The value of a smart thermostat is convenience, especially remote convenience. You can buy a programmable thermostat that isn’t smart, but upgrading to an ecobee or Nest gives you remotes. Unfortunately, some Nest thermostats are experiencing an error breaking this feature, and Google is now offering replacements.
The problem appears to have started last November, according to a Google Nest Help Feed. Although the Nest thermostats in question can still control the heating and cooling and you can manually adjust them correctly, the remote stops working.
You cannot adjust any settings when you are away from home from your phone or tablet. Instead, the Nest will display a “w5” error and won’t connect to Wi-Fi.
In one statement to The Verge, a Google spokesperson said:
A very small number of Nest thermostat users experience a known issue with the Wi-Fi chip that causes remote connectivity issues. This does not affect the ability of the thermostat to control the customer’s heating and cooling system in the home, but does affect the ability of the user to manage the thermostat remotely. If a user sees this error and it cannot be resolved by troubleshooting, they are asked to contact customer service for assistance and will be assigned a replacement device.
Google insists it can fix the troubleshooting issue, but in some cases it doesn’t appear to be. The cause of the problem is unclear and Android Police found users who viewed the experience immediately after an update. But until Google tells us more, we are only speculating.
If you see the w5 error, try Google’s troubleshooting steps, and if that doesn’t help, contact the company.
via The edge