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Differences between Nest thermostats made for Europe and North America

The 3rd-gen Google Nest Learning Thermostat shares the same name as the North American version because they share many of the same features and design traits. But the European version has been engineered specifically for the different heating systems used in those countries. Here are answers to the most common questions.

Why wasn’t the European Nest Thermostat announced when the North American version was?

We generally don’t pre-announce new products until they’re ready for market.

Why do Nest Thermostats made for Europe and North America have the same name?

We first released the Nest Thermostat in Europe in 2014, and while it was new to customers in the EU, it was actually based on the features and design of the 2nd-gen Google Nest Thermostat for the US and Canada. Our customers on both continents enjoyed many of the same advances in energy-saving technology, better design and more.

The same holds true for the latest 3rd-generation thermostats for North America and Europe. They both have the same large screen, Farsight, new temperature and activity sensors, and several other hardware and software features in common. Because these key features are the same, they’ve both been dubbed 3rd-generation Nest Learning Thermostats.

How are Nest Thermostats made for Europe and North America different?

Although the most visible part of the Nest Thermostat (the display) is the same, the rest of the thermostat is very different in the European and North American models.

Heating systems in these two regions are entirely different, so a thermostat made for the US or Canada simply won’t work with European systems. We had to develop specific hardware, such as a new Heat Link, and dedicated software for our European customers. We also had to support the high-voltage systems found in the EU. The table at the end of this article summarizes many of these key differences.

What else is different about the European Nest Learning Thermostat?

We’ve also added features to make the 3rd-gen Nest Thermostat for Europe even more powerful. This new technology gives our customers things that they’ve been asking for, such as domestic hot water control and energy-saving OpenTherm compatibility. Both of these are made possible by the exclusive hardware developed for the European 3rd-gen Nest Thermostat. There’s also a new Heat Link and a new Google Nest Stand to fit the larger screen.

If you purchased a Nest Thermostat before the 3rd gen was available, you’ll continue to get many of the same new software features whenever we release new updates. These include improved algorithms for better energy savings, improved learning and a host of other enhancements. For more details, refer to the Nest Learning Thermostat software update history.

3rd-gen Nest Thermostat

North American
3rd-gen Nest Thermostat

Nest thermostat gen3 front view temp

Controls heating and domestic hot water

Note: Hot water control works on selected systems only and depends on system compatibility.

Nest thermostat gen3 cooling leaf

Controls heating, cooling and ventilation


European style base for 3rd generation Nest Thermostat

12 V wires only deliver power to the thermostat

USB port provides power for wireless installation

nest thermostat gen3 base

24 V wires connect to base to control heating and cooling, and deliver power to the thermostat

3rd gen Heat Link

Requires Heat Link to control heating and hot water






Does not use Heat Link

Can use a wireless connection to control heating

Must be wired directly into the system

Works with combi boilers, system boilers and heat-only boilers, air and ground-source heat pumps, and hydronic underfloor systems

Works with 24 V heating and cooling systems, including forced air, heat pump and radiant systems

Supports OpenTherm

Is not OpenTherm compatible

Can be installed on the wall, or the Nest Stand can be used for a wireless installation

Can only be installed on the wall and must be wired to the thermostat

If you’re interested, learn more about the Nest Thermostat for Europe.

3rd-gen Nest Thermostat for Europe

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