Best Gen: Nest 3rd Gen vs. 4th Gen—Winner Revealed!

The Nest thermostat is one of the most popular smart home products now available.After all, nothing makes a house more comfortable than having rooms that are the perfect temperature. In terms of smart thermostats, Nest thermostats are in the lead, but how do the 4th generation Nest thermostat and the 3rd generation, which is still available, compare to one another?

In essence, the fourth-generation Nest Thermostat is viewed as a more affordable upgrade to the third. The primary distinction between the two thermostats is their pricing; otherwise, they are fairly identical. The third generation Nest’s learning feature is likewise absent from the most recent model. It can be difficult to choose which thermostat would work best in your home, but it can help a home seem more cosy and reduce energy expenditures.

We have information for you whether you are prepared to purchase a Nest thermostat or are considering upgrading the one you currently own. To select which thermostat is best for you, read on to learn the main distinctions between the third and fourth generations of these devices.

Let’s Talk About the Nest 3rd Gen.

One of the most popular and widely used smart thermostats is the third generation Nest Thermostat. It improves heating and air conditioning in your house for both comfort and savings and is renowned for its learning capabilities and broad HVAC compatibility. But what specifically can it do, and how does it differ from the most recent design?

How Does the Nest 3rd, Gen Work?

The Nest thermostats start learning as soon as they are connected to your home’s HVAC system. As you set and adjust the temperature in your house throughout the first few weeks, the Nest Thermostat will progressively learn your habits and behaviours. Afterward, your thermostat will automatically regulate itself in accordance with those patterns.

Look and Design of the 3rd Gen Nest

The third-generation Nest Thermostat has a conventional LCD screen that is approximately 3.3 inches in diameter and has a high-resolution display.A metal ring that runs down its edge serves as a turn dial as well. This thermostat is available in seven colours: Black, Brass, Copper, Mirror Black, Polished Steel, Stainless Steel, and White. As a result, it should be very simple to match it to the design of your house.

Features of the Nest Thermostat 3rd Generation

This smart thermostat has learning capabilities, so as you use it, it picks up on your habits and routines and automatically modifies for your comfort and efficiency. A third-generation Nest Thermostat with Farsight technology is also available. To put it simply, sensors are used to recognise when someone enters a room. The writing then enlarges and the display illuminates, enabling you to read the time, temperature, or whether from a distance. You won’t have to walk up the thermostat if it’s not necessary thanks to this.

How to Use a 3rd Gen Nest Thermostat

These sensors can be positioned in various areas of the house so that you can adjust the temperature based on how a particular room feels.The Nest Thermostat may be upgraded with up to six Nest Temperature Sensors, giving you total control over your house.

Controlling Your 3rd Gen with the Nest App

The third generation Nest Thermostat, like the first, has a conventional turn dial for operation. Direct thermostat control is possible from the gadget. The Nest App, Google Home, or Amazon Alexa smart speakers may all be used to operate the thermostat. You may use your voice assistant to change the temperature, modify the thermostat’s settings, and turn on and off your home’s heating and cooling system.

nest thermostat 4th generation vs 3rd generation
nest thermostat 4th generation vs 3rd generation

The day it is installed, the third generation Nest starts to learn your routines. To get going, you have two options: manually schedule your heating and cooling or let your thermostat do it for you. Teach the thermostat good habits from the start to help save money and energy because of the learning functionality, the thermostat will gradually change the temperature based on the routines you have developed.


According to Google, third-generation Nest installations typically take 30 minutes or less. According to the manufacturer, this model is compatible with 95% of HVAC systems and includes with all the installation materials you’ll need. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check everything in your box before you begin. If you want to perform a quick run-through, Google offers a list of everything that needs to be included.

Pro Installation Services

Services for Pro Installation Don’t worry if you’re uncomfortable performing the installation yourself.By working with OnTech, Google offers qualified installation services for Nest gadgets. You have the choice to add installation services when purchasing your Nest thermostat from the Google Store. This service consists of:

  • getting an expert to visit and install your gadget
  • removing the current thermostat
  • getting on WiFi
  • connecting with your compatible HVAC system
  • System check to ensure adequate configuration
  • device configuration and personalization

A description of how the thermostat operates and an example of how to use the Nest app It’s important to remember that the pro installation service does not cover common wiring, additional relays, or other add-ons. You will need to pay an additional fee for a specialist to assess and provide a quote if you are worried about the wiring.

