How to turn on the heat with a Nest Thermostat

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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Google's Nest Thermostat is a learning thermostat that saves energy and money while providing comfort. The device monitors your behavior and adjusts temperatures according to your preferences.

However, there may be times when your Nest thermostat doesn't turn on when you want it to. This means you need to know how to turn on the heater manually so you don't sit in the cold. In this article, we'll show you how to do it.



How to turn on the heat with a Nest Thermostat

Turning on the heat with a Nest Thermostat is as easy as pressing the "Heat Link" button in the center of the device.

For the Nest Thermostat E, you need to press the button twice. Note that you only need to press the button once for the second and third generations of the device. When manually activated, the Nest Thermostat continues to heat your home until you decide to turn it off.

You can only use manual heating if you have disconnected Heat Link from your thermostat. Additionally, turning on manual heating will also turn on your hot water if your Nest device controls your water heater.

Finally, your Nest thermostat won't be able to follow its usual schedule if you've manually turned on the heating.

How to activate auxiliary heating on a Nest Thermostat

Auxiliary Heat (Aux) is a secondary heat source used in cold weather when heat pumps cannot heat a home as quickly as usual.

Activating auxiliary heat is less energy efficient, but it allows your home to heat up faster.

There are three ways to control the auxiliary heater on your Nest Thermostat:



Activating auxiliary heat with your thermostat

  1. Press the thermostat ring and open the “Quick View” menu.
  2. Choose the "Settings" option, which is indicated by a small gear icon.
  3. Select “Nest Sense”.
  4. Choose “Heat Pump Balance” and choose the auxiliary heat setting on this screen.

Activate auxiliary heating with the Nest app

  1. Open the app and tap the "Settings" icon.
  2. Choose your thermostat.
  3. Press the “Heat pump balance” option.
  4. Select an auxiliary heat setting.

Activate Aux Heat with the Home app

Google recommends downloading and using the Home app if you have a Nest thermostat. To activate auxiliary heat using this app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app and select your thermostat.
  2. Tap the gear icon to access the "Settings" screen.
  3. Select the "Temperature Preferences" option.
  4. Choose “Heat pump balance”.

Finally, you can also set your Nest thermostat to “Max Comfort” mode. This will cause the thermostat to automatically activate auxiliary heat whenever needed. However, it also means you have less control when this expensive option activates.

Additional FAQ

Why won't my nest turn on my heater?

There are several reasons why your Nest thermostat might not turn on your heating:

1. There are compatibility issues between your heating system and the device. Many older heating systems, such as high voltage and solid fuel systems, are incompatible with the Nest Thermostat.



2. There is a blown fuse somewhere preventing the circuit from supplying power. If so, locate it and replace it with the same model and voltage.

3. There's a problem with your Nest device.

For this third possible cause, there are several issues that can affect the Nest Thermostat and prevent it from turning on:

· The thermostat cannot connect to your Wi-Fi.

· The Nest is running slower than usual.

· There is a connection problem between the device and its base.

· The battery is low.

You can fix the problem by removing the Nest Thermostat from its base, then turning it over to renew the connection. If that doesn't work, detach the device and charge it using the supplied USB cable.

If a fully charged device still doesn't work, you can perform a factory reset:

1. Press the thermostat ring on the device to open the “Quick View” menu.

2. Select the "Settings" gear icon.

3. Choose "Reset" and press "Select".

The device will take a few minutes to reset. Once it's done, plug it back into its base to test it. If the problem persists, you may need to seek professional help.


Does the Nest Thermostat automatically switch between heating and cooling?

It does, as long as you configure the device to do so.

1. Open the Nest app and choose your thermostat on the home screen.

2. Check the lower left corner of the screen to see your current thermostat setting. It will say either “Heat” or “Cool”.

3. Tap this setting to activate a pop-up window.


4. Choose the “Heating-cooling” option.

5. Select the temperature range you want to maintain inside your home.

The Nest Thermostat now automatically switches between heating and cooling to maintain your chosen temperature.

You can also enable this setting using the Nest Thermostat itself:

1. Press the thermostat ring on the device to open the "Quick menu".

2. Select the "Thermostat" option.

3. Select the “Heating-cooling” setting.

What heating systems is the Nest Thermostat compatible with?

The Nest thermostat is compatible with a wide range of heating systems, including:

• Hot water tanks

• Combi boilers

• Heat only the boilers

• System boilers

• Zoned heating systems

• Underfloor hydronic systems

• Systems using OpenTherm technology

• Air and geothermal heat pumps

If you're not sure if you have a compatible heater, check the Nest Compatibility Guide.

Control the temperature of your home

The Nest Thermostat offers an automated way to maintain the ideal temperature in your home by eliminating the need to manually change settings.

Luckily, you can maintain some level of control if you prefer to use the heating or cooling functions without the device dictating their activation.

We'd like to know if you've used the Nest Thermostat. Does it offer all the savings that Google claims to do? What effect has this had on your energy use and bills? Let us know in the comments section below.

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