A smart thermostat is a great accessory that not only allows you to control the temperature of your home from your phone, but also saves on utility bills. Here’s how to install and set up the Nest Learning Thermostat in your own home.

Attention : this is a project for a self-confident master. There is no shame in having someone do the actual wiring for you if you don’t have the skill or knowledge to do so. If you read the beginning of this article and immediately visualized, how do this, based on past experience connecting wires and sockets, you are probably fine. If you opened this article without knowing exactly how we were going to pull off this trick, it’s time to call that experienced friend or electrician. Also note that doing so may be against the law, code or regulation if you do so without permission, or may void your insurance or warranty. Check your local regulations before proceeding.

What is a nest thermostat and why do I want one?

The Nest thermostat is one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market, mainly due to its unique design and easy to use user interface. It even allows you to control the heating and cooling of your home right from your smartphone.

But the biggest advantage is that the Nest learns your habits and can eventually do it all automatically. So if you tend to turn down the fire when you go to bed and turn it back on when you wake up, Nest will learn this and do it for you without having to manually program it.


Nest can also know if you are at home or away, depending on your phone’s location and Nest’s built-in motion sensor. You can also set it manually and let Nest know if you’re at home or will be away for the day or weekend so it can heat or cool your home accordingly.

Will the nest thermostat work in my house?

You might think that the Nest Thermostat will work with any thermostat setting in any home, but that’s not entirely true.

Nest will work with any low voltage system, but will generally not work with high voltage systems (also known as line voltage). If you’re not sure what system you have, you can quickly unplug your current thermostat and take a look at the wiring.

If you see several small wires of different colors, then you probably have a low voltage system, but if you only see 2-4 larger wires that are connected with wire nuts, then you most likely have high voltage. system. You can also look at the thermostat itself to see how many volts it is. If it reads something like «110VAC», «115VAC» or «120VAC» then you have a high voltage system and the jack will not work.

Typical high voltage thermostat with 2-4 black and red wires.
Top: A typical high voltage thermostat with 2-4 black and red wires. Image from Nest.com.
A typical low voltage thermostat with several small wires in different colors.
Above: A typical low voltage thermostat with several small wires in different colors. Image from Nest.com.

It is possible to convert to a low voltage system if you have a high voltage system, but it is quite complex and requires a bit of know-how, so if you absolutely want to install a Nest thermostat, your best bet is to call a professional to convert your system.

Without all that being said, if everything looks good of you, here’s how to install and set up a Nest thermostat.

Step One: Remove Your Current Thermostat

Find your thermostat and turn it off. It will still be on, but you must turn off the heating, cooling, and fan. It’s also a good idea to remove backup batteries if you have a thermostat.


Next, you need to turn off the heating and cooling at the circuit breaker. Sometimes the oven and air conditioner are on two separate switches, so you’ll have to turn both off. Remember that this is not only for your own safety, but not turning off the heating and cooling completely could cause a fuse to blow, requiring an electrician to repair it.


You may also need to turn off the third switch for the wire that powers the thermostat. Your circuit breaker diagram may indicate which circuit breaker the thermostat is connected to, but if not, it’s safe to say that if your thermostat is in your living room, then turning off the circuit breaker in the living room will help.

Also, your oven’s main switch may be near the oven itself, not the switch box.


Next, remove the thermostat housing from the wall. It usually just snaps on and requires a little tugging to get it off, but you may need to unscrew it.


From there you should be able to see your thermostat wiring. We recommend taking a voltage tester and making sure it is not receiving power. If there is, you need to go back to the switch box and try to turn off the other switch.


This next step is important. Take a photo of your current wire setup and note where each wire goes. In most cases, the color of the wire will correctly match the letter of the screw it is connected to (e.g. yellow wire connected to «Y», white wire connected to «W», etc.), but sometimes it doesn’t. It doesn’t, and you might have something like a blue wire connected to «Y» — like I do in the photo below. You can also use the included wire tags in the Nest training booklet to label the wires, but it’s good enough to take a photo and mark where the wires go.


Then, unscrew the wires from their screw terminals with the screwdriver that came with your socket. If there are any connecting cables (such as short cables running from one terminal to another), you can remove them and discard them, as you won’t need them for the socket.


Once you’ve disconnected all the wires, you can remove the thermostat completely and remove the thermostat’s wall plate, which is probably attached to the wall with a couple of screws.


Step Two: Install the Nest Thermostat

Take the Nest base plate and place it on the wall where you want the Nest Thermostat to go. Use the built-in leveler to straighten it out. From there, use a pencil and mark where the two screws should go — one on the top and one on the bottom.


If there is a stud behind the drywall where you want to insert the screws, you will need to pre-drill small holes before screwing in the base plate. Otherwise, the included screws are self-tapping and can easily screw into drywall. without pre-drilling. Drywall anchors are not needed.

When you’re ready to drive in the screws (a drill is highly recommended for this), place the base plate back on the wall where you want it and feed the wires through the center hole (including a patch panel behind the base plate if you want — it’s fine to use if you don’t want to stain and paint over where the old thermostat was). Take two screws and drive them into the wall, making sure the plate stays level as you are.


