Learn about the Nest Temperature Sensor

The Google Nest Temperature Sensor can help improve your comfort if it’s a few degrees cooler or warmer than you like in a specific room or area of your home. Your Google Nest thermostat will use the sensor’s temperature to more accurately heat or cool that room.

How a Nest Temperature Sensor can help

Most homes aren’t the same temperature in every
room since the number of windows, insulation, and
room size can all vary. In addition, your thermostat
may be in a place where you don’t spend much time
such as a hallway, alcove, stairwell, or even a closet.
Or if your thermostat is downstairs, you may be too
cold or too warm when you’re upstairs in the
bedroom. These situations can cause your
thermostat to underheat or undercool certain areas
or rooms in your home.

Temperature home sensors

Most homes heat and cool unevenly.

Nest Temperature Sensors can let your Nest thermostat know the temperature in other rooms, such as the living room or your bedroom, to help keep you more comfortable there. You can even schedule when your temperature sensors are active, so your thermostat will know when to focus on keeping a specific room comfortable. For instance, you can schedule a sensor in your bedroom to be active at night so it’s the temperature you like for sleeping.

Nest Temperature Sensor basics 

The Nest Temperature Sensor wirelessly connects to
your thermostat. After you connect your temperature
sensor to your thermostat with the Nest app, you can
set a schedule for it.

While the sensor is scheduled to be active, your
thermostat will use the sensor’s temperature instead
of its own internal temperature sensors.

Temperature living room sensor

When a temperature sensor is active, your thermostat will try to maintain the current target temperature in that room.

For example, you set your thermostat to 70°F (21°C) to keep your home comfortable. But your thermostat shuts off when the air near your thermostat is about 70°F (21°C). Other parts of your house, such as your living room, might only be 68 °F (20 °C).

If you put a sensor in your living room (see the house graphic), your thermostat can shut off heating when the air in your living room reaches 70°F (21°C) helping to keep you more comfortable while you’re using that room. However, other parts of your home, such as the second floor, can get a little warmer than the living room. For example, your upstairs rooms might heat up to 73°F (23°C).

 

What happens in rooms without sensors

A temperature sensor can be helpful, but it’s not a
cure-all. If you put it on an uninsulated or poorly
insulated room, such as a porch or basement, or a
room that has a lot of large windows, your system
will have to work a lot harder to keep that room
comfortable.

Temperature drafty hallway sensor

When a temperature sensor is active, other rooms in your home may get warmer or cooler than you prefer.

Inefficient heating or cooling systems can also cause larger temperature differences between rooms. For instance, rooms that are further away from your system can sometimes be warmer or cooler than the rest of your home.

If other rooms in your home are uncomfortable while your temperature sensor is active, you may want to simply change the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees until you find a temperature balance that feels good throughout your home.

While a temperature sensor can help keep you more comfortable, your system will probably need to work a bit harder when your sensor is scheduled to be active. So you might notice an increase in energy use in your thermostat’s energy history and your monthly Nest Home Report.

If your thermostat notices that your system is running a lot harder when your sensor is active, and possibly wasting too much energy, it will warn you with an error message.

A sensor can help prevent extreme energy use

Using a temperature sensor can increase your average energy use because your system will be working harder to heat or cool a room it wasn’t monitoring. But in some cases, you may see a significant increase in energy use because of where you’ve placed your sensor.

Your Nest Temperature Sensor and Nest thermostat are designed to help prevent running your system too hard. If the temperature difference between where your Nest thermostat and sensor are installed is more than a few degrees, you may see an M12 error on your thermostat or a message from the Nest app that suggests moving your sensor.

For help, please see Troubleshooting when your sensor isn't in a good spot.

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