Are your children playing with the thermostat, changing the settings, and messing up with the heating and cooling? How do you prevent them from doing this? We researched this question and have the answer for you.
Modern thermostats have an option to lock access and programmatically prevent the temperature changes that a user would input. These thermostats should be unlocked first before a user can access the settings and change the temperature.
How about older thermostat models that do not have a way to lock the settings through the software? In the succeeding sections, we'll provide alternative methods of preventing other people from changing your thermostat settings.
How to keep someone from changing the thermostat?
Let’s elaborate on how to accomplish locking the thermostat in the example above, then we will talk about other ways to prevent people from changing the settings on your thermostat.
Locking the Nest thermostat
There are two ways to lock the Nest thermostat—through the Nest app on your phone or through the Settings menu on the Nest thermostat itself.
How to lock the Nest thermostat through the Nest app?
Here are the simple steps to lock your Nest thermostat using the Nest app on your phone:
- You need to add your Google Nest thermostat to the list of Nest devices on the app before you can lock the thermostat from your phone.
- Once added to the list of Nest devices, select your Nest thermostat and go to Settings (gear icon on the upper right corner).
- Scroll down, and you’ll see the Lock option. Tap the Lock option.
- You will next see a screen that asks you to set a 4-digit PIN. Enter your preferred PIN twice.
- You will then see a window where you can set the minimum and maximum temperature among other settings.
Keep in mind that locking the Nest thermostat through the phone app limits you to a range of 5 degrees (for example, 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) for the minimum and maximum temperatures.
Locking your Nest thermostat through the device doesn’t have this limitation. So you will need to lock your Nest on the thermostat and set the temperature there if you want to set it to a single value.
Anyone who tries to change the thermostat setting will only be able to change the temperature within the range that you’ve set. They will need to unlock the thermostat before they can access the settings. The same is true if they want to set the temperature beyond what you’ve set.
How to lock the Nest thermostat through the Nest device?
Here are the steps to lock your Nest thermostat on the device itself:
- Press the ring of the Nest thermostat.
- Turn the ring to get to Settings. Press Settings to open it.
- Turn the ring once more until you get to the Lock option.
- Press the ring to confirm that you want to activate the Lock option.
- Enter a 4-digit PIN that you can easily remember. Enter it once more to confirm your PIN choice.
- If you locked your thermostat while in Heat•Cool mode, you’ll see the lock icon at the bottom of the screen to indicate that the Nest thermostat’s Lock option is currently active.
- If you locked your Nest thermostat while in Heat mode only or while in Cool mode only, you would need to specify a temperature range. Turn the ring to set your preferred temperature range, then press the ring to continue.
- Press the thermostat’s ring once to choose Done and lock the Nest thermostat or optionally select Change if you would like to make changes to the parameters of the Lock option.
- Your Nest thermostat’s lock option is active once the lock icon is present at the bottom of the screen.
The 3rd Generation Google Nest Learning Thermostat, a programmable, smart thermostat for your home in stainless steel, is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
How to unlock your Nest thermostat if you forgot your PIN?
It is only possible to unlock your Nest thermostat if it is online. You would need to contact Nest customer support to unlock your Nest thermostat if you locked it while it is offline and you lost your PIN.
Here are the steps to unlock your Nest thermostat without your PIN.
- Open your Nest app.
- Select the Nest thermostat that you’d like to unlock.
- Tap the settings menu on the upper right corner of the app.
- Scroll down and tap the Unlock option.
How to change the PIN on Nest thermostat?
The PIN of your Nest thermostat can only be changed on the Nest app. Follow these simple steps to change the PIN of your Nest thermostat:
- Follow the steps under the section “How to unlock your Nest thermostat if you forgot your PIN?”.
- Scroll down once more and tap the Lock option. Once you select the Lock option, your Nest app will automatically ask you for a new PIN. Unlocking your Nest thermostat through the Nest app automatically resets the PIN, and you need to assign a new one once you activate the Lock option once more.
What additional options are available to keep people from changing the thermostat?
Not all thermostats have the option to lock them through the software. Older thermostat models do not have this option.
Here are some of the things you can do to prevent people from changing the settings of a thermostat that doesn’t have a software lock option.
What is a thermostat lockbox?
A thermostat lockbox is a box that can be mounted on the wall of your home surrounding your thermostat. It has a large front opening to allow unobstructed access to the controls of your thermostat. A locking mechanism is installed either on top or at the bottom of the box.
It is often made of acrylic or transparent plastic. Some people made their own thermostat lockbox out of old metal or wooden boxes that have a wide lid that can give unhindered access to the controls of the thermostat.
Anyone without a key to the thermostat lockbox will not be able to open it and change the settings on the thermostat.
It is a simple way to secure the controls of your thermostat. However, it does have a drawback—it can be unsightly when installed on your wall. This is because the thermostat lockbox was not designed for aesthetic purposes.
The Honeywell Home CG511A1000 medium thermostat guard, a thermostat lockbox, is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
Can the thermostat lockbox be DIYed?
It can be DIYed from any existing lockbox that is wide and tall enough to secure your thermostat inside. You simply need to cut out the bottom of the box so that you can slip your thermostat inside. You will also need to drill holes on it so that you can screw it on the wall.
One thing to remember when making your own thermostat lockbox is that you will need to cut grills on all sides of the box to allow air to flow freely. Your thermostat needs free airflow to function properly.
What is a dummy thermostat?
Some office buildings across the nation have thermostats installed in plain sight but are not connected to the HVAC, reports USAToday.
The real thermostat is cleverly hidden behind false ceilings and other hard-to-reach places. The dummy thermostat simply gives employees a false feeling of being in control.
Homes can adopt a similar strategy to prevent people from changing the settings on an older model thermostat. A dummy thermostat can be installed and powered while the real thermostat is hidden somewhere else.
What are the effects of frequently changing the thermostat?
Here are some of the effects of frequently changing the thermostat:
According to Ashley Brothers, frequent changes to your thermostat leads to HVAC breakdowns. They can lead to needless wear and tear of the components of HVAC systems.
Higher energy bills
Adjusting thermostats will force your HVAC to work extra hard to reach the new temperature setting. This leads to more energy consumed. An air conditioner or a furnace consumes more energy to change the temperature than maintaining a constant temperature.
A thermostat installed in the middle of a wall with nothing else can easily attract the attention of children. Unfortunately, rapid and frequent changes to the thermostat lead to higher energy bills and early breakdown of cooling and heating systems.
Modern thermostats recognize this issue and have included a lock function to address the issue. For older thermostats, a more direct method of preventing thermostat access is necessary.
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