nest thermostat cycling on and off

In case you encounter your Nest Thermostat cycling on and off, don’t worry, because it is not actually always a serious cause for concern!

In this guide, we’ll not only give you the situations that could make your Nest Thermostat cycle on and off, but we will also present to you the complete list of steps you can do to address it!

If your Nest Thermostat is short cycling or if it’s powering on and off, check if all thermostat wires are plugged in properly. Ensure that your system does not need maintenance. After that, troubleshoot your furnace and reconnect the white and red wires on your thermostat to their original designations.

Prior to solving this perplexing dilemma, let us first attempt to perform a complete and thorough guide in understanding.

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Then we can identify the common reasons for your Nest Thermostat to cycle on and off abruptly and repeatedly.

Why is My Nest Thermostat Short Cycling?

HVAC systems remain a mystery to some people, and there are times where even experts find it difficult and complex to deal with them.

However, based on several user-based reports, the following are among the most common reasons for the short cycling of their Nest Thermostat and the furnace it’s connected to.

  • The thermostat could already be faulty/damaged
  • Some wires and cables aren’t inserted properly
  • Your entire HVAC system needs maintenance

Now that we’re aware of the culprits, how do we fix it? What can we do to be able to resolve the short cycling of the Nest Thermostat?

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Nest Thermostat Cycling On and Off – Complete Fix Steps

fix nest thermostat cycling on and off

In this tutorial, expect to get your hands dirty, because, we will be giving you full and complete detail in getting over this dilemma.

We wouldn’t just give you general directions and instructions! What we will do instead is give you a thorough take on the fix process!

Step #1: Make Sure That All Wires and Cables Are Inserted Properly

The first step in troubleshooting this dilemma is to make sure that all connections are plugged in and inserted properly.

In the technical world, a loose cable can cause an entire device to malfunction. Therefore, checking this first will be crucial in finding the fix or the resolution. 

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Step #2: Check if Your HVAC System Needs Maintenance

Just like any other type of system, your HVAC system would often require maintenance especially since it’s a sensitive and critical area.

Although many people believe it’s not possible for a non-professional to know if a system needs maintenance, it actually is!

Here’s how you can check if the HVAC system where your Nest Thermostat is equipped requires maintenance:

  • Your Nest Thermostat indicates the wrong color (heating and cooling)
  • The thermostat turns on and off by itself
  • Your Nest Thermostat is displaying “delayed

If you see any of these, consider arranging a maintenance check of your entire HVAC system as soon as possible.

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They could even give you tips that you can perform to avoid this particular problem in the future!

Step #3: Check System Compatibility

Although an incompatible HVAC system wouldn’t function well with the Nest Thermostat, there are instances where it will only be visible when certain problems start to arise.

The Nest Thermostat often works well with HVAC systems that are 24V, but there are situations where it will suddenly malfunction even if you’ve used the same HVAC system previously.

Check and see if your system requires a C wire, which we’ll be discussing in the next step.

Step #4: Install a Common Wire

The common wire, or C wire for short, is a type of extra wire that’s used to give a 24V-powered system a return path, signifying that the power system is working properly.

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Without it, the system will either determine that the thermostat isn’t getting enough power to control it.

So, install a C-wire or a C-wire adapter to help you with it. Alternatively, you can ask a local HVAC professional to help you with the process.

NOTE: Using a C-wire adapter is the best and easiest way to go because you’ll only need to plug in the adapter to a wall outlet and link it up to your Nest Thermostat.

Step #5: Align All Wires and Cables on Your Nest and Furnace

Last, but most definitely not least is to align and make sure that all cables are in their rightful places.

This step is the most crucial because it can be the very reason why you’re experiencing other occurrences that you should not be experiencing.

  1. Power off your furnace.
  2. Take the Nest Thermostat front panel off the wall.
  3. Relocate the white and red wires to where they should be initially.
  4. Remove the Y1 (yellow) wire.
  5. Install and put the Nest’s panel to the wall.
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After you do all these steps without a single miss, there’s a big chance that your Nest Thermostat will return to its original function.

You could fix and get rid of the short cycling that you’re experiencing with your Nest Thermostat!

Most Nest Thermostat users found peace and resolution when they followed this 5-step process!

My Nest Thermostat is Still Constantly Cycling On and Off, What Should I Do?

Although we gave you the complete and comprehensive procedure of troubleshooting the short cycling of your Nest Thermostat, it will not always be fixed, especially if there’s a serious underlying problem to it.

If the method above didn’t work out well for you, here are the further steps you need to do:

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Contact an HVAC Specialist

Should the problem be persistent even if you’re certain that you were able to do the process religiously, contact an HVAC specialist.

Let them know about what you’re experiencing, as well as the troubleshooting steps you’ve accomplished.

NOTE: Let them know about it as early as possible for them to be able to deploy experts to your location faster and more urgently.

Get In Touch With a Nest Thermostat Professional

And if you think that the problem requires expertise on the side of the Nest Thermostat, contact Google Nest’s customer support team.

Inform them of the situation, as well as the troubleshooting steps you have already accomplished.

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You’ll get a response from them, and they can even give you a top-tier technical expert to help you get over the problem immediately.

They’re the experts and you should be able to find what you’re looking for when you seek their assistance.

This is only if you’re unable to resolve the issue by following the initial guide we talked about and discussed with you.

Read Next: Why is My Nest Thermostat Not Heating?


If your Nest Thermostat is short cycling, check if all the wires are connected to their rightful places and if they are properly inserted/plugged in. Then, check if your HVAC system needs maintenance and if it’s still compatible. Use a C-Wire if the problem persists.

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With our guide, you will no longer be burdened as to how you can fix it when you experience your Nest Thermostat cycling on and off.

We covered everything you need to know about fixing and resolving your thermostat’s short cycling in this guide!

There’s no need for you to look for a different source, we got it all here!

Nicole B