Do You Need a C-Wire?

With this Nest Thermostat, you won’t need to bother about adding wiring because it doesn’t require a C-wire system in your house. The third generation’s internal battery progressively draws power from your HVAC wire. In order to confirm that your thermostat will function with the current wiring in your house, you may use use Google’s System Match feature.

How Much is the 3rd Generation Nest?

On Amazon, the starting price is $234, and that includes just the gadget. Expect additional charges if you want extras like the Trim Kit to cover ugly holes in the wall or the Nest Temperature Sensors.

How is the Nest 4th Gen Different?

The new Nest doesn’t have learning capabilities, which is one of their main differences. In order to lower the price of the fourth generation Nest Thermostats, the clever learning characteristics that its predecessor was known for are removed. And that’s only the start. Let’s take a closer look at how the design and functionality of the 4th generation Nest Thermostat differ.

Design Differences in the 4th Gen Nest Thermostat

The fourth generation Nest Thermostat is more sleek and contemporary looking than the third version. It has a similar diameter of 3.3 inches but only comes in four shades rather than seven: Sand, Fog, Charcoal, and Snow. This model has a mirrored face and a plastic edge as opposed to the metal ring in the third generation.

The 4th generation thermostat does not have any cutouts for sensors, giving it a sleek, contemporary appearance. The use of Soli technology, a presence-sensing radar that activates the display as you approach it, makes this possible. Google’s Pixel 4 and the Nest Hub both use this technology. The touch-sensitive strip on the side of the device, which is used to traverse the interface, is another feature exclusive to the new Nest Thermostat.

The Nest was made to be simple to use even if you’ve never used a smart thermostat before because it was created with those new to home automation in mind. Simply tap the strip or swipe up and down to change the temperature. The Google Home app or your preferred smart speaker can be used to track temperatures and set schedules.

Features and Controls of the Nest 4th Gen

The fourth-generation Nest is considered the most user-friendly among the Google smart thermostats since it functions considerably more simply than its predecessor did. As was already indicated, a more practical scheduling method has replaced the previous Nest’s learning feature. The thermostat adjusts in accordance with the schedules you specify dependent on the time of day or whether you are home or not. For people who are utilising a smart thermostat for the first time, this method makes it simpler.

The Nest App is no longer used by the Nest Thermostat of the fourth generation. Instead, you will use the Google Home app to manage your thermostat. The app allows you to schedule temperature changes, monitor use, and get system-related prompts and warnings.

How Much Does the Nest 4th Gen. Cost?

The fourth-generation Nest is much less expensive than the previous model in terms of price. Currently, you can purchase it on Amazon for as cheap as $129 dollars. Keep in mind that the Trim plate must be purchased separately if you want one to go with it. They normally sell for roughly $15. Trim plates are available from Nest in the same colours as the Nest Thermostat, so you may order one to match or select a different design. You are entirely in charge.

How do I get an Extended Pro Warranty?

You might want to think about obtaining an extended warranty because the 4th generation’s warranty isn’t as long. Your Nest thermostat must be installed using Google Nest Pro Installation Services in order to qualify for an Extended Pro Warranty. By inserting their Pro ID into your thermostat during device setup, Nest Pro will activate your extended warranty coverage.

Keep in mind that the extended warranty offers two more years of coverage as you shop.

HVAC Compatibility in the 4th Gen Nest Thermostat

 The fourth generation Nest Thermostat is only compatible with 85% of HVAC systems. Use the compatibility checker to see if your system and the product are compatible before you buy.

Do I Need a C-Wire?

