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How Nest thermostats learn

With Auto-Schedule, your Nest thermostat learns what temperatures you like at different times of the day. After a few days of learning, your thermostat will prepare a schedule for you.

This article applies to the following Google Nest thermostat models in the US and Canada:

Nest Thermostat E

Nest thermostat e cooling

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest thermostat gen 3 cooling

How to tell which thermostat you have


Note: The Google Nest Thermostat doesn’t use Auto-Schedule but you can set a temperature schedule during setup and change it any time you want and the thermostat will still learn Time-To-Temperature.

Turn on learning

In order to learn, your thermostat needs to have Auto-Schedule turned on. You can check this setting in the app or on your thermostat.

  • In the app: On the Nest app home screen, select your thermostat and then Settings Nest settings icon and then Auto-Schedule.
  • On your thermostat: Go to Settings Nest settings icon and then Nest Sense and then Auto-Schedule.

Tip: Auto-Schedule learning is on by default, but it's just one option for scheduling temperatures on your Nest thermostat. If you'd like to learn about all the available options, check our article about Nest thermostat schedules.

How your Nest thermostat learns

Note: Nest thermostats learn a different schedule for each temperature mode. For instance, if you currently have your thermostat set to Heat, it will learn the temperatures you like for heating your home. If you have both heating and cooling, your thermostat will create separate schedules for HeatCool, and Heat•Cool.

Learning on day one

 Your thermostat can start learning your temperature preferences from the day you start using it.

Use the app or your thermostat to select a temperature you want. Your thermostat will remember your choice and add it to the schedule that it’s building for you.

While your thermostat is learning, the exact behavior it will show depends on which model you have:

  • Nest Learning Thermostats: When you adjust the temperature on the first day, your Nest thermostat will hold that temperature until someone changes it. For instance, if you set your thermostat to 70ºF (21ºC), it will stay at that temperature until it’s changed.
  • Nest Thermostat E: During setup, you’ll have the option to choose a pre-programmed schedule that balances energy savings and comfort.
    • If you choose the pre-programmed schedule and also have Auto-Schedule turned on, your thermostat will learn your preferences on top of the pre-programmed schedule. So your thermostat will hold its current temperature until someone changes it, or until the next scheduled temperature change, whichever comes first.
    • If you choose not to use the pre-programmed schedule, your thermostat will hold the temperature until someone changes it.
    • Learn about your options in our article about Nest thermostat schedules.

Learning on day two

On day two, your thermostat will continue learning a personalized schedule using any temperatures you’ve set. Your thermostat will also try to learn when you’re home or away by how often you adjust the temperature or walk in front of your thermostat.

If you don’t like the temperature your thermostat learned from day one, simply turn the ring. Any changes you make will help set your schedule for the following days.

Note: Your Nest thermostat starts a new day at midnight. Adjustments made very late at night may not affect your early morning schedule.

Learning after a few days

After a few days, your Nest thermostat will have a decent idea about what temperatures you prefer throughout the day. But it will continue to fine-tune the schedule if you make further adjustments.

Learning after about a week and going forward

After about a week, your thermostat will have learned your temperature preferences and it will have settled on a schedule for you.

It will never stop learning, but now it will be less sensitive to each change you make. Going forward, your Nest thermostat will only learn from a pattern of at least two similar changes.

Here are some examples of patterns your thermostat can learn, and how they will change your temperature schedule.

Pattern of temperature changes

How it changes your thermostat’s schedule

Two weekdays in a row (Monday and Tuesday)

All weekdays (Monday to Friday)

Same day two weeks in a row (two Mondays in a row)

That day of the week (every Monday)

Two weekend days in row (Saturday and Sunday)

All weekend days (Saturday and Sunday)

Two days in a row including a weekday and a weekend (Friday and Saturday)

All seven days of the week (Monday to Sunday)

Other learning features

Here are some things you might notice when you start teaching your thermostat what temperatures you like:

  • The Nest Leaf: When you turn the ring, you may notice a green leaf Nest thermostat leaf icon on the thermostat display. This is the Nest Leaf, which appears when you’ve chosen a temperature that’s more energy efficient. You can use the Nest Leaf as a guide to help you save energy.
  • Time to temperature: Your thermostat can display an estimate of how long it will take to bring your home to the temperature you’ve chosen. To learn more about Time-To-Temperature, visit our article about what will appear on your thermostat's display.
  • Home and Away: Your thermostat can help you save energy by automatically switching to an Eco Temperature when it senses that no one’s home. This option will take precedence over your regular temperature schedule. 
    Learn how your home automatically switches to Home or Away
  • Meeting your temperature at the scheduled timeEarly-On and True Radiant are learning features that your Nest thermostat can use from day one. Which one your thermostat uses depends on what type of system you have, but both do essentially the same thing. They can automatically turn on your system early to meet a scheduled temperature. For example, if you schedule your home to be 70ºF (21ºC) at 7 AM, your thermostat might turn on the heat early at 6 AM so your home is comfortable when you wake up. Exactly how early it will turn on depends on what your thermostat has learned about how quickly your home heats and cools, how efficient your system is, and the weather.

Important: If you turn off Auto-Schedule, your thermostat will stop learning. With Auto-Schedule off, if you ever turn the ring to select a new temperature, your thermostat will only hold that temperature until the next scheduled change. It won't add your new preference to the schedule, even if you select the new temperature repeatedly.

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