Learn about the Nest thermostat’s Safety Temperature and how to set it

Safety Temperature can help protect your home from extremely cold or hot weather. It can help ensure that your pipes won’t freeze or your home won’t overheat even if your thermostat is set to Off, or Eco Temperatures, or your home is set to Away. Your heating Safety Temperature is set to 40° F/4° C by default and cooling is off, but both can be changed in thermostat settings.

Safety Temperature is great for helping prevent your home from going above or below certain temperatures by turning on heating or cooling when the set limits are reached. For instance, if you're away from home on vacation during an extreme cold wave, Safety Temperature can prevent the pipes from freezing, even if the thermostat was turned off or doesn't have a heating schedule. Also, if you leave pets unattended at home, you may wish to set the Safety Temperature higher in the winter and lower in the summer to keep your pets comfortable during extreme weather.

You'll never have to worry if you've set the thermostat correctly before you leave, and as long as your Google Nest thermostat is online, you can check your home's temperature from anywhere with the Nest app.

Safety Temperature is different from the Eco Temperature set during thermostat setup. An Eco Temperature is set to help you save energy while Safety Temperature is set to help protect your home.

How to set a safety temperature

The Nest thermostat's default heating Safety Temperature is 40° F (4° C) to prevent your home from freezing. The cooling Safety Temperature is off by default. If you live in a warm climate, we recommend that you set a cooling Safety Temperature to protect your home, pets, and plants during an extreme heat wave.

You can set the Safety Temperature on your thermostat or with the Nest app and you'll see different options depending on your region and your system.

Note: To be able to set a Heat to Safety Temperature, your Nest thermostat must be connected to a heating system, or connected to a cooling system to set a Cool to Safety Temperature.

Safety Temperature in the US Safety Temperature in Europe
Safety temperature screen in the US UK safety temperature screen

On your thermostat

  1. Press the thermostat's display to bring up the Quick View menu.
  2. Select Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Choose Safety Temp.
  4. Turn the ring to select the heating or cooling Safety Temperature you'd like to change and press the ring to choose it. Turn the ring to change the tempearture and press the ring to confirm your change. 
    Note: You can disable a Safety Temperature by turning the dial to off when choosing a temperature, but we don't recommend this since setting a Safety Temperature helps protect your home.
  5. Choose Done to exit the menu.

With the Nest app

  1. Select your thermostat.
  2. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Tap Safety Temperature.
  4. Drag the sliders to your desired Safety Temperature.

Safety temperature notifications

If the room temperature drops below the set Safety Temperature, your Nest thermostat will automatically start heating. Similarly, if the temperature goes above the set Safety Temperature, your Nest thermostat will automatically start cooling.

You'll get a push notification on your phone or tablet, as well as a message in the Nest app. Once temperatures return to normal levels, another notification will let you know.

Important: Notifications about Safety Temperature rely on an active Wi-Fi and internet connection in your home at the time of the notification. If your Wi-Fi network is down during the time when the Safety Temperature is reached, you will not receive the notification. Your thermostat will continue to heat or cool while your home Wi-Fi network is offline.

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