Learn about zoned system compatibility with Nest thermostats

Nest thermostats work with zoned boiler systems.

In zoned systems, each thermostat controls heating independently in order to heat different areas of the house. Zoned systems save energy by allowing homeowners to only heat the part of the home that they need, instead of the whole house.

In a zoned system, multiple thermostats control one heating system that selectively distributes heat to different parts of the home. For example, when one zone needs heating, that zone’s valves open, guiding the hot water to the radiators or in-floor pipes in that area of the home. When both zone valves aren’t calling for heat, the boiler turns off, saving energy.

zoned boiler image

Some heating systems that are called zoned systems aren’t actually zoned systems. A typical example of this is a home with multiple thermostats that each control their own heating system for a specific part of the house. Since no zone valves are used, these systems aren’t truly zoned systems.

Using multiple thermostats in the same home

If you have more than one thermostat in your home, they’ll work together to try to keep you comfortable and help save energy.

If you have multiple thermostats in your home, you can replace one, any, or all of your thermostats with a Nest thermostat. You won’t need to replace all of your current thermostats, and they’ll keep controlling your system just like they always have. You shouldn’t need to change any settings.

If you’re only going to replace one of your current thermostats with a Nest thermostat, it's recommended that you replace the one in your main living area. That way it can better tell when you’re home, learn what temperatures you prefer, and automatically help you save energy.

How Nest thermostats learn

Your thermostats will learn separate schedules

Nest thermostats in the same home don’t share temperature schedules. Each Nest thermostat learns a separate schedule for the zone that it controls. So you can teach your thermostat downstairs to warm up the kitchen in time for breakfast, while the thermostat upstairs turns down for the day.

Learn more about managing multiple homes and Nest products

Home & Away Routines and Eco Temperature can help save energy

Your phone's location and Nest product sensor data are used to tell when your home is empty or occupied. So all of the Nest thermostats in your home can switch to Eco Temperature when you’re away, and back to your regular temperature schedule when you return.

You can also set Eco Temperature manually on any of your Nest thermostats to save energy in one part of your home. Your other Nest thermostats will continue to run their normal temperature schedule to keep you comfortable.

How to tell if you have a zoned system 

There are two indications that you have a zoned system:

  1. Your home has more than one thermostat
  2. Your home has more than one heating system or more than one type of heating system (for example, radiators and in-floor radiant)

Nest thermostats will work with many types of heating, regardless of whether they’re zoned systems. However, Nest thermostats are not compatible with electric radiators or electric underfloor systems. See:

Heating system compatibility with Nest thermostats

How Nest thermostats work with zoned systems

If you have a zoned system, each zone will need its own thermostat. You can replace all your old thermostats with Nest thermostats, or you can replace just one to try it out.

  • Each Nest thermostat will need its own Heat Link, which is included in the box with Nest thermostats in Europe.
  • Each Heat Link will connect each zone valve, either directly or via a junction box.
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