Learn about Eco Temperatures and how to change settings

Your Google Nest thermostat can automatically switch to Eco Temperatures after it senses that nobody’s home to help save energy. You can also manually set your thermostat to Eco Temperatures anytime, even when you’re home. You’ll know Eco Temperatures are active when you see Eco on your thermostat and in the Nest app.

When you first install and set up your Nest
thermostat, you’ll also decide what temperatures your
system will maintain when your thermostat is manually
or automatically set to Eco Temperatures.
nest thermostat eco

How Eco Temperatures work 

  • Your Nest thermostat can automatically switch to Eco Temperatures after it senses that nobody’s home. You’ll know Eco Temperatures are active when you see Eco on your thermostat and in the Nest app.
  • You can also manually set your thermostat to Eco Temperatures anytime, even when you’re home. This can be useful if you want to try to save more energy while you’re at home, and you don’t mind it being a bit cooler or warmer than usual.
  • When you manually set your thermostat to Eco Temperatures, it will stay in that mode and won’t automatically switch back to heating or cooling until you manually switch it to one of those modes. Once you manually switch it to heating or cooling your thermostat will resume automatically switching as people leave and come back home.
  • Your thermostat will also automatically switch to Eco Temperatures if you manually switch your Nest home to Away mode with the Nest app.

How Eco Temperatures affect your system behavior:

When your thermostat is set to Eco, your system may still turn on in some cases:

  • If your home’s temperature gets higher than the Cool to temperature you’ve set, your thermostat will turn on cooling until your home cools to the Eco Temperature you set.
  • If your home’s temperature gets lower than the Heat to temperature you’ve set, your thermostat will turn on heating until your home warms to the Eco Temperature you set.
  • Your thermostat won’t follow its usual temperature schedule when it’s set to Eco since it’s trying to help save energy.

How to select Eco Temperatures that are right for your home 

Your Nest thermostat gives you a temperature range that you can select from when you set an Eco Temperature. The Eco Temperature ranges you can choose from are large: 40-70°F (4-21°C) for heating mode and 76-90°F (24 - 32°C) for cooling mode. Factors like home construction, local climates, heating and cooling system performance, and your personal comfort preference can vary widely. So we let you choose what you prefer and don’t make specific Eco Temperature recommendations, but you’ll find some general guidelines below to help you choose what’s right for your home.

1. Quick tips

  • To maximize energy savings, choose a lower Heat to or a higher Cool to Eco Temperature. You’ll see the Nest Leaf next to temperatures that will typically save more energy, but you may not be as comfortable.
  • If you’re concerned about comfort, choose a Heat to temperature that’s a little higher and a Cool to that’s a little lower. You may not see a Nest Leaf next to the temperature you choose, but you’ll keep your home closer to your preferred temperature and you still may save some energy.
  • If you choose Off for either the Heat to or Cool to temperature, your system won’t turn on at all when your thermostat is set to Eco unless your home gets very cold.
  • It’s important to set Eco Temperatures to a level that helps save energy, while making sure that things in your home (people, pets and plants) will be comfortable with the temperature you select.
  • Finding an Eco Temperature that’s right for you will take some experimentation, but you can always change the setting if you’re uncomfortable or if you’re not saving as much energy as you like.

2. Look for the Leaf

When you’re choosing an Eco Temperature, you’ll get some guidance from the app or your thermostat, depending on which one you’re using to set it. The Nest Leaf leaf icon  will appear to let you know you’ve chosen a temperature that can help save energy. The Leaf is only a general guide, so you may save energy even if you choose an Eco Temperature that doesn’t have a Leaf.

3. More help for choosing a temperature

Asking a few questions can help you figure out a good Eco Temperature to start with:

  • What temperature did you set your old thermostat to?

    If you want to emphasize your comfort over energy savings, try a Heat to Eco Temperature a few degrees lower, or a Cool to temperature a few degrees higher than what you typically left your old thermostat set to most of the time.

  • If you ever changed your old thermostat’s temperature to save energy, what did you set it to?

    If you want to try balancing energy savings and comfort, and you:

    Try selecting a slightly lower heating temperature (or higher cooling temperature) than what you set your old thermostat to to save energy. Since your Nest thermostat will only automatically switch to the Eco Temperature when your home is unoccupied, you may not notice the temperature difference.

    • had a programmed schedule for your old thermostat
    • manually changed the temperature when you left home
  • What do you think are the lowest or highest temperatures that you would be OK with?

    If you really want to focus on saving energy, try setting your Heat to or Cool to Eco Temperatures a bit more aggressively, but don’t go beyond what you feel will be comfortable for you, other people, and your pets.

Example for choosing an Eco Temperature

Let’s say you have a heating-only system and like the temperature at 70°F (21°C) when you’re home. You decide to pick 62°F (16.5°C) as an Eco Temperature to start. An 8 degree difference may seem large, but you know your home is well insulated and your system heats your home fairly quickly. So you can try to save more energy while still remaining pretty comfortable.

On the other hand, if your home isn’t well insulated and your system is slow to heat it, you might decide on 65°F (18°C) instead. Being less aggressive on Eco Temperature energy savings can keep you more comfortable since your home should take less time to reach your preferred temperature after your thermostat switches out of Eco.

4. Change it if you don't like it

Check your monthly Nest Home Report to see how much energy you’re using. If the Eco Temperature you selected isn’t saving as much energy as you would like, or if your home takes too long to get comfortable when you get home, simply change the Eco Temperature with your thermostat or the app.

