Nest Thermostat SHS Installation (External)

This lesson is designed to provide installation steps for SHS sales of the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen.


Gather required tools and materials

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Drill
  • 3/32” drill bit

Customer confirmation

  • Put on boot covers before entering the customer’s home
  • Confirm that you will be removing an existing thermostat and installing a Nest smart thermostat
  • Confirm that you may be required to create new holes in the customer’s home
    • Get customer approval before making any wall penetrations
  • Confirm that you may need access to the customer’s HVAC unit
    • This is usually located in the basement, crawl space, attic, or garage

Check for System Compatibility

It is recommended to disconnect power to the HVAC system during installation.

  • Have the customer verify the current system works properly by turning on the heat and then the AC
    • Note: some customers may not have AC
  • Without disconnecting any wires, remove the old thermostat cover from the base plate
    • If the existing thermostat contains mercury, it is recommended to have a mercury spill kit available to protect the mercury vial and properly clean any spills.
  • Take a picture of the wires for future reference
    • Gain customer approval before capturing any pictures
  • Check old thermostat wiring for compatibility
    • Use the Nest Compatibility Checker
      • Note: some thermostat terminals have two sets of labels, one for conventional systems and one for heat pump systems
      • If the wire label is unclear, locate the HVAC unit, remove the cover panel, and note how the wires are connected to the control panel
  • High voltage wires are incompatible
  • If an O/B wire and a W/Aux/E wire are currently used, the customer may have a dual fuel system.
    • Contact Nest for installation and setup support at 855-VIP-NEST
    • Failure to contact Nest for direction could cause irreparable damage to the HVAC system
  • If system is incompatible, the installation cannot be completed
    • Reinstall the old thermostat cover
    • Verify the old thermostat is working in the original condition
    • Inform the customer that an HVAC professional will need to modify their system before it is compatible with the Nest thermostat.

Thermostat Installation

  • Label and disconnect wires from the old thermostat
    • Note: there is no color standard for thermostat wires. Label each wire based on the terminal it is attached to.
    • Ignore any jumper wires at the thermostat
    • If the unit has a mercury vial, it is recommended to tape the vial in place
  • Remove the old thermostat and base plate from the wall
    • It is recommended to take caution when removing thermostats with mercury components
    • If mercury components break or spill, follow standard regulations to clean and dispose. Refer to the EPA website for more information.
  • Ask the customer if they would like to use the optional trim plate
    • Inform the customer that the trim plate may not fully cover all marks or holes, depending on the size and shape of the old thermostat
  • Level the base plate and attach it to the wall using the included screws
    • Get customer permission before making any wall penetrations
    • Use the 3/32” drill bit to drill pilot holes into hard surfaces like wood
  • Insert wires into the appropriate terminals
    • The lever on the terminal should lower when the wire is connected correctly
  • Gently tug on each wire to ensure they are securely connected
  • Ensure that all wires are connected to the correct terminals
    • Reference the pictures taken earlier, if needed
  • Tuck excess wiring into the wall
  • Attach the Nest display to the base plate

Thermostat Setup

  • Have the customer set the following settings on the Nest thermostat:
    • Language

Internet Connection


Temperature preferences

  • Select Nest Pro installation
    • This will allow for advanced setup and activate the Extended Pro Warranty
    • Do not enter a Nest Pro ID
  • Select the appropriate equipment configuration
    • Verify that all wires are connected properly
    • Select connections highlighted in Yellow to finish configuring
    • Contact Nest Pro Support for any questions about equipment configuration
      • Nest Pro Support: 855-VIP-NEST
      • Improper configuration can cause irreparable damage to the customer’s HVAC system
  • Perform a system test
    • Note: some systems can take up to 30 minutes or more for a noticeable temperature change.
  • Link thermostat to Nest account
    • Have the customer download the Nest app and create an account
    • Select Settings > Add Product
  • Tap Continue Without Scanning and then Nest Thermostat
  • Enter the thermostat’s Entry Key
    • Provided at the end of the Pro setup process or,
  • On the thermostat go to Settings > Nest Account > Get Entry Key


  • Refer to the Nest Welcome Guide and provide customer education
    • Manually setting temperatures
    • Nest learning and auto-schedules
    • Manually setting schedules
    • Using the Nest app
  • Transact sale in Beacon
  • Have the customer sign mobility device to confirm work performed
  • Thank customer
  • Ensure you have all tools and equipment
    • Take old thermostat and follow appropriate waste disposal processes.
  • Return to vehicle
  • Update appointment status to “Complete”
  • Depart

Additional Resources