Troubleshooting your Nest Smart Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat

If you’re new to Nest thermostats, you’re not the only one. Nest is a relatively new technology for thermostats. Known as a smart thermostat, the Nest is a Google product that replaces the job of your old thermostat at the same spot on the wall. What does it mean for a thermostat to be “smart”? It uses electronic, Wifi-enabled, and self-learning technology to optimize your comfort and the HVAC’s efficiency, by learning how you tend to use your thermostat.

Everyone has their own little specifications they like in their homes. You may like it a little warmer in the day and arctic at night, or vice versa. In your first week of use, the Nest learns how you like to keep your home and sets a schedule to accommodate. We install them here at Bloomingdale Air, and they’re a great alternative to your traditional thermostat to improve efficiency. Some quick facts about this thermostat:

  • The app makes it easy to adjust the Nest from your phone or web browser on your computer.
  • You can connect it to your Amazon Alexa device so you can adjust it vocally.
  • The Nest has a round control wheel that you spin to adjust and click to make your selection.
  • The Nest can use your phone to detect when everyone leaves the house, and conserve energy during this time by keeping your home at a minimum and maximum temperature.

Unfortunately, sometimes you will see an “error” message on your Nest’s display. Luckily your Nest can specify the type of error so that you have some idea of what the issue is. If your Nest gives you an error display, you don’t want to ignore it. Your Nest is trying to tell you what’s wrong. It may require you to do something to work again, or it may require a visit from an HVAC professional, so you’ll want to know as soon as possible so you can make an appointment if needed. You can check what type of error it is and usually, there’s a suggested website to visit for troubleshooting that specific error.

Troubleshoot your Nest

You can try to reset the thermostat by removing your Nest from its base, but FIRST, you need to turn off the power to the air conditioning system at the circuit breaker. Then you can safely remove the display from the base by gently pulling on the round control wheel.

If you’ve turned off your breaker and still see something on the screen You might be wondering why your Nest display is still functioning after you’ve turned the breaker off. If you’re like some of our customers, you may think you switched the wrong breaker and in this case, go back and turn them ALL off, it’s better to be safe than sorry. But if you find the display is still glowing, this may be a little confusing, but it’s because your Nest may have its own internal battery.

Error Message E195

This is by far the most common error to encounter and if you get the error message “E195 – No power to R detected”, there can be a variety of causes but is most likely caused by a tripped float switch and you don’t want to ignore it!

Why, what does a float switch do?

A float switch is a sensor used to detect a backup of condensate water level in your drain pain. Simply stated, if the water level goes above a certain height the float switch will trip and turn off your air conditioning system. This stops the cooling but more importantly the dehumidification process thus averting the potentially disastrous condensate overflow. It may be frustrating to come home from a long day to find your A/C’s not working, but if there’s a drain line clog, it’s much better to have the system shut itself off than continue to run and leak water all over the place.

Check your condensate drain line

Make sure your air conditioner is draining properly and discontinue its use until you’re confident it is. The float switch is there for a reason and any attempt to lift the switch above the water line or defeat the switch altogether is asking for trouble.

Float switches can be self-resetting and in these instances, your Nest thermostat may come back on by itself. Resist the temptation to be optimistic, even if you’re only occasionally seeing the display go blank or an error message it’s crucial you address these observations immediately. While it can be easily ignored, you don’t want to be awoken by the sound of water dripping through your ceiling from the overflowing drain pan above! This will cause a much larger fix for your HVAC technicians and potentially need ceiling repairs as well. Especially when the air is as hot and humid as it is here in Florida. Keep in mind, your HVAC system could potentially produce upwards of 5-gallons of water per day and it all needs to go somewhere.

This whole ordeal can be easily prevented by checking your drain pan and verifying proper flow. If it isn’t draining and or if you’re unable to restore proper flow, keep your A/C off until it can be looked at by a professional.

Why does my drain pan or drain line clog?

Your condensate drain system is a warm and dark environment ideal for bacteria to thrive. This viscous slime can build up in the drain pan or clog the drain line. This issue also can be easily prevented with a biannual air conditioning maintenance program. With routine maintenance of your HVAC technician can clean and chemically treat the condensate system well before the buildup ever becomes a problem.

In conclusion

You never want to ignore an error message from your Nest thermostat. If you receive Error e195 on your Nest, give your drain pan a look, it can’t hurt to prevent unwanted leaks. As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, we will be happy to help! Smart thermostats are new to the HVAC system, so please don’t feel overwhelmed, just give us a call or email.



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