What Does The Nest Temperature Sensor Do? Are They Necessary?

The Nest Temperature Sensor is a clever accessory designed to work seamlessly with Nest Thermostats. Nest Temperature Sensors were released a few years after the Ecobee Room Sensor, so I can’t claim that Nest is being innovative.  

Nest Temperature Sensors are compact and easy-to-install devices offering homeowners an enhanced level of temperature control and energy efficiency by providing accurate temperature readings from specific rooms or areas. 

In a short summary, What Does The Nest Temperature Sensor Do?

The Nest Temperature Sensor measures and communicates ambient temperature data from a specific room or area to a connected Nest Thermostat, enabling it to maintain a comfortable temperature and improve energy efficiency in your home.

In this article, we will explore the key features, benefits, and placement guidelines for the Nest Temperature Sensor, helping you to make the most of this smart home technology for a comfortable and eco-friendly living environment.

Nest Temperature Sensors

How Does Nest Temperature Sensor Work?

Nest Temperature Sensors (Google Store – Not Affiliate) are small, wireless devices that work by measuring the ambient temperature in a specific room or area and wirelessly communicating that information to a connected Nest Thermostat, more specifically, the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) or Nest Thermostat E. 

This allows the thermostat to make more informed decisions about how to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your home.

Here’s a brief overview of what the Nest Temperature Sensor does:

Measure temperature: The Nest Temperature Sensor contains a temperature sensing component that continuously monitors the room’s ambient temperature, providing real-time data about the temperature fluctuations in that particular space.

Wireless communication: The sensor uses Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) to transmit the temperature data to the connected Nest Thermostat. The thermostat then processes this information and adjusts the heating or cooling system accordingly.

Customization to prioritize comfort: Using the Nest app, you can set temperature preferences for specific rooms and specific times of the day. The Nest Temperature Sensor allows the thermostat to prioritize maintaining the desired temperature in the designated rooms, ensuring a comfortable environment.

Improve energy efficiency: By providing more accurate temperature readings, the Nest Temperature Sensor helps the thermostat make smarter decisions about when to turn on or off the heating and cooling systems. This can lead to more efficient energy use and hopefully lower energy bills.

The Nest Temperature Sensor requires minimal setup and can be easily installed on a wall, shelf, or any flat surface. Once installed, the sensor should be paired and configured with your Nest Thermostat through the Nest app to ensure seamless integration and optimal performance.

Where Should I Put My Nest Temperature Sensor?

Place your Nest Temperature Sensor in the room you want to optimize, at a height of 3 to 5 feet above the floor and away from heat sources, cold drafts, and electronics. Ensure it is within the wireless range of your Nest Thermostat for effective communication.

To make the most of your Nest Temperature Sensor, follow these guidelines for placement:

  1. Place it in the room or area where you want to optimize temperature and comfort, such as bedrooms, living rooms, or home offices.
  2. Install it at a height of around 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) above the floor, which is considered an optimal height for capturing accurate room temperature readings.
  3. Avoid placing the sensor near sources of heat or cold, such as vents, radiators, direct sunlight, windows, or exterior walls, as this can lead to inaccurate temperature readings.
  4. Keep the sensor away from electronics, appliances, or other devices that generate heat or could interfere with its wireless communication.
  5. Ensure that the sensor is within the wireless range of your Nest Thermostat, typically around 50 feet (15 meters) in most homes. However, the range can vary depending on the layout and construction of your home.

As I mentioned, the Nest Temperature Sensor can be placed on a wall, shelf, or any flat surface. Once you’ve installed the sensor, make sure to connect and configure it with your Nest Thermostat using the Nest app.

Is Nest Temperature Sensor Necessary?

A Nest Temperature Sensor is not required in order to use a Nest Thermostat but can be beneficial for enhancing the performance of your thermostat. 

A Nest Temperature Sensor provides more accurate temperature readings from specific rooms or areas, allowing for better temperature control and potentially improved energy efficiency. 

If you are satisfied with your current Nest Thermostat’s performance and temperature management throughout your home, the sensor probably isn’t necessary. However, if you experience significant temperature variations or want to prioritize comfort in specific rooms, the Nest Temperature Sensor will be a useful addition.

Do Nest Temperature Sensors Have Occupancy Sensors?

The main competitor to Nest Thermostat, Ecobee, has room sensors that detect motion and occupancy, so it’s a reasonable question to ask if Nest Temperature Sensors detect occupancy.

Nest Temperature Sensors do not have built-in occupancy sensors. Their primary function is to measure and communicate ambient temperature data from specific rooms or areas to a connected Nest Thermostat.

The Nest Temperature Sensor design is fairly simple if you take one apart, which I’ve done. They have a few chips in there. The main components to take note of are the Temperature sensor, Bluetooth LE radio, and battery. There is not much else.

Do Nest Thermostats Have Occupancy Sensors?

The Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) and Nest Thermostat E have built-in motion sensors used to infer occupancy. 

This information is used to automatically adjust your heating and cooling settings, helping to save energy when your home is unoccupied while ensuring comfort when you’re present.

It’s worth noting that the Home/Away Assist feature can also work in conjunction with other Nest products, such as Nest Protect (smoke and carbon monoxide alarm) and Nest Cam, to provide a more comprehensive view of your home’s occupancy status. 

These integrations allow Nest Thermostats to make even more informed decisions about adjusting the temperature settings based on occupancy.

How Long Does A Nest Temperature Sensor Last?

The battery life of a Nest Temperature Sensor typically lasts up to two years, depending on usage patterns and environmental factors. 

Nest Temperature Sensors use a single CR2 lithium battery, which can be easily replaced when it runs out. They’re available at most stores and can be found online pretty easily.

To maximize battery life, ensure the sensor is placed in a location that minimizes exposure to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or other factors that could potentially affect the battery’s performance. 

The Nest app will notify you when the battery is low, so you can replace it promptly to keep your sensor functioning optimally.


The Nest Temperature Sensor is a valuable addition to any home using a compatible Nest Thermostat. 

By providing accurate temperature readings from specific rooms or areas, this wireless device helps optimize comfort levels and improve energy efficiency. While not strictly necessary, the sensor offers an extra layer of control and customization for homeowners who want to address temperature variations within their living spaces. 

With its simple installation process and seamless integration with Nest Thermostats, the Nest Temperature Sensor is an excellent investment for those looking to enhance their smart home experience and create a more comfortable, energy-conscious living environment.


Hey, I’m Josh! Welcome to Expert Home Automation. Tech is what I do for a living and as a hobby. You can learn more about me here.

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