Next, you will connect the wires in the sole of the Nesta. If you’re not sure where each wire goes, you can use Nest’s interactive helper to tell you which wires go to which ports, as shown below.

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Before you connect the wires to the socket base plate, you will need to straighten the wires using some nose needle pliers.


To insert and secure the wire, press the button and insert the wire as far as it will go. Then lift the button. Pull firmly on the wire to make sure it is snug and does not come out.


After all the wires are inserted, push the bundle inward as far as possible so that they do not stick out of the base.


Then take the Nest Thermostat main unit, making sure the Nest logo is on top, and then just push it in until it clicks.


Remove the plastic that covers the motion sensor.


Go back to your switch box and power up each switch you turned off. Your Nest Thermostat will automatically boot up and begin the installation process.


Step Three: Set Up the Thermostat Socket

The first step in setting up the Nest Thermostat is choosing your language. To navigate through a setting (as well as the various menus when set up), turn the silver dial on the device in any direction to move the on-screen selector, then press the entire block to select it.

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The next step is to connect the thermostat to your Wi-Fi network, so click on the device to get started.

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Select your WiFi network from the provided list.

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Enter the password for your WiFi network and then move the selector to the checkmark icon when you’re done.

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You will receive a confirmation that your thermostat is connected and online. Click on the device to continue.

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Next, you will need to enter your location. This will show the local weather on your thermostat. Click on the device to continue.

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It might ask you if you live in an area that isn’t even close to where you are, which is a little weird, but just select No.

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Select the continent you live on.

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Enter your zip code using the silver dial to select a number. Click on the device to move to the next digit.

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Then choose where you live: Single Family, Multi-Family, Apt./Condo, or Business.

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Choose where your thermostat is located in your house or apartment.

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Next, you’ll adjust the heating and cooling to make sure the thermostat is working properly. Click on the device to continue.

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You will receive a diagram showing the wires that the Socket Thermostat detected. If everything looks good, click to continue. If not, you will probably need to re-install the wires in order to be detectable.

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The next screen will confirm your system. In most cases, you will have heating and cooling as well as a fan. Click to continue.

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You will then choose the fuel source for your heating. If you don’t know, select «I don’t know» from the list.

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After that, select the type of heating you have. The most common type is forced air heating, which would be the first option.

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The next step is to set the minimum and maximum temperatures that the Nest should heat or cool in your home when you are not around. Click to continue.

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He will ask you if your Nest should start with heating or cooling.

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Next, you will set the minimum and maximum temperatures. You can leave both «off» if you don’t want to install them. Otherwise, use the silver dial to select the temperature for each.

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You should now be able to test your system with the Nest thermostat to make sure everything is working properly. Click to continue.

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Choose if you want to test heating, cooling, or just the fan.

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Whatever you choose, make sure air is coming out of the vents and that it is either warm or cool. If you want, find your stove or air conditioner and make sure it turns on.

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Once testing is complete, the Nest Thermostat itself is set up and ready to use, but you’ll also want to set up the Nest app on your smartphone.

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Step Four: Set Up the Nest App for Remote Control

After setting up the Nest Thermostat, it’s time to install the app and connect it to your thermostat so you can monitor and change the temperature from your phone.

First of all, download the Nest app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play, depending on your device.


Once downloaded, open it and select Register.


Enter your email address and create a password for your Nest account. Then click «Register».


Select «I agree» to accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and click «Continue» at the bottom of the next screen.


When prompted, enter your house name in the app and click next.


The next screen will ask you for your address, but you only need a zip code. Click next.


On the next screen, you can set up Home/Away Assistance, which uses your phone’s location to automatically detect whether you’re at home or not and automatically adjusts your thermostat accordingly. You don’t have to install it right now (you can do it later).


You can also share your Nest Thermostat with other people in the house so they can control and change the temperature from their phone. You can also customize this later.


You will be taken to the main screen. Click the Add button to add your Nest thermostat to the app.


Select «Nest Thermostat» from the list.


Click «Next» on the next few screens until you reach the next screen. To connect the Nest Thermostat to the app on your phone, you need to enter an input key.


To get the enter key, go to the Nest thermostat and click on the device to open the home screen. Scroll to the gear settings icon and select it.

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Highlight «Nest Account» and select it.

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You will receive a message that you will receive an entry key. Click to continue.

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Enter the seven-digit entry key shown on the screen.

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Upon completion, your thermostat will report that it has successfully connected to your Nest account and is therefore connected to the Nest app on your phone.

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Your Nest thermostat will now be displayed on the main screen of the Nest app.


You can click on it to summon it and start remote control of the thermostat.


RELATED: Should I buy Google Nest Learning Thermostat?

You are all done! At this point, you can adjust the temperature of your Nest thermostat directly from your phone and from anywhere in the world. There are also a few settings you should check out, so take the time to explore the app and check out our Nest Programming Guide for an overview.

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