How to change Eco Temperature settings 

You can change Eco Temperatures with the app or your thermostat. Making a small adjustment to the Heat to or Cool to temperature can help if:

  • You find that your home takes too long to get comfortable after your thermostat switches out of Eco Temperatures
  • You’re not saving as much energy as you’d like.

Note: You need to be using the Nest app version 5.8 or later, and thermostat software version 5.6 or later to use Eco Temperatures. If you aren’t, you’ll still see Away temperatures in the app and on the thermostat.

With your thermostat 

Note: If your Eco Temperature is set to Off, your thermostat will not turn on your system to heat or cool your home while it’s set to Eco. Your thermostat will still follow your fan schedule (if you have one) and will maintain Safety Temperatures, which helps ensure that your pipes won’t freeze and that your home won’t become damaged by excessive heat.

  1. Press your thermostat ring to open the Quick View menu.
  2. Select Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Eco.
  4. If your thermostat controls heating you’ll see Heat to. If it controls cooling, you’ll also see Cool to.
    • Heat to: Your thermostat will turn on heating if the temperature in your home drops lower than this temperature. A lower setting will let your home get cooler, but can save more energy. You can also choose Off. If you do, your thermostat will not turn on heating while set to Eco.
    • Cool to: Your thermostat will turn on cooling if the temperature in your home gets higher than this temperature. A higher setting will let your home get warmer, but can usually save more energy. You can also choose Off. If you do, your thermostat will not turn on cooling while set to Eco.
    • Tip: The Nest Leaf leaf icon  will appear to let you know you’ve chosen a temperature that can help save energy.
  5. Press the thermostat ring to select the temperature you want to change. Turn the ring to adjust it, then press again to set it.
  6. Select Done to save your changes.

With the Nest app 

  1. Open the Nest app with your phone or tablet, or go to home.nest.com on a computer.
  2. Select your Nest thermostat on the app home screen.
  3. Tap the Settings Nest settings icon icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Select Home/Away Assist.
    • At the top of the screen you can disable automatically switching to Eco Temperatures.
    • You can also select if your thermostat will use Eco Temperatures while you’re home or away.
  5. Tap on Eco Temperatures to set the temperature range.
  6. To adjust the range, drag the slider
  7. If your thermostat controls heating you’ll see Heat to. If it controls cooling, you’ll also see Cool to.
  • Heat to: Your thermostat will turn on heating if the temperature in your home drops lower than this temperature. A lower setting will let your home get cooler, but can save more energy. You can also choose Off. If you do, your thermostat will not turn on heating while set to Eco.
  • Cool to: Your thermostat will turn on cooling if the temperature in your home gets higher than this temperature. A higher setting will let your home get warmer, but can usually save more energy. You can also choose Off. If you do, your thermostat will not turn on cooling while set to Eco.

Tip: The Nest Leaf leaf icon  will appear to let you know you’ve chosen a temperature that can help save energy.

Note: If your Eco Temperature is set to Off, your thermostat will not turn on your system to heat or cool your home while it’s set to Eco. Your thermostat will still follow your fan schedule (if you have one) and will maintain Safety Temperatures, which helps ensure that your pipes won’t freeze and that your home won’t become damaged by excessive heat.

Your thermostat can automatically switch to Eco Temperatures 

  • Home/Away Assist uses your Nest products’ activity sensors and your phone’s location to tell when everyone has left your home. Your Nest thermostat will wait a short while to make sure nobody’s coming back, then it will automatically switch to Eco Temperatures.
  • Your thermostat will also automatically switch to Eco Temperatures if you manually switch your Nest home to Away mode with the Nest app.
  • If your thermostat has automatically switched to Eco Temperatures, it will switch back to heating or cooling when someone returns home.
  • If your thermostat is set to help with Home/Away Assist and senses motion in your home, it will leave Eco Temperatures and resume your normal schedule.
  • Your thermostat will also leave Eco Temperatures and start heating or cooling if you change the temperature with the Nest app.

You can manually switch to Eco Temperatures

Manually switching your thermostat to Eco Temperatures can be useful if you want to try to save more energy while you’re at home, if you don’t mind it being a bit cooler or warmer than usual.

This can also be useful for when you’ll be away for a day or on a short trip. So when your neighbor comes over for a few minutes to feed your cat, your system won’t turn on and start cooling or heating your home. However, you may want to set your thermostat to Off mode if you’re going on vacation or won’t be home for an extended period.

You can manually switch to Eco Temperatures whenever you want with the Nest app or the thermostat. Simply choose Eco where you switch your system’s mode. When you manually activate Eco Temperatures, your thermostat will immediately switch. There won’t be any delay.

Behaviors when manually switching to Eco Temperatures

Your thermostat and system behaviors are different when you manually switch to Eco Temperatures compared to when it’s automatically set:

  • It will maintain Eco Temperatures even if Home/Away Assist senses that you’re at home.
  • It won’t switch back to your regular temperature schedule until you manually switch it to a heating or cooling mode.
  • If you have more than one thermostat in your home, you’ll have to switch each of them to Eco Temperatures individually.
  • Manually setting your thermostat to Eco Temperatures won’t switch your home between Home or Away modes. So it won’t affect any of the other products in your home. For instance, it won’t switch your cameras on or off.
  • If you use the Nest app to set your Nest home to Away mode, all your thermostats will switch automatically to Eco Temperatures. They’ll switch back to heating or cooling when someone comes home or if they sense motion.
  • Your home’s Away mode is always automatic. Even if you manually set your home to Away, it will switch back to Home mode if your thermostat sees activity or if a phone that’s set to help with Home/Away Assist enters the house.
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