Learn about Eco Temperatures and how to change settings

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

How Eco Temperature work 

  • Your Nest thermostat can automatically switch to Eco Temperature after it senses that nobody’s at home. You’ll know Eco Temperature are active when you see Eco on your thermostat and in the Nest or Home app.
  • You can also manually set your thermostat to Eco Temperature anytime, even when you’re at 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 Temperature, it will stay in that mode and won’t automatically switch back to heating until you manually switch it to one of those modes. Once you manually switch it to heating, your thermostat will resume automatically switching as people leave and come back home.
  • Your thermostat will also automatically switch to Eco Temperature if you manually switch your home to Away mode with the Nest or Home app.

How Eco Temperature affect your system's behaviour:

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

  • 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 that 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 Temperature 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 that you can choose from are wide: 4–21°C (40–70°F ) for heating mode. Factors like home construction, local climates, heating 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 maximise 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 that you choose, but you’ll keep your home closer to your preferred temperature and you may still 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 Temperature 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 that 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 that 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 emphasise 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:

    • had a programmed schedule for your old thermostat
    • manually changed the temperature when you left home

    Try selecting a slightly lower heating 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.

  • 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 Temperature 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 21°C (70°F) when you’re at home. You decide to pick 16.5°C (62°F) as an Eco Temperature to start with. 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 18°C (65°F) 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 that 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 Temperature 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 Temperature
  • 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 Temperature. 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.
    • Heat to: Your thermostat will turn on heating if the temperature in your home drops below 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.
    • Tip: The Nest Leaf leaf icon  will appear to let you know that you’ve chosen a temperature that can help save energy.
  5. Press the thermostat ring to select the temperature that 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 Temperature.
    • You can also select if your thermostat will use Eco Temperature while you’re at home or away.
  5. Tap on Eco Temperature to set the temperature range.
  6. To adjust the range, drag the slider
  7. If your thermostat controls heating, you’ll see Heat to.
  • Heat to: Your thermostat will turn on heating if the temperature in your home drops below 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.

Tip: The Nest Leaf leaf icon  will appear to let you know that 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.

With the Home app

If you’ve set up Home and Away routines, you can use the Home app to select if your thermostat will use Eco Temperature while you’re at home or away. You’ll need to add or remove the thermostat device actions in your Home and Away routines settings. 

Learn how to change settings for Home and Away routines.  

Your thermostat can automatically switch to Eco Temperature 

  • Your Nest thermostat uses its own activity sensors, sensor data from your other Google Nest products and your phone’s location to tell when everyone has left or someone has come home. 
  • When everyone has left, your thermostat will wait a short while to make sure that nobody’s coming back, then it will automatically switch to Eco Temperature.
    • Note: Your thermostat may wait 1-2 hours before switching to Eco Temperature if you’re using device sensors to sense your presence in the home, and the sensors detect activity around the time everyone leaves. This longer wait time will happen even if you’re also using phone location to help tell if you’re at home or not. To avoid this situation, use only phone location to sense presence and disable the other device sensors in your home’s presence settings. 
  • If your thermostat has automatically switched to Eco Temperature, it will switch back to its regular heating schedule when someone returns home. 
  • Your thermostat will also switch to Eco Temperature if you manually switch your home to Away mode with the Nest or Home app.
  • Your thermostat will also leave Eco Temperature and resume its regular heating schedule if you change the temperature with the Nest or Home app.

You can manually switch to Eco Temperature

You can manually switch to Eco Temperature whenever you want. To use the Nest or Home app or your thermostat, simply choose Eco on the screen where you switch your system’s mode. If you’ve set up Google Assistant, you can also tell it to switch your thermostat to Eco Temperature.

Switch thermostat modes

Use Google Assistant with Nest products

When you manually activate Eco Temperature, your thermostat will immediately switch. There won't be any delay.

Manually switching your thermostat to Eco Temperature 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 neighbour comes over for a few minutes to feed your cat, your system won’t turn on and start heating your home. However, you may want to set your thermostat to Off mode if you’re going on holiday or won’t be home for an extended period.

Behaviours when manually switching to Eco Temperature

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

  • It will maintain Eco Temperature even if someone comes home.
  • It won’t switch back to your regular temperature schedule until you manually switch it to a heating mode.
  • If you have more than one thermostat in your home, you’ll have to switch each of them to Eco Temperature individually.
  • Manually setting your thermostat to Eco Temperature 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 manually set your Nest home to Away mode, all your thermostats will automatically switch to Eco Temperature. They’ll switch back to heating 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 presence sensing enters the house.
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