NestTM Knowledge Center

Now that you've selected the Direct Energy Comfort & Control plan and installed the Nest Learning Thermostat in your home, it's time to learn more about how your Nest is always thinking so that you can save up to 20% on heating and cooling bills. We've collected a variety of articles, how-to's, blog posts, videos, and additional resources so that your Nest Thermostat can start working for you!

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How to Install Your Nest Learning Thermostat

It's no secret that installing a programmable thermostat can save you money. EnergyStar.gov estimates a properly used programmable thermostat can save $180 off energy costs. But, who has time to program one and how would you know if you were doing it the right way?

Wouldn't it be convenient if there was one that could learn and adapt to your lifestyle?

The Nest Learning Thermostat learns your use habits and programs itself. By tracking your daily rhythms and how you set your home's temperature, it delivers customized settings and more efficient climate control than a plain-old programmable thermostat. Even better: it's compatible with 95% of home heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, including gas, electric, oil, solar, hot water, geothermal, forced air, heat pump, and radiant systems.

To see if your system is compatible, start with the online compatibility wiring helper provided by Nest, and then follow these steps:

  • Go to your current thermostat and turn the system off.How to Install Your Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Next, go to your circuit breaker box and turn off your heat, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC).
  • Return to your current thermostat. For a programmable thermostat, all you need to do is lift-off the faceplate and this will expose the control wires. Generally, home HVAC systems have a furnace, an air conditioner, and a blower fan: all of these are controlled using a 24 volt AC thermostat.

If your thermostat is built into the wall or if you find it is connected with heavy gauge wires and wire nuts, or if the thermostat has a label saying 110 VAC, then STOP. You have a high voltage system. The Nest Thermostat is not compatible with high voltage systems and should not be connected.

If you are replacing one of the old dome-shaped mechanical thermostats, then you'll need to disassemble it a little:

  • Remove the plastic cover.
  • Inside, there's a bi-metal spring with a mercury bulb switch attached to the end. As the temperature drops, the spring tightens. This causes the mercury to roll from one end of the bulb switch to the other end where it touches the contacts and activates the system. Remember that mercury is toxic. Avoid breaking the switch bulb.
  • On either side of the dial, there is a single slotted screw that holds the dial mechanism onto the circuit plate. Unscrew it and set the dial aside.
  • Identify the wire connections. Remember that wire color usually has nothing to do with the letter on the terminal it's connected to. In the photo, a red wire connected to the R terminal, black wire to W terminal, green wire to G terminal, and orange to the Y terminal. On instances where there are five wires, one is a ground wire.

No matter which thermostat you're looking to replace, it's always a good idea to document the wiring. Either write down the wire's color and screw terminal letter on a piece of paper and tape it to the wall or take a photo of it with your smart phone.

And with your old thermostat off the wall, here's how to install your new Nest Learning Thermostat:

  • Turn off your HVAC system at the circuit breaker box.
  • Dismantle your current thermostat. As mentioned before, for newer ones just remove the faceplate, and for the older dome-shaped ones, remove the spring and mercury bulb mechanism. IMPORTANT: Most state laws require proper disposal of mercury-containing thermostats. Check out the non-profit Thermostat Recycling Corporation to find out how to dispose of your old thermostat safely.
  • On newer thermostats, there is usually a jumper wire between the RH to RC terminals. It can be discarded, as the device just requires the R wire connected to either of its RH or RC terminals.
  • The Nest Learning Thermostat comes with some easy-peel self-adhesive blue and white wire labels. Label each wire so you know what they are and then disconnect them from the old thermostat. Unscrew and remove the old thermostat's mounting frame. To avoid losing the wires into the hole in the wall, wrap them around a pencil. If they're too short, twist-tie them to a pencil.
  • Get out the new Nest Thermostat base and place it on the wall. Pull the wire through the hole in its center. The base has a its own bubble level built to help you mount it level on the wall. An optional trim plate is included if you should need to cover up large holes.
  • After the baseplate is secured to the wall, you can connect the wires. There are grip connectors on the base plate labeled for the wire terminals. Just push one down and insert the corresponding wire into the little hole. Straightening the wire ends before you push them in place makes this easier. Once that's done, push any extra wire back into the wall to allow the Nest Thermostat display to fit flush to the base.
  • Attach the device display by pressing it gently until it clicks into place.
  • Turn on the circuit breakers.

