Best Nest Thermostat Settings Explained

If you’ve gone through the process of installing your Nest Thermostat, then you should take advantage of the many hidden features it offers

There are a number of things you can do to enjoy your Nest thermostat to its maximum functionality. Settings like scheduling the temperature at different times or days, emergency heat, and fan usage. But you probably don’t know about them.

nest thermostat settings

In this article, we’ll give detailed instructions on some hidden features to enjoy from your Nest Thermostat and the settings required.

Nest Thermostat Settings: Emergency Heat

Some heat pump systems have emergency heat features to use when the primary heating system isn’t keeping the house warm to your taste or isn’t working efficiently. The feature is most important during cold weather and doesn’t need to be used often.

However, not all systems have emergency heat settings. How do you know if yours do? The following are ways to know.

  • It’s stated in the manual or the manufacturer says so.
  • Your thermostat has a button or switch with an “Emergency” label.
  • Your thermostat has a connector with an “E” label and a wire connected to it

If you’ve confirmed yours have, the following process will help you set up emergency heat

Setting Up Emergency Heat

You’ll need the Home app as a guide through the installation setup. It will ask for the wires your thermostat used and then display the Nest thermostat wiring diagram suitable for your system. You’ll need to follow the diagram to set the emergency heat wire into the correct Nest thermostat connector. After the connection, the app will show further information. The following section will help you in getting the correct settings.

You can manually turn on or off the emergency heat on your Nest thermostat with the following steps.

  • Open the Google Home app.
  • Press and hold the device’s tile
  • Locate the settings option at the top right corner and select it.
  • Select the Thermostat option and then the Emergency Heat
  • Press the switch to turn it off or on.
  • Go to Settings on your thermostat and select the Nest Settings
  • Choose the Emergency Heat and select Continue.
  • Press Yes to turn it on or select Turn off if the Emergency heat is on already.

Note that using the emergency heat feature is expensive and you should use it only during the cold weather.

Nest Thermostat Settings: Quick Temperature Schedule

After you’ve successfully installed your thermostats, you can create a temperature schedule immediately by using the Quick feature settings. The temperature schedule tells the thermostats how to respond concerning the time of the day.

The thermostat will automatically activate based on the current time, day or week. This way, you won’t have to manually adjust your thermostat whenever the temperature changes.

When you’re setting up the thermostat, the app will provide options to activate the temperature schedule automatically. If you proceed with the option, the app will display a preset schedule that will assist in setting the customization you desire. Once you complete the setup, the temperature schedule will begin working.

In subsequent times, if you want to adjust the time or temperature in the thermostat’s schedule, the app remains your go-to option. The section below will guide you to the complete setup.

Temperature Presets

You need to select a temperature preset to add or change the temperature schedule on your Thermostat. Temperate prests allow you to customize temperatures based on when you’re around, away, sleeping, and more. The preset will easily allow the thermostat to cool or heat your home how you desire.

The Comfort, Eco, and sleep preset modes are ready-made and available immediately after you set your thermostat in the Home app. However, if you don’t want them, you can create your custom presets. The following tips will help you create, edit or view temperature presets.

  • Launch the Home app on your device
  • Press and hold the device’s tile
  • Select Settings and choose Temperature preferences
  • Select Temperature Presets
  • You can then choose an existing preset to adjust or delete. You can tap the Add_routine to create your custom preset.

Quick Tip: When the Nest thermostat leaf icon shows during the process of adjusting the schedule, it’s a symbol that the temperature you set can help save energy.

Nest Thermostat Settings: Home & Away Routines

Home & Away Routine is a smart feature on your thermostat that automatically turn the thermostat on or off when you forget. It helps adjust your Nest thermostats to the appropriate temperatures when the last person around leaves or the first person returns. With this feature, a fixed schedule is not necessary.

How Does The Home & Away Routine Work?

The Home & Away Routine works by using presence sensing. Your phone location and sensors in a supported device can determine if you’re at home or not. The combination of these signals, with geofence crossings, can detect your presence in the house and determine when to start your Home & Away Routines. This presence sensing assists your thermostat in appealing to your desire when you’re home or away.

If you subscribe to this, the Home app, with the help of Wi-Fi and cellular data uses your phone’s location to determine when you passed your geofence. It’s a virtual perimeter designated around your home when you set up the feature for the first time.

However, Presence Sensing only works best when all other members of the household enable it in the Home app. Your device might not be able to sense some people at home when they don’t use these settings thereby faulting the Routines Settings.

The following steps will help you turn on Presence sensing on your device.

  • Open the Google Home app
  • Select Settings and then Presence Sensing
  • Turn on the Allow this home to use phone locations
  • You can also remove individual phones from using presence sensing.

How To set up Home & Away Routines

  • Open the Google Home App
  • Select the Setup Home & Away Routines option
  • Select Home or Away
  • Then Choose the devices and settings you want the Routines to modify.
  • Choose the ones to change anytime the first person arrives
  • Select the ones to change when nobody is around
  • You can also pick the device to use for detecting when there’s someone around
  • You can set up your phone’s location for presence sensing
  • Enter your home address then confirm it.

Perfect!!!. Your thermostat is set up for home and away routines.


There’s more functionality to enjoy from your Nest Thermostat if you understand the settings. This article has done a good job of explaining some hidden settings that can be applied to your Nest thermostat so you can enjoy its maximum benefits.


  • Danny Saunders

    Danny Saunders is a tech enthusiast. He enjoys getting his hands dirty with the features and settings of tech products and pushing them to their limits just to know how to get the best from them and how well they can endure "abuse" without breaking down. He shares his findings on this blog.