The Nest Thermostat is one of the most-loved smart thermostats on the market, but are you getting the most out of all its great features? Here are some things you might be missing out on.
Set Your Own Schedule
You can control your Nest Thermostat manually, and it’ll learn your habits over time so that you won’t need to interface with it as much. However, you can also set a rigid schedule so that your Nest Thermostat changes to a specific temperature at a specific time.
All you have to do is tap on the “Schedule” tab at the bottom within the Nest app and then hit “Add” to begin creating your schedule.
Automate Home & Away Modes
As you come and go from your house, it might be a good idea to have your Nest Thermostat automatically turn itself down when you’re away. That’s where the Home/Away Assist and Auto-Away features come in handy.
Just go into the settings and tap on “Home/Away Assist”. From there, you can use your phone’s GPS to tell the thermostat when you’re away and when you’re home. You can also use the thermostat’s built-in motion sensor.
Get Precise Control Over the HVAC Fan
Usually, your HVAC system’s fan only runs when the A/C or heat kicks on, but you can override that on the Nest Thermostat and have the fan run even if the A/C or heat isn’t running.
Tap on the “Fan” tab at the bottom of the screen on the main screen and select a time. You can also go into the settings and select “Fan” for more controls.
Lock It with a PIN Code to Prevent Tampering
This might not be a huge problem in most households, but if you ever end up having your kids constantly messing with the temperature settings, you can set up a PIN code to lock the Nest Thermostat.
This can be done either on the thermostat itself or from within the app by going into “Settings” and selecting “Lock”.
Use Your Voice to Control the Temperature
If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you can use your voice to control different features of the Nest Thermostat, making it a bit easier and quicker to make changes.
Set Air Filter Reminders
Your thermostat works only as well as your HVAC system, and if you have a clogged and dirty air filter, then the thermostat isn’t performing as well as it could be.
With that said, you can have your Nest Thermostat set air filter reminders that notify you whenever it needs changed. To do this, go into the settings and navigate to Equipment > Air Filter Reminder. On the thermostat itself, you can access this by going into the settings and selecting “Reminders”.
Use It As a Motion Detector
The built-in motion sensor on the Nest Thermostat is mainly used to determine whether someone is home or not and then adjusts the temperature accordingly. However, with some outside help, you can use the sensor as a motion detector and have it alert you if anyone is inside your house.
The trick involves using IFTTT and setting 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
If you discover that you change your thermostat’s temperature settings to the same temperature over and over again, it might be worthwhile to create shortcuts for this right on your phone’s home screen.
This utilizes IFTTT’s Do Button, and you simply create a set of buttons at 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
You likely have other people living in your household, and if you want them to be able to change the temperature whenever they want from their phones, you’ll need to give them shared access.
This is really easy to do and can be done by going into the settings and selecting “Family”. From there, you’ll send email invites where they can create their own Nest account and get access to the house’s Nest Thermostat.
Receive Notifications if Anything Goes Wrong
Your HVAC system is reliable for the most part, but if anything should go wrong while you’re away from home for an extended amount of time, you would want to know about it.
Using IFTTT, you can receive a text message whenever the temperature in your house gets above or below a certain extreme temperature, which is a good sign that something is wrong with your system.
Use Humidity Levels as the Main Cooling Factor (Instead of Temperature)
Sometimes the humidity can get so bad that even when your house is cooled down somewhat, it can still feel humid, resulting in an uncomfortable environment. However, the Nest Thermostat can cool your house based on the humidity rather than just the temperature.
Just open up the settings and navigate to Nest Sense > Cool to Dry to turn it on. The feature will turn on the air conditioning if humidity levels rise above 70% inside your home, no matter what you have it set at. However, there are limits. It will only cool to 75°F, or 5°F below your 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 back on when you get home.
This uses IFTTT to connect your Nest Thermostat to your smart lights of choice, but our guide on the subject focuses on Philips Hue.
Optimize Your Home’s Airflow
Last, but not least, it’s important that the airflow in your house is optimized and that there’s nothing hindering your Nest Thermostat and your HVAC system from doing its job well.
Things like inspecting your HVAC system, improving insulation, and not closing off too many air vents are great ways to not only save money, but also cool (or heat) your house efficiently so that you’re comfortable.