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How to Install a Nest Thermostat

Installing your Nest Learning Thermostat is an easy process. If you recently got this smart thermostat, follow the steps below to hook your device up to your central heating and cooling system. All you need is what’s included in the box. Here’s how to install your Nest smart thermostat:

  1. Make sure your system can work with your Nest Thermostat. You can check this using Nest’s online Compatibility Checker.

    Note: The Nest Thermostat is compatible with most standard HVAC systems. However, it is not compatible with high-voltage systems. If you check your current thermostat and see that it is 110, 120, or 240 Volts, it will not be compatible.

  2. Turn the power to your HVAC system off. Look for the circuit breaker and turn the switch off. This is very important, as you need to protect yourself and your system. You can also turn off the main power at the breaker box.

    Note: To make sure your system is turned off, set the temperature on your thermostat, and wait a few minutes to make sure your system doesn’t turn on.

  3. Remove the faceplate from your old thermostat. You may need to unscrew your old thermostat’s cover using a different screwdriver (not included in the box). This will expose your wires.

    Note: Nest recommends that you take a picture of your wires with your smartphone to make sure that you don’t mix anything up.

  4. Lebel your current wires. Wrap the labels that came with your smart thermostat around your wires so you don’t get them mixed up. Use the label that corresponds with the current wiring system. For example, if you have a wire going into a port labeled “G,” then wrap that label around that wire.

    Note: You don’t need to label any “jumper wires,” or wires that are not connected through your wall. Any wires that connect from your thermostat to another port in your thermostat can be removed and set aside. You won’t need them.

  5. Disconnect the wires from your old thermostat.
    how to install a nest smart thermostat
  6. Then remove your old thermostat from the wall. Be careful not to let any of your labels fall off when removing the backplate from the wall.
    how to install a nest smart thermostat
  7. Next, install the Nest base plate on the wall. Use the screws and the screwdriver included in the box to attach the base plate on the wall. As you attach the base plate, pass the wires through the center of the plate. Screw the top of the baseplate in first and use the built-in level to make sure it is straight.

    Note: Screwing the baseplate into place too tight will cause damage to the sensors. You only have to screw it in just enough so it is snug and won’t move.

    how to install a nest smart thermostat

    Note: Some models include a trim plate that lets you cover the marks from your old thermostat. Just snap the trim plate and base together and screw them on the wall. Otherwise, this is a good time to patch any holes or markings on the wall.

  8. Connect the wires to the Nest Thermostat. On the Nest Thermostat’s base, you’ll find connector buttons with ports. Just press down these buttons, insert the labeled wires into the corresponding ports, and then release the buttons. Make sure the connector button stays down after you’ve inserted the wires. Otherwise, your device might not work properly. If you need more help with this, you can get a wiring diagram from the Nest app.
    how to install a nest smart thermostat

    Note: Only connect one wire to each port, and don’t connect any wires that weren’t connected to your old thermostat. If the ends of your wires are not straight, you can strip them and trim the ends. You should leave 3/8 of an inch of wire exposed. Finally, push in the wires so they are flush with the baseplate.

    how to install a nest smart thermostat
  9. Attach the Nest display on the Nest Thermostat’s base. Press the display onto the base until it clicks into place. Make sure you are connecting your device right-side-up.
  10. Turn the power back on. Switch the circuit breaker back on. Once you’re done, your Nest Thermostat will automatically turn on.
  11. Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting up your device.

Now that you know how to install your Nest smart thermostat, check out our article on how your Nest Thermostat can help you reduce your energy bills.

Updated on February 20, 2020

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