Google Nest thermostat and mobile phone app

How does a Google Nest thermostat work?

The Google Nest learning thermometer is a fantastic way to reduce your heating bills and help to protect the planet by making your home energy efficient - but how does this innovative piece of technology actually work? Read on to learn more.

Installing your Nest thermostat

Although every new Nest learning thermostat comes with full installation instructions, it is advised to have it fitted by a trained engineer. This is because there are several factors to consider in order to achieve optimum energy savings, and a heating specialist will be able to locate it and configure it for maximum performance. It may also involve connecting to your mains electricity circuit, which should only be done by a professional.

Setting the thermostat

The Google Nest Thermometer is designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible. It does not have a touch screen, but instead has a user-friendly ring that you can turn just like a normal thermostat. Simply turn the ring up when you want your home a little warmer, and turn it down when you want it a little cooler. Further options are available when you press the ring.

The main modes for your Google Nest Thermostat can be controlled by the thermostat ring or the app, and are as follows:


Your thermostat will start heating to try to maintain any scheduled temperatures or a temperature that you’ve manually selected.


When your system is Off, it will only heat to try to maintain your Safety Temperature.

Your heating will not turn on to meet any scheduled temperatures, and you won’t be able to manually change the temperature until you switch your thermostat to another mode.

If your thermostat controls hot water, you’ll still be able to control it in Off mode.


Your system will try to heat your home to the Eco Temperature.

Note: The Eco Temperature was set during thermostat installation, but you can change it at any time.

If you manually set your thermostat to Eco or you set your home to Away, it won’t follow its temperature schedule. You’ll need to switch it to heating mode before you can change the temperature or go back to your regular schedule.

If your thermostat automatically set itself to Eco because you were away, it will automatically return to its regular schedule when it notices that someone has arrived home.

How to save money with a Google Nest learning thermostat

Nest thermostats are engineered to learn from you and your home. When correctly set up, your thermostat will learn to keep you comfortable when you’re at home and save energy while you’re out.

There are several different ways to save energy with your Nest thermostat. These include setting an Eco Temperature when no one’s home, reviewing your Home Report to monitor your energy use or joining an energy-saving program. To get the most out of your Google Nest thermostat, it is recommended that you use the features available through the intuitive app which you can access through your mobile phone wherever you are.

Teaching your Nest Thermostat

Once your thermostat has been installed, it will begin learning your habits. During the first week, your Nest thermostat will build a schedule by learning each time you walk in front of it or adjust the temperature. Your thermostat doesn’t stop learning after the first week either; it will continually adapt and adjust to your lifestyle - so teach it good habits to help save energy!

Good habits include turning it down before you go to bed, or when you don’t need your heating running as much, in order to save energy. Your Nest thermostat will remember these changes and adjust your schedule. You can find the results of teaching your Nest thermostat good habits in your Home Report.

Adjusting your radiator valves

Your Google Nest thermostat is just part of the equation when it comes to energy efficiency. Adjusting your radiator valves can also help save energy by helping to make sure that your home heats and cools more evenly. If some of the rooms in your home are overheating, try to make gradual adjustments to the radiator valves in each room. Close the valves for a room that heats up too quickly and open up the valves in the rooms that feel too cold.

Setting the right Eco Temperature

The Google Nest’s Eco Temperature function can help you save energy when you’re not at home. Setting an energy-efficient Eco Temperature means your home won’t be wasting energy while there’s no one in it. The more efficient your Eco Temperature is, the more you’ll save - but make sure you don't set your Eco Temperature too low or too high if you have pets, plants or delicate items in your home.

Your thermostat can use your phone’s location to help tell when you’ve left home and when you’ve returned. With an optional Family Account, your family or friends can also use their phone location and help improve the accuracy of automatic switching.

Look for the leaf

The intuitive Nest Leaf is an easy way to know you’re saving energy and is designed to encourage you to continually improve your savings over time. You’ll find the leaf on your thermostat when you set a temperature that helps save energy. The more often the Leaf appears, the more you save.

Simple ways to achieve your leaf include turning your heating down by half a degree and avoiding cranking up the temperature when you feel cold.

Another useful feature is the Time-to-Temperature on the thermostat screen, which gives you a sense of how long it will take for your home to reach the temperature you've set. For example, you may not know if you want it to be 21°C or 22°C, but it’s easy to know the difference between running the heating for 15 minutes versus an hour.

Optimising your condensing boiler

Condensing boilers are more efficient when the return water flow is below 55°C. Because different homes dissipate heat at different rates, and because each boiler is different, a heating professional can help select the boiler supply temperature that will keep you warm and save the most energy. Contact a Nest Pro to help you adjust settings on your condensing boiler to help you save energy.

Ready to make the switch to a Nest Thermostat and transform the way you heat your home? Get in touch with D.R. Plumbing & Heating today. Call now on 01978 291 923 / 01352 620 125.

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