How to tell which Nest thermostat you have

Nest thermostats look similar, and share similar software, but there are some important differences that you’ll need to know for troubleshooting, installation and more. You can look at the display, the base, the Heat Link, or in the Nest app to find out which Nest thermostat you have.

Here are a few ways of telling the difference between each Nest Thermostat. The easiest thing to do is look at the display.

Differences in the ring and display 

The table below shows key differences between Nest thermostats.

Nest Thermostat E

3rd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

2nd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

nest thermostat front view nest thermostat gen 3 front view nest thermostat 2nd gen front view
4.6 cm illuminated screen
diameter
8.25 cm illuminated screen diameter 7 cm screen illuminated
screen diameter
Sensor behind Nest logo Sensors hidden behind
smaller opaque window
Sensors hidden behind
smaller opaque window
White plastic ring Stainless steel ring: can
also be colored copper,
white or black.
Stainless steel ring
Integrated stand (included) Stand sold separately Stand sold separately
 

The 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat’s stainless steel ring can be different colors such as copper, white, or black. If you have a thermostat ring that looks like one of these, you have a 3rd generation thermostat.

nest thermostat 3rd gen copper

nest thermostat 3rd gen white

nest thermostat 3rd gen black

Copper

White

Black

 

About the 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat in Europe 

The first Nest thermostat available in European countries was the 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat. Heating systems in Europe are very different from those in the US and Canada, and we wanted to deliver the best possible experience and energy savings from the start. So, we took the time to design and engineer an entirely new version of the Nest thermostat.

Differences in the thermostat base 

If looking at the display isn’t enough to tell you which thermostat you have, you can also pull off the display and look at the base. You should be able to tell right away. See the table below for key differences between the different Nest thermostat bases.

Nest Thermostat E

3rd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

2nd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

European style base for 3rd generation Nest Thermostat

nest thermostat 2nd gen base

Integrated stand

Blue spirit level

Oval display connector

Smaller Nest logo

Yellow spirit level

Rectangular display connector

Large Nest logo

Differences between Heat Links 

You can also see the difference between each thermostat’s Heat Link.

Nest Thermostat E

3rd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

2nd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

 Nest Thermostat E Heat Link

3rd gen Heat Link

2nd gen Heat Link

Gray fabric cover

Two status lights

White plastic body

Three status lights

White plastic body

One status light

Width 11.7 cm x Depth 2.2 cm

Height 11 cm x width 11 cm x depth 2.8 cm

Height 10 cm x width 10 cm x depth 2.9 cm

Differences in the Nest app 

The app colors and design will reflect which thermostat you have.

Nest Thermostat E

3rd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

2rd gen
Nest Learning Thermostat

The app background will be mostly white and shades of gray.

The app background will be black or orange when heating to
match your thermostat’s screen.

Nest thermostat e heating screen                                                                                          

                               Nest app thermostat heating screen example

 

You can also find out which type and generation of
thermostat you have by going to Technical info. Here’s how
to do it:

  1. Select your thermostat on the app home screen.
  2. Tap the Settings icon in the top right-hand corner of the
    screen.
  3. Select Technical info.
  4. You’ll see numbers next to your thermostat’s display
    model
    . The first digit of the number tells you which
    thermostat you have:
    • 5.xx is a Nest Thermostat E
    • 3.xx is a 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat
    • 2.xx is a 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat

For example, the display model in the example pictured is
2.12, so it’s a 2nd-generation Nest Learning Thermostat.

Nest app display model

Check the box for a serial number 

Look on the bottom of your Nest Thermostat’s box. You should find a serial number and you may also see an item number. You can use these numbers to determine which thermostat you have.

Use the first two digits of your serial number to identify your thermostat

  • S/N: 15 – Nest Thermostat E
  • S/N: 09 – 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat
  • S/N: 02 – 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat

Example: serial number 09######## is for a 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat

Use the first two characters of your item number to identify your thermostat

  • Item: HF - Nest Thermostat E
  • Item: T3 – 3rd-generation Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Item: T2 – 2nd-generation Nest Learning Thermostat

Example: Item number T3####### is a 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat.

Displays and bases of different thermostat models aren't interchangeable 

  • As long as the thermostat base is from the same model, generation, and country/region as the thermostat display, you can swap bases and displays.

  • Because of different hardware designs, the displays and bases of various Nest Thermostat models are not interchangeable even though they may look similar. The display connector and system wire connectors vary from model to model. Please see the first two sections in this article for more details.

    WARNING: Attempting to connect parts from different Nest Thermostat models may damage your thermostat as well as your system.

  • The display connector on the thermostat base is different for all 3 generations of the Nest Learning Thermostat. In addition, the connectors for the system wires are different between thermostat models.

  • Note: 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostats come in several colors. All 3rd gen display colors will all work with any 3rd gen base.

High voltage and low voltage parts aren’t interchangeable

Some countries (such as the UK, France, and The Netherlands) use high voltage wiring for thermostats while others (such as the US and Canada) use low voltage wiring. Nest designed different thermostats for high and low voltage system wiring. High voltage and low voltage Nest Thermostat parts are not compatible.

WARNING: Any attempt to connect low and high voltage Nest parts may damage them as well as your system. Do not mix and match these bases and displays, even if the thermostats are the same model and generation.

You can tell which type of base you have by looking at the wire connectors:

  • Low voltage wiring: 6 or 8 connectors, labeled with letters like Y1, W1 and C.
  • High voltage wiring: 2 connectors, labeled with T1 and T2, or not labeled at all.

Low voltage wiring

High voltage wiring

6 or 8 connectors, labeled with letters like Y1, W1 and C.

2 connectors, labeled with T1 and T2, or not labeled at all.

Example:

thermostat e base

Example:

thermostat e base

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