Beginner's guide to using the Nest thermostat

You’ll learn the basics of how to use your Google Nest thermostat, change settings, set temperature schedules, save energy, control it with your phone, and more.

Download documents for your thermostat

Nest thermostats include a few printed materials in the box to familiarize you with the product and installation, but you should follow the installation instructions in the Nest app which will also provide you with the right wiring diagram for your system.

Each thermostat has different guides. If you’re not sure which thermostat you have, see this article: How to tell which Nest thermostat you have

Nest Thermostat E

3rd generation Nest Thermostat

2nd generation Nest Thermostat

1st generation Nest Thermostat

Note: These guides should open directly in your browser. If you’re having trouble viewing them, you may need to download and install a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.

How to install and set up your thermostat

The app will guide you through thermostat installation and setup step-by-step. It will also give you a custom wiring diagram that you'll need for installation.

To get a preview of what you’ll need for installation, read our installation article or watch an installation video. Select your thermostat below:

Nest thermostat basics

Nest thermostats don’t have a touch screen. Use it just
like a normal thermostat, turn the ring up when you want it a little warmer, and turn it down when you want it a little cooler.

  • Press your thermostat ring towards the wall to see more options.
  • Turn the ring to select an option.
  • Press the ring again to confirm your selection.
Nest thermostat hand animation image.

Here are the most important articles to familiarize yourself and get you comfortable with using your thermostat:

Learn how to save energy with your thermostat

There are a few ways to save energy with your thermostat like setting Eco Temperatures when no one’s home, reviewing your Home Report to monitor your energy use, or joining an energy saving program.

Learn about thermostat temperature schedules

Your thermostat starts learning on day one and it’s up to you to teach your Nest thermostat good habits to help save energy. You can set your own heating or cooling schedules or have your thermostat Auto-Schedule for you.

Learn how your thermostat works

Your Nest thermostat has a few different features that can keep you feeling comfortable. For instance, Early-On pre-heats or cools to reach your scheduled temperature on time. You can also set Safety Temperatures, which prevents your home from going above or below certain temperatures, and learn about the other ways your thermostat works.

Common troubleshooting issues after set up

These articles cover the most common issues you may encounter after setting up your Nest thermostat. This is not an extensive list so if you don’t find what you’re looking for below, there are other troubleshooting articles that you can find using the search bar above.

If you moved into a home with a Nest thermostat already installed

If you moved into a home that already has a Nest thermostat installed, follow these steps to remove the previous owner’s settings.

  1. Have the previous owner remove the thermostat from their account if possible. If this isn’t possible, reset the thermostat to factory defaults.
  2. Set up the thermostat and add it to your account.
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