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Can You Install the Nest Thermostat Without Turning Off the Power?

Last Updated Mar 14, 2022
nest thermostat set on "Away Mode"

Many people today are turning to smart devices inside their home. You have chosen to upgrade your home’s thermostat by choosing the new Google Nest Thermostat. When it comes to installation you may have questions beyond what you will find in the user manual that came with your device. Whether the power needs to be off during installation or not is a valid concern.

While you may find information on how to install the Google Nest Thermostat with the power on in other forums, it is stated in the installation guide to have the power shut off during the installation process.

If you are asking a question about whether to have the power off, you may be considering installing the Nest Thermostat yourself. However, there are some things to be aware of before the installation of your thermostat.

Installation Options

The installation procedure is touted by Google to take under 30 minutes and be quite simple. Before you tackle the project yourself, make sure you read through the installation procedure completely and see if you feel comfortable with doing the install yourself. 

Let it be noted that when installing the device yourself, one of the first instructions is to turn the power off at the circuit breaker.

If there is anything in the instructions you are unclear about or don’t feel comfortable handling yourself, Google does have an option on their website to have a licensed professional come out and install the thermostat for you for a fee. Having an installation technician come on-site and do the install will take right around 2 hours, so plan accordingly.

Google has partnered with Handy for customers to be able to access pre-screened installation partners to assist you if needed. Also, Google has partnered with OnTech to provide installation services through their network of trained professionals. Both of these companies provide what is called the “Pro” installation service.

Pro Installation

This option that Google makes available is convenient and includes everything necessary for installation if you choose to have a licensed professional do so. The licensed professional will make sure your old thermostat is removed properly and will pair your new thermostat with your HVAC system provided it is compatible.

Not only will the professional install the thermostat for you, but they will also run it through a series of tests to ensure that it is operating properly before they are done. 

Instead of having to read through the user manual and figure out how to properly operate the Google Nest Thermostat, the professional installer will also show you how to operate it. This way if you have any questions while being shown the demonstration, you have someone in-person handy to give you answers.

Turning Off the Power

It is necessary to completely turn off the electricity running to your heating and cooling system. When Google states in the instructions to have the power to your heating and cooling system off, this extends beyond simply making sure your air conditioning or heat isn’t running at the time of installation. Often this is done at the circuit breaker. 

As stated before, this is a step that is required in the installation guide. Google has taken the time to add a section in their Help area on how to properly turn off the power since it is so important.

Turning the power off is required not only so that the thermostat operates properly after installation, but also for safety reasons since you or the licensed installer will be dealing with the wiring of the system.

Google Nest Benefits

Google Nest displaying Eco temperatures screen

The Google Nest Thermostat comes with some benefits such as energy savings and is reported to save on your power bill in the range of 10-15%. It comes with alerts and reminders about your heating and cooling system and can be operated remotely. It includes a savings finder that monitors your system and looks for ways to save you money. 

This is achieved through monitoring your schedule so energy can be conserved when you are away from your home or business.


This should have cleared up any questions you may have had about the installation process regarding whether to turn the power off or not. Despite finding some methods of installation that customers had posted where they installed the Nest thermostat with the power on, it is not recommended so we didn’t list those here.

When it comes down to it, you want to look at safety first when installing the system. This is important whenever dealing with electricity. Following the instructions on Google’s website will ensure you have a correct installation. Remember, if you are having any trouble, you can always hire a professional.

If you would like to learn more about the Nest thermostat, check out this article.

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