The Nest thermostat is one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market, but are you getting the most out of all of its great features? Here are some things you may be missing.
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Set your own schedule
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You can control your Nest Thermostat manually and it will learn your habits over time so you don’t have to interact with it. However, you can also set a hard schedule so that your Nest thermostat changes to a specific temperature at a specific time.
All you have to do is click on the «Schedule» tab at the bottom of the Nest app and then click on «Add» to start creating your schedule.
Automate your home and away modes
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As you come and go from your home, it would be nice to have your Nest thermostat turn off automatically when you’re not around. That’s where the Home/Away Assist and Auto-Away features come in handy.
Just go to settings and click «Home/Away Help». From there, you can use your phone’s GPS to tell the thermostat when you’re away from home and when you’re at home. You can also use the thermostat’s built-in motion sensor.
Get precise control of your HVAC fan
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Normally, your HVAC fan only runs when the A/C or heating is on, but you can change this on the Nest thermostat to turn the fan on even if the A/C or heating isn’t running.
Click on the «Fan» tab at the bottom of the screen on the main screen and select the time. You can also go into settings and select «Fan» for additional controls.
Lock it with a PIN to prevent tampering
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This may not be a big problem in most households, but if you ever happen to have your kids constantly messing up the temperature settings, you can set a PIN to lock the Nest thermostat.
This can be done either on the thermostat itself or from within the app by going to Settings and selecting Lock.
Use your voice to control your temperature
If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can use your voice to control the various functions of your Nest thermostat, making it a little easier and faster to make changes.
First you will need to set up SmartHome control on your voice assistant, but we have instructions on how to do this for both Echo and Home.
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Set air filter reminders
Your thermostat only works the same as your HVAC system, and if you have a clogged air filter, then the thermostat isn’t working as well as it could.
RELATED:How to Set Air Filter Reminders with Your Nest Thermostat
With that said, you can set up Nest Thermostat air filter reminders that will notify you when a change is needed. To do this, go to settings and navigate to Hardware > Air Filter Reminder. On the thermostat itself, you can access this by going into settings and selecting Reminders.
Use it as a motion detector
RELATED:How to Use Your Nest Thermostat as a Motion Detector
The built-in motion sensor on the Nest thermostat is mainly used to detect if someone is at home or not and then adjust the temperature accordingly. However, with some outside help, you can use the sensor as a motion detector and it will alert you if someone is in your home.
The trick is to use IFTTT and set up an applet that notifies you whenever the sensor detects motion by sending you a text message.
Add temperature presets to your phone’s home screen
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If you find yourself changing your thermostat temperature settings over and over again to the same temperature, it might be worth creating shortcuts for this right on your phone’s home screen.
This uses the Do IFTTT button and you simply create a set of buttons with different temperature settings. From there, add the IFTTT widget to your phone’s home screen (or Notification Center on iOS) and you’re off to the races.
Give other users access
RELATED:How to share your thermostat nest with other users
There are probably other people living in your household, and if you want them to be able to change the temperature at any time from their phones, you need to share with them.
This is really easy to do and can be done by going into settings and selecting «Family». From there, you’ll send email invitations where they can create their own Nest account and access the Nest home thermostat.
Get notified if something goes wrong
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Your HVAC system is reliable for the most part, but if something goes wrong while you’re away from home for an extended period of time, you’d like to know about it.
Using IFTTT, you can receive text messages whenever the temperature in your home goes above or below a certain temperature extreme, which is a good sign that what something with your system then not this way.
Use humidity level as the main cooling factor (instead of temperature)
RELATED:How to Use a Nest Thermostat to Cool Your Home Based on Humidity
Sometimes the humidity can be so bad that even when your house has cooled down a bit, it can still feel damp, which creates an uncomfortable environment. However, the Nest Thermostat can cool your home based on humidity, not just temperature.
Just open settings and go to Nest Sense > Cool to Dry to turn it on. This feature will turn on the air conditioner if the humidity level in your home exceeds 70%, no matter what it is set to. However, there are limitations. It will only cool down to 75°F or 5°F below the set temperature — whichever is higher.
Control your smart lights
If you have smart lights, you can connect them to your Nest thermostat and have the two products work together so that your lights automatically turn off when you leave the house and turn on when you return home.
RELATED:How to Turn Off Your Smart Light When Your Nest Moves
This uses IFTTT to connect your Nest thermostat to your chosen smart lights, but our guide on the subject focuses on Philips Hue.
Optimize your home’s airflow
RELATED:How to Optimize Your Home’s Airflow to Save Money on Your Air Conditioner
Last but not least, it’s important to optimize your home’s airflow and ensure that nothing gets in the way of your Nest Thermostat and your HVAC system doing their job well.
Things like inspecting your HVAC system, improving insulation, and not covering too many vents are great ways to not only save money, but also effectively cool (or heat) your home to keep you comfortable.