How to install your Nest thermostat

We recommend professional installation for a 3rd or 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat, but you should be able to install a Nest Thermostat E yourself depending on your system.

Installing and using your Nest Learning Thermostat:

Before you start using your thermostat you’ll need to complete all the steps below.

1. Install your thermostat and Heat Link – you are here
2. Set up your thermostat
3. Add your thermostat to your Nest account
4. To start using the Nest Learning Thermostat

Install your thermostat and Heat Link

Tip: Some of the instructions below are different for different thermostat models. If you’re not sure which model you have, see: How to tell which Nest thermostat you have.

Determine if your system is compatible 

The Nest thermostat has been designed to work with many different types of heating systems. You can use our compatibility checker to determine if your home is compatible with the Nest thermostat.

       Check compatibility >

You can also read this article to help determine if your system is compatible, or contact a local Nest Pro. They’ll be able to determine if you’re compatible, install your system, give you a demonstration, and answer any questions you might have about using your Nest thermostat.

Thermostat installation 

3rd gen or 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat 

Because 3rd and 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostats sometimes require changes to the thermostat wiring, you should have yours professionally installed in order to keep you safe and avoid damaging your system or your thermostat.

        Find a Nest Pro installer >

After your thermostat is set up and connected to Wi-Fi you can add it to the Nest app to start using your phone to control your thermostat, get monthly updates on your energy use, and more.

Fil pilote system wiring

Fil pilote systems are compatible with both the Nest Thermostat E and 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat, but wiring is a bit different. The Nest app will guide you through wiring for the Nest Thermostat E. Below is the wiring diagram for 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostats.

No matter which thermostat you have, we recommend installation by a Nest Pro because advanced wiring is usually necessary. For instance, your Nest Pro may need to install an additional fil pilote diode (sold separately) depending on your current system.

thermostat wiring fil pilote

pilote diagram

Nest Thermostat E 

You’ll need the app on your phone or tablet to set up and begin using your thermostat. You can download it for free from the Apple App Store or from Google Play.

  1. Open the Nest app and sign in to your account if prompted.
  2. From the home screen, tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Tap Add product.
  4. Select Nest thermostat.
  5. Scan the code on the bottom of your thermostat stand to get started.

The app will walk you through setup and show you a wiring diagram so you can see where to plug in your wires. Follow the instructions in the app carefully to install your Nest Thermostat E.

Where to install or place your Nest thermostat 

Where you install or place your thermostat depends on which thermostat you have and whether you’re installing it on a wall or placing it on a stand.

Select your installation below to learn more about how to choose a good place for your thermostat.

Installing a 3rd or 2nd gen Nest Learning on a wall 

If you have an existing wired thermostat installed on your wall, you should be able to install a Nest Learning Thermostat in the same place. However, to ensure your thermostat runs smoothly, you should make sure to:

  • Choose a room or area that people in your home use most often. Your thermostat uses activity sensors to determine when you’re home or away so that it knows when to switch to your Eco Temperature to help save energy.

  • Make sure your thermostat is away from heat sources or drafty areas. Your thermostat senses the temperature in the area that it’s in to decide when to turn on the heat to keep you comfortable. For instance, if you install your thermostat in a room that’s colder than the one you frequently use, you may feel warmer than normal since your system is heating based on the temperature in that room.

  • Make sure your thermostat is within wireless range of the Heat Link (30m maximum). In order to control your system, your thermostat needs to be connected to your Heat Link. So if the connection is not strong, it may not be able to heat your home.

If you think your old thermostat was installed in a bad spot, contact a Nest Pro and they can help you find a new spot.

Where to place a 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat on a stand 

Note: Stands for the 3rd gen Nest Learning Thermostat are available for purchase separately.

Important: If you choose to use the stand with your Nest thermostat, it works best when it stays in one place. So you shouldn’t move it after you’ve chosen a spot. Many of your thermostat’s advanced features (such as switching to the energy saving Eco Temperature) depend on it being able to get consistent temperature and activity readings from the same spot in your home.

  • Choose a room or area that people in your home use most often. Your thermostat uses activity sensors to determine when you’re home or away so that it knows when to switch to your Eco Temperature to help save energy.

    Tip: If you have a pet that roams your home, they can be detected and prevent switching your home to Eco Temperature even when everyone else is away. So it’s best to keep them away from the room that the thermostat is in.

