (30 cm) can make a difference. If it still can’t pass the test, try moving it further. 
  3. Check for wireless interference from sources like cordless phones and other electronics, large appliances like refrigerators, bookshelves, mirrors and other things that can block wireless communications. For more details, read the Troubleshooting wireless interference article.

Issues after setup

Issues that crop up after setup typically fall into two categories:

  • The sensor is offline in the app or has trouble communicating with the thermostat.
  • Your system isn’t heating or cooling as you expect.
It's too hot or cold in the room where your sensor is placed

If you’re uncomfortable in the room where you’ve placed your sensor:

  1. Check that the sensor in the room is currently active in the app. Someone else may have manually switched the active temperature sensor. Or, if your sensor is having trouble connecting to your thermostat, your thermostat will use its built-in temperature sensors instead.

    If the wrong sensor is active, you can manually switch active sensors or create a sensor schedule so your thermostat will heat the room to the current target temperature.

  2. Try manually adjusting the current target temperature. Someone else may have manually turned the temperature up or down.

  3. Check your sensor placement. Your sensor’s location can greatly affect the temperature it reports back to your thermostat. For instance, if you place it on a window that can get very hot or cold, your system might respond by overheating or overcooling your home.

    Where to install your Nest Temperature Sensor >

  4. If you have adjustable vents, you can change the airflow to the room. However, we recommend that you contact a Nest Pro before doing this. If you close too many vents, close them too tight or open them too much, your system may develop other issues.

  5. Change your sensor’s schedule. The time of day can affect your sensor’s helpfulness. For example, if you live in a warm climate and the sensor is in a bedroom with many large windows, it may report temperatures that are much higher than those in the rest of your house. You may have better results if you use your thermostat’s built-in sensors during the day to adjust cooling and use the sensor in the bedroom during the evening when the sun is down. 

    How to change your temperature sensor’s schedule >

It's too hot or cold in the rest of your home 
Sensor temperature image
Let’s say you place a sensor in a room that’s usually cold. When the heat is running, your
system may heat up other rooms more than usual in order to reach the target
temperature in the cold room that has a sensor.

If you’re comfortable in the room where your sensor is placed, but the rest of your home is too hot or cold:

  1. Check your sensor placement. Your sensor’s location can greatly affect the temperature it reports back to your thermostat. For instance, if you place it on a window that can get very hot or cold, your system might respond by overheating or overcooling your home.

    Where to install your Nest Temperature Sensor >

  2. Try manually adjusting the current target temperature. Someone else may have manually turned the temperature up or down.

  3. If you have adjustable vents, you can change the airflow to other rooms in your home. However, we recommend that you contact a Nest Pro before doing this. If you close too many vents, close them too tight or open them too much, your system may develop other issues.
  4. Change your sensor’s schedule. The time of day can affect your sensor’s helpfulness. For example, if you live in a warm climate and the sensor is in a bedroom with many large windows, it may report temperatures that are much higher than those in the rest of your house. You may have better results if you use your thermostat’s built-in sensors during the day to adjust cooling and use the sensor in the bedroom during the evening when the sun is down.

    How to change your temperature sensor’s schedule >

Your sensor is offline in the app

Sometimes a range issue or wireless interference can cause your sensor to disconnect from your thermostat. In these cases, your thermostat will automatically default to using its own temperature sensors. If your sensor disconnects, you may experience the following: 

  • You may not notice that your sensor is offline right away. Instead, you might only sense that you’re uncomfortable in the room where the sensor is placed.
  • If your sensor has been disconnected from your thermostat for over 24 hours, you’ll get a notification on your phone. You will also find that the sensor is offline on the Nest app home screen, and you won’t be able to manually switch to it with the app or thermostat.
  • If you check the sensor list, you’ll also find that your sensor will be grayed out and you won’t be able to select it or change options.

Troubleshoot an offline sensor

  • Try moving your sensor a bit closer to your thermostat. Sometimes it may pass the connection test during setup, but will struggle to stay connected if it’s just a bit too far away.
  • Check for objects such as mirrors and refrigerators between the sensor and your thermostat. These items could block the connection. For more help, read Troubleshooting wireless interference.
  • Check the battery charge. The Nest app will send you a notification before the battery is fully drained, so you should have plenty of time to replace it.

How to check that your sensor is online

You can manually check your sensor’s connection with the app at any time.

  1. Select the thermostat that your sensor is connected to on the app home screen.
  2. Tap Settings .
  3. Scroll down to the Nest Temperature Sensors list and select the sensor you want to check.
  4. Tap Check connection and follow the instructions to run the test.
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