Nest Support

Questions about Nest Learning Thermostat or Nest Protect: Smoke + CO alarm? We've got answers, videos, and plenty of resources to help you out.

What’s Emergency Heat and does the Nest Learning Thermostat support it?

Some heat pump systems include a feature called Emergency Heat, which is a heat source typically activated by a manual switch or button on the thermostat and can be used if the primary heating system isn’t functioning. Learn more about how the 2nd generation Nest Learning Thermostat controls Emergency Heat below.

Other thermostats that have a connector labeled E typically will also have a switch or a button on the thermostat labeled Emergency. When this switch is turned on, the emergency heat source will remain turned on and will stay on until you manually turn it off.

Most thermostats will run Emergency Heat constantly until you manually turn it off. With your Nest Thermostat, you can set a heating setpoint for your Emergency Heat and the Nest Thermostat will turn Emergency Heat on and off automatically to maintain the temperature you’ve set. The Nest Thermostat does not support schedules for Emergency Heat.

You’ll need to connect your Emergency Heating wire to the Nest Thermostat's connector and let the Nest Thermostat know you’ve installed an Emergency Heat source there during setup.

Important Note: The 2nd generation Nest Learning Thermostat doesn’t support using your 2nd stage or auxiliary heat source as emergency heat. If your old thermostat has a short jumper wire from the AUX or W2 connector to the connector labeled E, just remove the jumper and your Nest Thermostat will engage the 2nd stage heating when it's needed to keep your home warm.

Once your Nest Thermostat is configured to control your Emergency Heat, here’s how to turn it on:

  • Select SETTINGS from the main menu
  • Select EQUIPMENT
  • Select EMER. HEAT
  • Confirm that you’d like to turn on Emergency Heat
  • Select a heating setpoint

Running Emergency Heat is usually expensive and inefficient. We recommend you contact an HVAC technician for a system check up if you need to run Emergency Heat to keep your home warm.

To turn off Emergency Heat, press the ring and select the orange and blue dots from the Nest Thermostat menu to enable heating or cooling mode.