With the 4th generation Nest, a C-wire is advised as opposed to the 3rd generation. Since the new Nest Thermostat lacks a built-in battery, problems like the following could arise if you don’t use a C-wire:

  • Disconnection of WiFi
  • decrease in battery life
  • Turn off motion detection
  • C-wire addition is not a simple operation. It could cost you about $300 to hire an electrician to run the line.
  • It’s a good idea to check your home for C-wire in advance if you’re considering purchasing the 4th generation Nest.

Setting Up Temperature Schedules on Your 4th Gen. Nest Thermostat

The default schedules for the Nest Thermostat are Comfort, Eco, and Sleep. Through the Google Home app, you can access these schedules and make any necessary modifications. Additionally, you have the choice to design your own schedules entirely from scratch. By specifying the hours and temperature you want the thermostat to run at, you can adjust these to your preferences.

Why You Should Choose Nest

For many people installing home automation, smart thermostats are a need, and Google’s Nest Thermostats offer a user-friendly design. Why does everyone adore Nest? To begin with, Nest thermostats are renowned for their capacity to save energy while also enabling homeowners to adjust the temperature in their homes while they are away.

Nest Can Save You Energy and Money

According to Google, moving to Nest can result in energy savings of roughly 12% for heating and 15% for cooling, with air conditioning and heating systems accounting for up to 46% of the energy used in our houses.All things considered, the new 4th generation Nest will essentially pay for itself in just two years. Utilizing the Nest Savings Calculator, you may monitor these savings.

In order to help you conserve energy and money as the seasons vary throughout the year, both the third generation and fourth generation Nest Thermostats modify your heating and cooling schedule in accordance with the weather. Additionally, the Nest Leaf lowers energy expenses. When your thermostat is set at an energy-saving temperature—typically between 62 and below for heating and 84 and above for cooling—this icon will appear to let you know.

The leaf in the third-generation Nest will appear based on preset temperatures and then change based on your custom schedule.

Control Your Nest Thermostat Remotely

Although ordinary thermostats can be programmed, many people increasingly prefer the ease of home control via their smartphones. Additionally, the majority of people who use conventional thermostats don’t even bother to programme them. According to a research by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 89% of homeowners with programmable thermostats hardly ever use the option.

The majority would instead manually regulate the temperature during the day because they deemed them to be either too complicated to programme or difficult to understand. Because Nest thermostats are WiFi-connected, you can control and keep an eye on the temperature in your home right from your phone.

Additionally, schedules let you programme when your HVAC will run, ensuring that your home is always at the temperature you desire when you arrive home while preventing energy and financial waste while you’re gone.

Receive Safety Alerts and Adjustment Prompts on Your Phone

You may access monthly energy reports and energy-saving suggestions through Nest’s app on your smartphone. Nest will provide you a month-to-month comparison of your energy use after two months of being connected. This will give you an idea of when you use the most energy so you can change as necessary and receive advice on how to be more efficient.

If Nest notices an issue with your HVAC system, it will also notify you. By monitoring your monthly Home Report on the app, you can stay on top of any alerts. In order for your thermostat to respond appropriately if an alarm sounds, such as by turning off the heating and fan systems, you can link your smoke and CO detectors, Smart Vents, and security systems.

Is Nest Worth It?

Not only are Nest thermostats supported by Google, but they are also simple to set up, use, and offer energy-saving advantages. To make their systems and apps compatible with the other devices in your house so they can all function together, Nest has teamed with a number of home automation firms.

My Final Thoughts What’s the Verdict? nest 3rd gen vs 4thgen

In the end, it really depends on what you want. With the extra benefit of superior intelligence, the third generation Nest Learning Thermostat is not only tremendously effective but also simple to operate. The responsive display and smart scheduling feature make up for the price, which some people may find off-putting. The fourth-generation Nest Thermostat does not have learning capabilities, but it still allows you to control your home remotely and features an adaptive scheduling mechanism that will lower your energy costs.

Additionally, it has a sleek style that looks fantastic on a wall.

For those who want all the extra features, I believe the third generation Nest is the better option out of the two. Not to add, you won’t have to worry as much about your home’s wiring and HVAC compatibility. In the end, customers who want to save energy and have more control over their homes are the target market for Nest thermostats. You really can’t go wrong with either design, though.

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