Skip to main content

How to change modes on the Nest Thermostat

The Google Nest Thermostat and Nest Learning Thermostat are two of the most popular smart thermostats available for your smart home. Both are capable of helping you cut down on energy bills while still keeping your home cozy and comfortable. But since the products lack the physical buttons found on traditional thermostats, operating them requires a bit of a learning curve.




10 minutes

Trying to figure out how to turn on heat with the Nest Thermostat? Or is your home getting too warm and you need to turn on the air conditioner? Here's a look at how to change modes on the Nest Thermostat and get your home back to your preferred temperature.

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat in stainless steel.

Consider using the Heat and Cool mode

Before discussing how to turn on your heat or air conditioning, it's worth mentioning the Heat and Cool mode offered by most Nest Thermostats. This mode allows the thermostat to automatically turn on either your furnace or A/C unit based on your preferred settings. If your home gets too cold, the heat will turn on. If it gets too hot, the air conditioning will turn on. There's no need to switch to other modes when Heat and Cool mode is activated, making it easier than ever to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

You'll need to put in a bit more upfront work (as you'll need to use the app to program in your low and high ranges), but it's definitely worth the extra effort.

How to change modes on the Nest Thermostat

Whether you're trying to use heating, cooling, or heat and cool, changing modes on the Nest Thermostat always follows the same steps. Here's a look at how to operate your Nest Thermostat and change its mode.

Step 1: If you're using the Nest Thermostat or Nest Learning Thermostat, press either the touch bar or ring to open the menu.

Step 2: Next, navigate to Mode (this may also be called Temperature Mode, depending on your model).

Step 3: Finally, select the mode you want to use. On the Nest Thermostat, this can be done by sliding your finger to the mode, then tapping to select it. On the Nest Learning Thermostat, this is done by turning the ring until your preferred mode is selected, then pressing to confirm the selection.

Step 4: Once you've confirmed your selection, the thermostat will immediately switch over to the new mode. Be sure to dive into your Google Home app if you want to see your preferred temperature ranges for both heating and cooling.

Step 5: If you're using the older Nest Thermostat E, you'll instead need to press the ring to open the menu, then turn the ring to the mode you'd like to select. Once you've highlighted your prefered mode, press to confirm your selection.

Woman using Nest Thermostat.

How to change modes with the Google Home app

Along with serving as a destination to check your temperature ranges, you can remotely change your thermostat mode using the Google Home app. Here's how it works.

Step 1: Open the Google Home app and select Devices.

Step 2: Find the thermostat you want to adjust.

Step 3: Select the Temperature icon, then change it to the mode you'd like to enable.

Step 4: That's it! Using Google Home is arguably the easier way to manipulate your Nest Thermostat, as it allows you access it from anywhere in your home (so you don't even have to get off the couch to turn on the heat). If you're looking to save the most money, consider enabling Eco Mode, which helps limit your energy usage and finds the optimal heating and cooling schedules for your home.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
What is IFTTT and how can you use it in your smart home?
A bunch of colorful shapes on a black background.

If you've spent any time shopping for smart home gadgets, you've probably noticed that many are built with support for Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home. These are smart home platforms, and they let you access all your devices through a single app or interface. You've probably also noticed support for something known as IFTTT. But what exactly is IFTTT? And is it something you should be concerned with? Here's a closer look at the unique (and incredibly useful) software.
What is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for, "if this, then that." It's terminology often used in programming, allowing software to chain together functions and perform certain tasks if other tasks are detected. For example, if the user inputs the incorrect password, then they'll be notified to try logging in again.

Read more
The 4 best smart thermostats in 2024
A person operating the Google Nest thermostat.

A lot of folks may feel that a smart thermostat device is just a gimmick for the lazy that lets you control it remotely, but there are actually quite a lot of good things when it comes to smart thermostats. Depending on which model you buy and how much money you spend, there can be some significant savings, especially if you spring for the kind that learns your patterns and adjusts the temperature to eat up less electricity. Some thermostats even know what time of day electricity is expensive and adjust to use less of it to help bring your costs down.

As such, if you rely heavily on your HVAC, then having a smart thermostat can save you money and add a ton of convenience, even if you don't go for one of the smarter ones. Just knowing your energy usage over time can help you adjust and spend less money while also being a bit more eco-friendly. While there are a ton of options, we've collected four of our favorites below across various budgets and features, so be sure to check things out thoroughly and be sure a smart thermostat supports your HVAC system before taking the plunge.
The Best Smart Thermostats in 2024

Read more
The 6 best smart displays for Alexa and Google Home in 2024
Nest Hub Max Hands-On Review

If you're looking for a way to control all your smart home devices, adding a smart display to your lineup is a great option. Not only do these gadgets make it easy to activate smart lights, smart thermostats, or smart cameras, but you can access a wide range of apps with them -- including Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and other popular software.

Shopping for a smart display for Alexa or Google Home is a bit more challenging than you'd expect, as so many of the products share overlapping specs. And if you're entirely new to the world of smart homes, you'll have to choose between Google Home and Amazon Alexa as your central smart home platform. Once you've done that, things are a bit easier to manage.

Read more