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How to use a Nest thermostat to cool my home

Which Nest thermostat is best?

As technology advances, so does our ability to achieve better energy efficiency. By investing in a Nest thermostat, you are investing in making your home more energy-efficient without compromising comfort. According to Energy Star, heating and cooling require nearly half of the energy used in your home. As the seasons change, use a Nest thermostat to keep your home cool and your energy bills low.

What is a Nest thermostat?

Nest has a line of smart thermostats created by Google with voice control options that work with Alexa and Google Assistant. Google has provided several sleek design options to go with any home interior. These Google thermostats are known for their cutting-edge features and user-friendly apps that allow you to adjust the temperature remotely.

The 3rd Generation Nest Learning Thermostat offers the best of everything, with a high-resolution display and advanced learning features. The Nest Thermostat has fewer features but is less expensive and has a unique mirror display. Like the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest Thermostat E will learn your temperature changes and program itself, but it has fewer design options. 

How to use a Nest thermostat

How to change the temperature on a Nest thermostat

Nest thermostats make going from warm to cool easy and customizable. For the Nest Learning Thermostat or Nest Thermostat E, you can use the Nest app to adjust your thermostat by dragging the dial clockwise or counterclockwise, much as you would do manually. Select the thermostat and choose from one of the following temperature modes: Eco, Heat, Cool or Heat Cool. Then, you can either drag the dial to change the temperature or tap the plus or minus signs. The Heat Cool mode will automatically switch between heating and cooling to maintain the chosen temperature.

If you have a Nest Thermostat, you can only use the home app and the thermostat itself to adjust the temperature — not the Nest app. To manually change the temperature using the thermostat, tap the screen and slide your finger up or down to increase or decrease the temperature. The Nest Thermostat comes with existing presets for ease of use. These are Comfort, Eco and Sleep. Tap temperature mode to select a preset, or create custom presets under preferences. 

Nest temperature sensors

Google Nest Temperature Sensors allow you to heat or cool a specific room in your home. These sensors are only compatible with the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E through the Nest app. Placing a sensor in a room and connecting it to your thermostat allows the two devices to communicate and control the room's temperature. You can check and change the temperature of a room by checking the list of sensors located at the bottom of the home screen on the Nest app.

Nest energy-saving features

The Nest Learning Thermostat includes energy-saving upgrades and works seamlessly with other home systems and remote apps. You can check your energy history on both the thermostat and the app to see how to form better habits.

Nest Thermostat Energy History feature

Check your Energy History in the home app to see if you are creating good, energy-efficient habits. To do this, tap your thermostat and find the energy dashboard and select the day, week or month you want to check. There will be a chart of orange and blue bars, representing heating and cooling, respectively. These results will help you discover your energy-using habits so that you can make smarter energy choices.

Nest green leaf

When you see a green leaf appear on the app or the main screen of your thermostat, it means the current temperature is energy saving. The more you see the leaf, the more money you will save.

Eco temperatures

Just like the green leaf, seeing the word “Eco” on your thermostat is another indication that you are saving energy. All models have this proven energy-saving feature that turns down the temperature when you are away. The thermostat will sense that you are away from home and switch to the Eco setting. You can manually adjust this feature in “Settings,” allowing you to turn on the Eco temperatures whenever you are trying to save energy.

When using the Nest Thermostat go to “Settings” in the Home app. Press hold then select the Eco preset and hold time. In the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E, Eco is a mode. Once you set it on the Eco mode, the system will hold that mode indefinitely.

Home or away

Your system can sense that you are away from home and will automatically switch to “Away” mode in order to increase energy efficiency. This switch might not happen right away because the system must sense that you are no longer home. To be even more energy-efficient, you can manually set the thermostat to “Away” mode, skipping the extra time the system needs in the auto setting. You can do this in the Home and Nest app or through voice commands by saying, “Hey Google, someone is leaving.” Then when you return home, say, “Hey Google, someone is home.”


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Bailey Gates writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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