How to save energy with your Nest thermostat when you’re away on vacation

You don’t need to adjust your Google Nest thermostat to save energy each time you leave home. It can automatically help save energy by switching to Eco Temperatures. But if you're going to be away for a long time, such as a vacation, you have a few options: manually set your thermostat Eco Temperatures, set it to Off mode, or turn the power off to your system. Each of these has different effects.

Use Eco Temperatures

Your Nest thermostat can automatically switch to Eco Temperatures after it senses that nobody’s home to help save energy. But you can also manually set it to Eco Temperatures. Both of these options will keep your home relatively comfortable. So when you arrive home, it should take less time to reach your preferred temperature than if you had set your thermostat to Off mode.

  • If you manually set Eco Temperatures, your thermostat will stay in that mode and won't switch back to its regular heating or cooling schedule until you manually switch it to a heating or cooling mode.

  • If you let your thermostat automatically switch to Eco Temperatures, and a neighbor comes by to take care of your pet or collect the mail, your thermostat could turn on your system to reach a regularly scheduled temperature. After they leave, your thermostat will switch back to Eco Temperatures.

Set your thermostat to Off

If you plan to be gone for a longer period of time, such as a vacation, setting your Nest thermostat to Off mode can save even more energy than using Eco Temperatures. But if you use Off mode, your home might not be as comfortable when you come back.

Important: Off mode won’t turn your thermostat off, but it will make sure your system won’t heat or cool your home unless your Safety Temperatures have been reached. For instance, water pipes can burst if they freeze. So if it gets very cold, Safety Temperatures will tell your thermostat to turn on your system and help prevent damage to your pipes.

How to set your Nest thermostat to Off >

Turn power off to your system or home

Some people prefer to turn off power to their system or entire home when they're going to be away for a long time.If you do this with a Nest thermostat there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your Nest thermostat won't be able to charge its battery when power to your system or home is off. It will eventually shut down and won't be able to control your system. When it shuts down it will also appear offline in the Nest app.

  • Before your thermostat shuts off, you will likely see an E3, E4, E23 or E24 error message on the display.

  • When your heating and cooling system is turned on again, your Nest thermostat will probably need to recharge before it automatically turns on. You’ll see a blinking red light on your Nest thermostat while it charges its battery.

  • Depending on how low the battery charge is, charging can take up to 3 hours. But you can speed up charging with a USB cable:

    1. Pull off your thermostat's display.

    2. Connect a USB cable to the port on the back of the display and plug it into a wall charger.
      Note: You'll need either a mini or micro USB cable depending on your thermostat model.

    3. The thermostat display will turn on and show you a message to connect it to the base.

    4. Reconnect the display to the thermostat base. Make sure you press firmly until you hear it click into place.

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