How to control your fan with a Nest thermostat

If your system has a separate fan wire, you can turn your fan on without turning on your heating or cooling system. You can also set a schedule to have your fan turn on regularly to circulate the air in your home.

Your Google Nest thermostat offers a simple way to turn the fan on whenever you want. For example, you can set the fan to run all night and automatically turn off in the morning. Or you could schedule it to run for a few hours in the afternoon.

You can control your fan on your thermostat or with the Nest app.

Note: If you don’t have a separate fan wire installed, you won’t see the fan option, and you won't be able to use any of the fan settings. Your fan will only run while your system is actively heating or cooling.

System fans compatible with Nest thermostats

  • The Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with system fans that have up to three fan speeds.
    • If your system has more than one fan wire, you’ll need to contact a Nest Pro to have your Nest thermostat installed. Some systems that need to be installed by a Nest Pro include systems with G2, G3, GM, or GH wires.
  • The Nest Thermostat E is only compatible with single speed system fans.
  • Variable speed fans, high voltage forced air systems with fans, and proprietary systems with fans aren't compatible with either the Nest Learning Thermostat or the Nest Thermostat E.

Important things to know about fan control

If there is a wire in your Nest thermostat’s G connector 

  • You can run your system’s fan independently of heating or cooling. Your system doesn’t need to be actively heating or cooling to run the fan.
  • You can only run the fan when your thermostat is set to Eco, Heat, Cool, or Heat-Cool mode. You cannot run the fan if your thermostat is set to Off
  • You can set the fan to automatically run on a schedule or manually set it to run. 
  • You’ll see a fan icon Nest thermostat fan control icon on the temperature screen when your fan is scheduled to run, or if you turn your fan on manually.

If there isn’t a wire in your thermostat’s G connector 

  • The fan can only run while your system is actively heating or cooling. 
  • You won’t see fan control options on your thermostat or in the app.

Fan settings can affect comfort and energy savings

  • Running the fan longer can help reduce the variation between different room temperatures, but the fan can use a lot of energy and increase your electric bill. 
  • Frequent fan use will also increase your system’s runtime, so you may need to replace the air filter sooner. You can turn on filter reminders to help you know when to replace the filter.
  • The vast majority of fans only have on/off options. The fan speed typically can’t be controlled by a thermostat.  
  • If your system’s fan speed can be controlled with your thermostat , running the fan at a higher speed won’t make your home heat faster, and it can increase your electricity costs. Changing the fan to a lower speed for cooling can help reduce humidity, but this can also increase energy use and your electric bill.
    Important: Consult a trained HVAC professional before making any changes to your system fan speed as it could have unintended consequences.

Fan control with your thermostat

Turn your fan on right away

  1. Press your thermostat ring to open the Quick View menu.
  2. Select Fan Nest thermostat fan control icon.
  3. Turn the ring to select how long you’d like your fan to run.
    • If you have a multi-speed fan, you’ll be able to select your fan speed.
  4. Your fan will turn off automatically after the time you’ve selected.
  5. You can turn the fan off early by selecting Stop fan from the fan menu.

You’ll see a spinning fan icon on your thermostat’s screen to let you know it’s running.


Set a daily fan schedule

  1. Press your thermostat ring to open the Quick View menu.
  2. Select Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Fan Schedule.
  4. Choose how long you’d like your fan to run per hour, or set it to always run.
  5. Select what hours of the day you’d like your fan to run.
    • If you have a multi-speed fan, you can select a fan speed for your fan schedule.
  6. Select Done to set your schedule.

Your fan will turn on automatically each day for the time and duration you’ve selected.


Set your system’s fan speed

This setting is only available for the small number of system fans with multi-speed fans. Fan speed typically can’t be controlled by a thermostat.

Important: Consult a trained HVAC professional before making any changes to your system fan speed as it could have unintended consequences.

This affects the fan speed when your system is actively heating and cooling. You’ll have separate options to set the fan speed each time you manually turn on your fan or if you set a fan schedule.

For example, you can set your fan to high when heating or cooling, or schedule your fan to run at low speed in the morning to circulate the air in your home.

  1. Press your thermostat ring to open the Quick View menu.
  2. Select Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Fan.
  4. Select System fan speed.
  5. Select the fan speed you’d like to use when your system is heating or cooling your home. Depending on your system you may see Low, Medium, High, or Auto.
  6. Select Done to set your system’s fan speed.

Fan control with the Nest app

How to turn your fan on right away

  1. Tap the thermostat you’d like to control from the home screen.
  2. Tap Fan Nest thermostat fan control icon.
  3. Select how long you’d like your fan to run. If you have a multi-speed fan, you can also select your fan speed.
  4. Tap Start to run your fan.

Your fan will turn off automatically after the time you’ve selected, or you can turn it off early by selecting Stop from the fan menu.

Set a daily fan schedule

  1. Tap the thermostat you’d like to control from the home screen.
  2. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  3. Select Fan Schedule.
  4. In Every Day, tap the slider to turn your fan schedule on or off.
  5. Set how long you’d like to run your fan per hour. You can choose 1530 or 45 minutes of run time, or select 60 minutes to run your fan for the whole hour.
  6. Choose what time you want your fan to start running, and when you’d like your fan to stop running this schedule. If you have a multi-speed fan, you can select a fan speed for your fan schedule.

Your fan will turn on automatically each day for the time and duration you’ve selected. You can always edit or disable your schedule at any time from the fan menu.

Set your system’s fan speed

This option is only available on systems with multi-speed fans.

Tap the thermostat you’d like to control from the home screen.

  1. Tap Settings Nest settings icon.
  2. Select Fan.
  3. In HVAC fan speed, select the fan speed you’d like to use when your system is heating or cooling your home. You can choose LowMediumHigh or Auto, depending on your system’s wiring.

If you choose low, medium or high

Your fan will always run at that speed when heating or cooling your home.

If you choose Auto

Your Nest thermostat will automatically choose how fast to run your fan when heating or cooling your home.

You’ll still be able to choose a different speed for your schedule and each time you run your fan. For example, you can set your fan to high when heating or cooling and use a schedule to set your fan to low every morning to circulate air in your home.

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