  • Don’t place your thermostat near heat sources or drafts. Your thermostat senses the temperature in the area that it’s in to decide when to turn on the heat to keep you comfortable. Place your thermostat away from anything that would cause the temperature to be artificially high or low, such as, drafty windows, radiators, fireplaces, or continual direct sunlight. Occasional sunlight is fine since your Nest thermostat’s Sunblock feature can help adjust the temperature based on irregular heat spikes and patterns.

    For instance, if you place your thermostat in a room that’s colder than the one you frequently use, you may feel warmer than normal since your system is heating based on the temperature in that room.

  • Make sure your thermostat has a clear field of view. Place your thermostat so it’s not blocked by doors, bookshelves, or other objects. That way, its activity and temperature sensors can work properly. If you have it placed on a ledge, try bringing it closer to the edge.

  • Place your thermostat within wireless range of the Heat Link (30m maximum). In order to control your system, your thermostat needs to be connected to your Heat Link. So if the connection is not strong, it may not be able to heat your home. Place your thermostat so that it can communicate wirelessly with the Heat Link.

  • Place your thermostat 0.75 to 1 m above the floor. If you place it too low, this can affect the temperature reading and run the system longer since it’s generally cooler closer to the floor. Placing your thermostat within this range will also help optimize your Farsight experience.

Where to place your Nest Thermostat E 

Important: Your thermostat works best when it stays in one place. So you shouldn’t move it after you’ve chosen a spot. Many of your thermostat’s advanced features (such as switching to the energy saving Eco Temperature) depend on it being able to get consistent temperature and activity readings from the same spot in your home.

  • Choose a room or area that people in your home use most often. Your thermostat uses activity sensors to determine when you’re home or away so that it knows when to switch to your Eco Temperature to help save energy.

    Tip: If you have a pet that roams your home, they can be detected and prevent switching your home to Eco Temperature even when everyone else is away. So it’s best to keep them away from the room that the thermostat is in.

  • Don’t place your thermostat near heat sources or drafts. Your thermostat senses the temperature in the area that it’s in to decide when to turn on the heat to keep you comfortable. Place your thermostat away from anything that would cause the temperature to be artificially high or low, such as, drafty windows, radiators, fireplaces, or continual direct sunlight. Occasional sunlight is fine since your Nest thermostat’s Sunblock feature can help adjust the temperature based on irregular heat spikes and patterns.

    For instance, if you place your thermostat in a room that’s colder than the one you frequently use, you may feel warmer than normal since your system is heating based on the temperature in that room.

  • Make sure your thermostat has a clear field of view. Place your thermostat so it’s not blocked by doors, bookshelves, or other objects. That way, its activity and temperature sensors can work properly. If you have it placed on a ledge, try bringing it closer to the edge.

  • Place your thermostat 0.75 to 1 m above the floor. If you place it too low, this can affect the temperature reading and run the system longer since it’s generally cooler closer to the floor. Placing your thermostat within this range will also help optimize your Farsight experience.

  • If your Heat Link is installed in a different room, place your thermostat within wireless range of the Heat Link (30m maximum). In order to control your system, your thermostat needs to be connected to your Heat Link. So if the connection is not strong, it may not be able to heat your home. Place your thermostat so that it can communicate wirelessly with the Heat Link.

 If you need to move your thermostat to another spot, you should reset its schedule so it can learn your temperature preferences in the new spot in your home. Go to Settings Nest settings icon and then Reset and then Schedule.

Download documents for your Nest thermostat 

Follow this link to download documents to help you install and get started using your Nest thermostat.

      Download Nest thermostat documents >

After your thermostat is installed you’ll need to answer some questions about your home.

       How to set up your thermostat >

Connecting cables to the Heat Link 

3rd or 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat 

If you have a 3rd or 2nd gen Nest Learning Thermostat, you should have a professional install it. They will identify cables from the boiler, zone valve, or junction box to connect to the Heat Link.

Nest Thermostat E 

If you’re installing a Nest Thermostat E, the app will instruct you how to install the Heat Link with your current thermostat wiring.

Installing and using your Nest Learning Thermostat:

1. Install your thermostat and Heat Link – you've just completed
2. Set up your thermostat
3. Add your thermostat to the app
4. Learn how to use your thermostat

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