Troubleshooting issues with the Nest Temperature Sensor

The Google Nest Temperature Sensor is a simple product: it tells your Google Nest thermostat what the temperature is in another room. But you may have trouble during setup, and some things can cause it to go offline or cause your system to overheat or overcool your home. Usually, the fix is to move your sensor a bit. Sometimes however, you may need to move it to an entirely new location.

If the issue occurs when you’re adding your sensor to the Nest app, you might not be able to complete setup until the problem is resolved. See below for troubleshooting tips.

 

Issues during setup

You have an incompatible thermostat 

The Nest Temperature Sensor uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to report temperatures to Nest thermostats. So it will only work with the 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Thermostat E which have BLE. Nest Temperature Sensors are not compatible with 1st or 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostats.

How to tell which Nest thermostat you have >

You can't connect the sensor to your thermostat 

During setup, you’ll connect your sensor to a thermostat in your home. Here are some steps to take 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 

If your sensor fails a connection test, try re-testing a few more times. If it continues to fail the test, you’ll likely need to move it so it’s a bit closer to your thermostat:

  1. Try moving the sensor, even just a foot (30 cm) or so can make a difference. If it still can’t pass the test, you should try moving it further.

  2. 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, see the article linked below.

Troubleshooting wireless interference >

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 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. 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 on your thermostat or with the app. It’s possible someone else manually turned the temperature up or down.

    Simply turning the temperature up or down a few degrees can help. When you find a temperature that you prefer, you may also want to change your thermostat’s temperature schedule so it will automatically try to maintain the temperature you prefer.

  3. Check your sensor placement. Where you place a sensor can greatly affect the temperature it reports back to your thermostat. For instance, if you place it on a window which can get very hot or cold depending on the season and time of day, 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. Closing too many vents, or closing them too tight or opening them too much, may cause other issues with your system.

 

      How to change your temperature sensor’s schedule >
 

5. Change your sensor’s schedule. Changing when your temperature sensor is active can sometimes help. For      instance, if you live in a warm climate and the sensor is in a bedroom with many large windows, it may be better to 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.

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. Exactly where you place a sensor can greatly affect the temperature it reports back to your thermostat. For instance, if you place it on a window which can get very cold during the winter, your system might respond by overheating the rest of your home.

    Where to install your Nest Temperature Sensor >

  2. Try manually adjusting the current target temperature on your thermostat or with the app. It’s possible someone else manually turned the temperature up or down. Even if the thermostat temperature is set correctly, your system may have overheated or cooled the room you’re in.

    Simply turning the temperature up or down a few degrees can help. When you find a temperature that you prefer, you may also want to change your temperature schedule so your thermostat will automatically try to maintain the temperature you prefer.

  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. Closing too many vents, or closing them too tight or opening them too much, may cause other issues with your system.

Your sensor is offline in the app 

In some cases, a range issue or wireless interference can cause your sensor to disconnect from your thermostat. If this happens, your thermostat will automatically default to using its own temperature sensors.

  • You may not notice that your sensor is offline right away: 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 see 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 see that your sensor will be grayed out and you won’t be able to select it or change options.

 

Troubleshooting 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.
  • Make sure there isn’t anything between the sensor and your thermostat that could block the connection such as mirrors and large appliances like refrigerators. For more help, please see 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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