Congratulations - you're done! The Nest Learning Thermostat will turn on and then guide you through the set-up process, including how to connect to Wi-Fi so you can control it with your phone or tablet from anywhere.

For a visual walk-through, check out Nest's super DIY installation guide and see just how easy the installation can be.

Nest Learning Thermostat Videos


Put Your Nest Learning Thermostat to Work for You
Nest Technical Specs
Nest Learning Thermostat Technical Specs
Detailed Specs
LCD Display
  • 24 bit color
  • 320 x 320 pixel display
  • 1.75" diameter
Languages
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
Warranty
  • 2 year limited warranty
Sensors
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Near-field activity
  • Far-field activity
  • Ambient light
Battery
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery
Wireless
  • 802.11b/g/n @ 2.4GHz
  • 802.154 @ 2.4GHz
Bandwidth
  • Bandwidth less than 50MB/month upload and 10MB/month download (for software updates mainly)
Power consumption
  • Less than 0.03kWh per month

Size
Display
  • Mass = 215g / 7.6oz
  • Diameter = 83.0mm / 3.27"
  • Height = 28.0mm / 1.10"
Assembled Unit (Display + Base)
  • Mass = 252g / 8.9oz
  • Diameter = 83.0mm / 3.27"
  • Height = 32.0mm / 1.26"
Base
  • Mass = 37g / 1.3oz
  • Diameter = 76.5mm / 3.01"
  • 10.7mm / 0.42"
In The Box
  • Display
  • Base
  • Nest screwdriver
  • Welcome Guide
  • Installation Guide
  • Trim kit
  • Mounting screws & labels

Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions
How do I reduce my energy usage with the Nest Learning Thermostat?

Nest provides you the Nest Leaf on your Nest Learning Thermostat to help you learn how to use energy more effectively in your home so you can reduce your electricity usage. The Nest Leaf appears on the display or in the Nest app when you choose an energy-saving temperature. Nest will personalize the Leaf to your home and schedule. The Leaf will challenge you to choose temperatures that are a little lower or higher than you?re used to. Simply setting the thermostat to save one degree can save up to 5% on your heating and cooling bill.

How do I program my Nest Learning Thermostat?

Actually, you don?t really program it at all. Once you install Nest and set the thermostat to a setting you like, it begins learning your habits and behaviors. From there, it will automatically adjust usage to match your schedule and habits. While you can continue to manually adjust the temperature, the Nest Learning Thermostat typically takes care of this for you.

Is my HVAC system compatible with the Nest Learning Thermostat?

To learn if your HVAC system is compatible with the Nest Learning Thermostat, we recommend that you use this Compatibility Widget created by Nest.

Can I use multiple Nest Learning Thermostats in my home?

Yes, you can. In fact, we recommend that, if you do have multiple thermostats in your home, all of them be Nest Learning Thermostats so that you maximize your energy efficiency and savings.

Do I need Wi-Fi to use the Nest Learning Thermostat?

The Nest Learning Thermostat doesn't require a Wi-Fi connection to heat and cool your home, but a Wi-Fi connection is recommended if you want to take full advantage of the features available from Nest.

Nest, Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Leaf, Airwave, Auto-Away, and the Nest logo are trademarks or service marks of Nest Labs, Inc. You must be a single family homeowner to enroll in the Plan. You will receive the Nest Thermostat within 2 weeks of the date you start receiving electricity from Direct Energy. The Nest Thermostat is compatible with most HVAC systems. Check the compatibility of your system here before enrolling in the Plan. If you cancel your Plan early, you must pay a device cost recovery fee of $200 per thermostat.