Nest Thermostat Keeps Using Aux Heat – How To Fix

Nest thermostats are great devices, but sometimes problems can arise. Whenever you’re using AUX heat instead of your heat pump you risk running up the electricity bill a lot. Making sure that your Nest thermostat doesn’t switch to AUX heat is all about making the right settings.

Nest Thermostat Keeps Using Aux Heat - How To Fix

Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for the AUX hit to automatically switch on even when the pump is providing enough heat. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of using a Nest thermostat and what to expect.

Heat Pump Balance Settings

There are four settings for you to choose from, but only two of them are designed to truly maximize energy efficiency and use less AUX heat.

heat pump balance graph

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  1. Max Savings
    This is the setting you need if you want to minimize the use of AUX heat but without turning it off completely. Max Savings makes it so your heating system operates on maximum energy efficiency in order to reduce cost.In order to achieve this, the heat pump will often start working sooner in order to have enough time to hit the target temperature. The Lockout temperature is set lower than usual but not to the lowest setting.
  2. Off
    Turning off Heat Pump Balance means that the AUX heat only kicks in depending on what you set as a lockout temperature. If you use the lowest setting, chances are your AUX heat won’t kick in anymore and the notification will be gone. Of course, this will only happen if outside factors don’t interfere.
  3. Balanced
    The Balanced option helps a bit with energy savings. However, it still allows AUX heat to kick in more than when using the previous settings. It does this in order to help reach the target temperature faster.
  4. Max Comfort
    If you don’t care about energy savings then Max Comfort is the setting for you. It makes sure that your home is always in the optimal temperature range that you’ve set.

Adjusting the Nest Thermostat using the App Settings

Most people prefer to use the Nest app to adjust the settings because it doesn’t require getting off the couch.

  1. Bring up your Nest app.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Locate and tap the thermostat icon.
  4. Then, tap Heat Pump Balance.
  5. Choose between Max Savings and Off.

Using the Built-in Nest Thermostat Settings

Nest KeepsUsing Aux Heat

If you can’t find your phone you can always make the same changes by using your thermostat.

  1. Bring up the Quick View menu by pressing the thermostat ring.
  2. Then, select Settings.
  3. Go to Nest Sense.
  4. Select Heat Pump Balance.
  5. From here, choose between Max Savings and Off.

How to Set the Lockout Temperature

Setting the lockout temperature is important if you want to minimize the use of AUX heat. You can change it from the Nest app or from your thermostat.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Now, select Equipment.
  3. Then, select Heat Pump.
  4. Change to the desired value.

External Factors That Can Initiate AUX Heat

If you live in colder states with harsh winters, the outside temperature can mess with your heat pump. If the heat pump ices over, AUX heat will kick in more often, in order to compensate and raise the temperature to the desired levels.

AUX heat can also start if the pump can’t handle the outside heat on cold winter nights. If the walls of your home are too cold and your heat pump is not powerful enough, AUX heat may be needed in order to make up the degrees.

Important Notes on Nest Thermostats

You don’t have to connect your Nest thermostat to your Wi-Fi network. It will still work properly but you won’t be able to use and configure the Heat Pump Balance feature.

Sometimes, the Heat Pump Balance option may be missing in Nest Sense. If that’s the case, you may need to recheck the thermostat wiring.

  1. Remove the thermostat’s display.
  2. Check the wire in the AUX/W2 connector.
  3. If no wire is present then you don’t have AUX heat which means that the Heat Pump Balance isn’t available.
  4. If both W1 and W2 connectors have wires it means that you’re running a dual fuel system. Heat Pump Balance is not available for this type of system.

Note that you can still set a lockout temperature by following the previously mentioned steps: Settings > Equipment > Heat Pump.

Final Thoughts

Unless your wiring is off, Nest systems rarely gives out AUX heat notifications for no reason. If your heating system supports an AUX heat function then you have to make the appropriate configuration based on your personal needs and preferences.

Nest Sense gives you plenty of control over your heating system. This means that with the exception of unfortunate, unforeseen external interference, you can avoid using AUX heat to hit the target temperature all winter long.

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