On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, Dean called in to our podcast hotline with a question about having his Nest thermostat automatically turn on when he gets near his home. He used to use IFTTT for this, but it no longer works. He’s wondering how to get this functionality back using his phone’s location data.
It turns out this is super simple to enable right in the Nest app itself, but only if you know where to find the setting.
To enable it, open the Nest app and click the Settings button. On the next screen choose Home/Away assist. There’s a non-intuitive link on the following screen that says “What decides if you’re home”. It’s not a button; it’s just text. However, when you tap that, you’ll see additional settings, including one for using your phone’s location. This option is typically set to no, but you can change it to yes.
At that point, the Nest app uses a small geofenced area around your home to determine if you’re home or you’re away. As a result, when you get close to your home, the Nest thermostat will change from Away mode to Home mode before you even walk in the door. It may not give you several minutes of heating or cooling in advance but at least the system will kick on based on how you’ve configured your thermostat.
Note that although Dean uses an Android phone, the same settings are available on the Nest app for iOS as well.
To hear Dean’s question in full, as well as our full discussion on the topic, tune in below to the IoT Podcast: