Software Bug Leads to Nest Thermostats ‘Chilling Out’ Their Owners

Software Bug Leads to Nest Thermostats ‘Chilling Out’ Their Owners

Users of the Nest smart thermostat have been waking up to find themselves freezing their you-know-what off due to a buggy software update. The bad update causes the Nest to quickly drain its batteries, and shut down. Which leaves heating and cooling systems offline.

Software Bug Leads to Nest Thermostats 'Chilling Out' Their Owners


“We had a bug that was introduced in the software update that didn’t show up for about two weeks,” Nest co-founder Matt Rogers told Nick Bilton of the New York Times, who experienced the snafu firsthand. Issues began to crop up earlier this month, when customers found their HVAC systems unresponsive.

Nest says 99.5% of its customers are back online. However, that meant they had to reboot their dead thermostat, which involves a number of involved steps. Nest’s support site details the nine-step process:

  1. Pull your thermostat’s display off the base.
  2. Plug a USB cable into the port on the back of the display to charge it. Use a standard mini USB (1st gen thermostat) or micro USB cable (2nd and 3rd gen) with a wall charger. Or simply plug it into a computer.
  3. After about 10 minutes, disconnect the display from the USB cable. If you’re using a computer to charge your thermostat make sure to eject or unmount your thermostat before disconnecting it.
    Important: Do not try to restart your thermostat while it’s still connected to a computer for charging.
  4. Press the display ring and hold it down for 10 seconds or until the display turns off.
  5. Press the ring and release to turn it on. You’ll see the Nest Thermostat’s startup animation.
  6. After it has finished restarting, plug it back into the USB cable to finish charging.
  7. After an hour of charging, unplug the USB cable and reconnect the thermostat display to the base. It should resume working and control your system. However, it still may not have enough power to connect to Wi-Fi right away. When it is charged enough, it will automatically connect.
  8. Check the thermostat’s battery charge level a couple of times over the next hour to make sure that it’s not getting lower. The battery charge should be holding steady or increasing.
  9. You can see the battery charge on the thermostat by going to SETTINGS>TECHNICAL INFO and scrolling down to POWER. You can also check it with the Nest app by selecting your thermostat on the home screen, tapping the Settings icon in the top right corner, then selecting Technical Info. However, if your thermostat doesn’t have enough charge it won’t connect to Wi-Fi, so you won’t be able to check with the app.
    The charge level is listed next to Battery in volts. If the battery charge falls below 3.6 volts, your thermostat will shut down.

Nest says if those steps don’t remedy the problem, go ahead and call Nest customer support and they’ll walk you through it. Or they’ll even send an electrician out to help customers who can’t follow the DIY steps.