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Nest thermostat temperature modes

Depending on your system type and thermostat model, your Google Nest thermostat can have up to 5 available modes: Heat, Cool, Heat • Cool, Off and Eco. Here’s what each mode does and how to manually switch between them.

Note: Only the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat have Eco mode. For the Nest Thermostat, you can use the Eco preset to quickly adjust to energy-saving temperatures manually or in its temperature schedule. Go to the Use Eco temperatures section to learn more.

This article applies to all Google Nest thermostat models. 

How to tell which thermostat you have

 

Important things to know

  • Your thermostat can automatically switch between modes, but you can manually set the mode you want too. 
  • Both your thermostat and system will behave differently depending on what mode your thermostat is set to.
  • You may not find all 5 modes in the app or on your thermostat. For instance, if your home only has a heating system, you won’t find Cool or Heat • Cool.

Note: The display of the Nest Thermostat will show the Home app icons. The display of the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat will show the Nest app icons.

Home app Nest app  
Heat  
Heat mode Thermostat heat icon
  • Your system will only heat your home. It won’t start cooling unless your Safety Temperatures are reached.
  • Your thermostat will start heating to try to maintain any scheduled temperatures or a temperature that you’ve manually selected.
Cool  
Cool mode Thermostat cool icon
  • Your system will only cool your home. It won’t start heating unless your Safety Temperatures are reached.
  • Your thermostat will start cooling to try to maintain any scheduled temperatures or a temperature that you’ve manually selected.
Heat • Cool  
Heat Cool mode Thermostat heat and cool icon
  • Your system will either heat or cool to try to keep your home within the temperature range you’ve manually set.
  • Your thermostat will automatically switch your system between heating and cooling as needed to meet any scheduled temperatures or a temperature that you’ve manually selected.
  • This mode is useful for climates that consistently require both heating and cooling on the same day. For example, you may need this mode if you live in a desert climate and require cooling during the day and heating at night.
Off  
Off mode Thermostat off icon
  • When your thermostat is set to Off, it will only heat or cool to try to maintain your Safety Temperatures. All other heating, cooling, and fan control are disabled.
  • Your system will not turn on to meet any scheduled temperatures, and you won’t be able to manually change the temperature until you switch your thermostat to another mode.
Eco  
Leaf leaf icon
  • Your system will either heat or cool to try to keep your home within the Eco Temperatures range.
  • Only the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat have Eco mode. For the Nest Thermostat, you can use the Eco preset to quickly adjust to energy-saving temperatures manually or in its temperature schedule. Go to the Use Eco temperatures section to learn more.
  • The high and low Eco Temperatures are set during thermostat installation, but you can change them at any time.

Note: Heat, Cool, and Heat • Cool modes each have their own temperature schedule. If you want to make changes to the schedule, be sure you select the right one. 

Switch to Heat, Cool, Heat • Cool, or Off mode

Important: Heat, Cool and Heat • Cool modes each have their own temperature schedule. When you switch modes, your thermostat may turn your system on and off at different times depending on the mode’s schedule.

In the Home app

  1. On the home screen, select your thermostat.
  2. Tap Temperature mode Heat mode.
  3. Choose the mode you want.

In the Nest app

  1. On the home screen, select your thermostat.
  2. Tap Mode Thermostat off icon.
  3. Choose the mode you want.

On the thermostat

Nest Thermostat 3/4ths view

Nest Thermostat:

Set to Heat, Cool, Heat • Cool or Eco mode.

  1. Tap to open the Menu view.
  2. Slide your finger to Temperature mode Heat mode and tap to select.
  3. Slide your finger to the mode you want, then tap to set it.

Set to Off mode.

  1. Press and hold the touch bar until “Turn off” appears on the screen. 
  2. Slide the touch bar to highlight Turn off and then tap the touch bar to select.
Nest thermostat e heating

Nest Thermostat E:

  1. Press the thermostat ring to open the Quick View menu.
  2. Turn the ring to the mode you want, then press to select it.

Nest Learning Thermostat:

  1. Press the thermostat ring to open the Quick View menu.
  2. Turn the ring to Mode Thermostat off icon and press to select.
  3. Turn the ring to choose a mode, then press to activate it.
  4. Press again to confirm.

Note: If you turn the temperature all the way down while in Heat mode, your thermostat will ask if you want to switch to cooling. Likewise, if you turn the temperature all the way up while in Cool mode, it will ask if you want to switch to heating. "Press to cool" or "Press to heat" will appear on the thermostat screen.

Use Eco Temperatures

For the Nest Thermostat, you can use the Eco preset to quickly adjust to energy-saving temperatures manually or in its temperature schedule.

  • When you manually set the Eco preset, it will be overridden by the next temperature set in the schedule.
  • If you want to use Eco temperatures for longer without changing the temperature schedule, you can hold the temperature of Eco preset.

For the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat, you can switch to Eco the same way as other temperature modes. However, there are some key differences in how your thermostat will behave in Eco compared to other modes:

  • When you manually switch to Eco, your thermostat will ignore all scheduled temperatures until you manually switch it back to heating or cooling.
  • If your thermostat automatically switched to Eco Temperatures because everyone was away, it will switch back to your normal temperatures when someone comes home.

Learn more about Eco Temperatures

In the Home app

Nest Thermostat 3/4ths view

Nest Thermostat:

  1. On the home screen, select your thermostat.
  2. You thermostat must be set to Heat, Cool, or Heat • Cool
    mode to use the preset. To change the mode, tap
    Temperature mode Heat mode and select the one you want.
  3. Tap Temperature preset Temperature preset, then select Eco.

Nest thermostat e heating

Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat:

  1. On the home screen, select your thermostat.
  2. Tap Temperature mode Heat mode.
  3. Select Eco.

In the Nest app

Note: The Nest app is only compatible with the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat.

  1. On the home screen, select your thermostat.
  2. Select Eco leaf icon .
  3. Tap Start Eco. If you have more than one thermostat, select whether you want to start Eco Temperatures only on the thermostat you’ve chosen or all thermostats.

On the thermostat

Note: You can switch to Eco directly on the Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat only. The Nest Thermostat does not have Eco mode. Instead, you can use the Eco preset in the Home app as your Nest Thermostat heats or cools your home.

  1. Press the thermostat ring to open the Quick View menu.
  2. Turn to Eco leaf icon and press to select.
  3. Select Start Eco.

Note: If your thermostat is already set to Eco, select Stop Eco and your thermostat will return to its regular temperature schedule.

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