Does Nest Thermostat Work With Heat Pump?


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Advances in smart technology are automating many aspects of our everyday lives. For instance, devices like Google Nest thermostats allow you to control your home’s temperature accurately and efficiently. But what if your house has a heat pump? Can you still use one?

Heat pump systems are considered more energy-efficient than traditional AC units and furnaces. Paired with a Google Nest Thermostat, a heat pump system will take your home’s heating and cooling to another level of comfort and efficiency. Here’s how they work together. 

About Nest Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat is Google’s home heating and cooling solution for homeowners looking to take control of their indoor climate needs. 

A Nest Thermostat lets you set temperatures from your smartphone. By turning itself down when you’re not home, it can even save you money. 

Nest Thermostat models are compatible with popular heating and cooling systems, including many types of heat pumps. 

Is Your Nest Thermostat Compatible With Your Home’s Heat Pump?

According to Google, the Nest thermostat family works with 85% to 95% of 24V heating and cooling systems on the market. This includes many types of heat pumps.

Google’s online thermostat compatibility test will help you determine whether your home’s existing heat pump will work with the Nest Thermostat you have in mind. This process covers:

  • Specific questions about your current HVAC setup
  • Confirming that you do not have stranded wiring – this is incompatible with Nest
  • Verifying that your current thermostat is not 110V or 220V – this is incompatible with Nest
  • Examining your current wire labels
  • If needed, submit a photo of your current wiring to Google’s support agents to go over installation options

Here’s a breakdown of Nest Thermostat models and the types of heat pumps they will work with.

Nest ThermostatSingle-stage heat pump with or without auxiliary or emergency heating
Nest Thermostat ESingle-stage heat pump with or without auxiliary or emergency heating
Nest Learning Thermostat (2nd and 3rd gen)Single or multi-stage heat pump with or without auxiliary heating

Connecting Your Nest Thermostat to a Heat Pump System

Once compatibility is confirmed, you can find step-by-step installation instructions for your Nest Thermostat in either the Nest app (for Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat) or the Google Home app (for Nest Thermostat). 

The interactive guide will walk you through every step to ensure your thermostat is properly connected to your home’s heat pump. 

Included are helpful pictures and diagrams. Regardless of the particular Nest model, the basic steps for installation include:

  1. Cut off power to your current thermostat by turning off the breaker.
  2. Remove the thermostat cover and note the current wiring (a photo would be very helpful for future reference).
  3. Disconnect jumper wires and remove them.
  4. Label all wires if they are not already labeled.
  5. Disconnect all wires and remove your old thermostat.
  6. Remove the old thermostat base and install the Nest base plate.
  7. Connect the wires to your Nest thermostat according to the wiring diagram.
  8. Attach the Nest thermostat to the base plate, making sure it is fully seated in place.

Here are a few installation videos that you may find helpful.

Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostat E

Nest Learning Thermostat

If things get confusing or the installation goes sideways, assistance is just a few mouse clicks away on the Google Nest support page.

What Other HVAC Systems Work With Nest Thermostat?

One of the best features of Google’s Nest Thermostat is its versatility. Not only does it work with most modern HVAC systems, but many older units as well.

Here’s a sampling of the types of heating and cooling systems that Nest Thermostat can work with:

  • Heat-only and cool-only
  • Single-stage heating with multi-stage cooling
  • Single-stage cooling with multi-stage heating
  • Multi-furnace systems
  • Dual-fuel systems
  • Compatible fuel types include natural gas, oil, and electric

Troubleshooting Nest Thermostat Not Working With Heat Pump

Nest Thermostat Blows Hot Air When Set to Cool (and vice-versa)

If your Nest Thermostat blows hot air when set to cool (and vice-versa), check the O/B wire settings. On a Nest Thermostat:

  1. Select your thermostat device in the Google Home app.
  2. Go to “Settings.”
  3. Choose “Thermostat” > Heat Pump.”
  4. In the wire settings, select “B” if the O” option is highlighted.
  5. If the “B option is highlighted, tap O.”
  6. Test your thermostat to see if it heats and cools properly.

On a Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat:

  1. Tap “Settings” on your thermostat display.
  2. Choose “Equipment” > “Continue.”
  3. Select “Continue” > “Heat Pump.”
  4. Select “B” if the O” option is highlighted.
  5. If the “B option is highlighted, tap O.”
  6. Test your thermostat.

Nest Thermostat is Offline

Check your Wi-Fi connection if your Nest Thermostat disconnects from your Wi-Fi network or goes offline. Restarting your router may restore the connection.

You should also check the battery level, as a Nest Thermostat disconnects from Wi-Fi when its battery level is low to conserve power.

Nest Thermostat Won’t Connect to the App

If your Nest Thermostat won’t connect to the Nest app or Google Home app, here are a few things to check:

  • Confirm that you have a strong Wi-Fi signal going to your Nest Thermostat
  • Update your app to the latest version
  • Restart your Wi-Fi router and modem
  • Restart your Nest Thermostat
  • Remove any firewall or access point restrictions
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