Why Your Nest Thermostat Shows 2+ Hours

I am a Nest Thermostat and home heating appliances seller. Over the last five years, I have received various complaints from customers who bought Nest Thermostats from my shop. My experience and knowledge with Nest Thermostats enable me to attend to these complaints well.

When a Nest thermostat shows “in 2+ Hours,” it generally requires no action on your part. The “In 2+ Hours” message typically occurs when the thermostat is set at one temperature, and you raise or lower it by more than 4 degrees. The Nest thermostat is telling you that it estimates it will take 2+ hours to achieve the desired setting. However, if the “In 2+ Hours” message doesn’t go away, there could indicate a problem with the Nest sensor, installation, or a problem with the HVAC system itself. These reasons can include:

  • Your thermostat is recently installed and is still learning
  • Your thermostat is recently installed and is not wired correctly
  • Your thermostat did a system reset or reboot
  • Your thermostat initially powers up after an extended power outage
  • System or software update
  • Your HVAC system is struggling to meet the demand and may require service or repair

Nest learning thermostats are super effective when it comes to monitoring the energy usage in your home. Besides, they allow you to have the perfect or comfortable temperature in your home.

The readings on your Nest thermostat are way more accurate since it learns your home’s cooling or heating characteristics and the ultimate temperature settings of your home. However, there are instances that your Nest Thermostat may not be working perfectly.

For instance, one most common that many individuals get is the “In 2+ Hours” error message on the Nest Thermostat digital reader. This usually delays the AC power, which in turn inconveniences your home temperature settings.

This article will walk you through all you need to know about the “In 2+ Hours” error message.

Sounds good? Keep reading to learn more.

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What Does “In 2+ hours” Mean on Nest Thermostat?

One most alarming message you might be getting on your thermostat is “In 2+ Hours”. You might be there wondering what it means. In this section, I will make you understand what this alarming message means.

Whenever you get the “In 2+ Hours” message on your Nest Thermostat, it means that your thermostat is slowed down for cooling your home.

It usually occurs when the home temperature is currently at a certain level, but you are trying to change that temperature to a comfortable or suitable temperature for your home.

For instance, you might notice your thermostats saying that it takes 2+ hours to cool your house from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

Typically, there are four reasons associated with this “In 2+ Hours” message. They are;

  • Your Nest Thermostat is recently installed and is still learning
  • You did a system reset or reboot
  • The circuit is not pending or not completed
  • System or software update

Your Nest Thermostat is Recently Installed and is Still Learning

You will be enraged if your school tutor asks you to learn a new taught topic and do a test in an instant. It is close to impossible for your brain to know instantly, process, and apply new staff. This similarly applies to the Nest Thermostat.

Therefore, one of the possible issues you are supposed to check whenever you get the “In 2+ Hours” message is if you installed the Nest thermostat recently in your house. If you did install it in less than a month, you do not need to be worried.

For instance, whenever you install your Nest Thermostat, it does not understand how fast or the time it takes for your home or room to cool down. As such, it will give you an “In 2+ Hours” message. This is because it does not have the data it needs to provide an exact time estimate.

Therefore, if your Nest Thermostat is recently installed, it could be the most probable source of the “In 2+ Hours” message. You should note that there is nothing wrong with your Nest Thermostat.

Just be patient and allow your Nest Thermostat enough time to learn and calculate how much it will take to get to your suitable, comfortable, and desired temperature.

Once the Nest Thermostat has learned and adapted to your home and habitat, you will be guaranteed enjoyment of the ultimate of your newly installed Nest Thermostat.

You did a System Reset or Reboot

Did you know that ‘System Reset’ means forgetting or deleting the current settings and starting new? For instance, if you reset your Nest Thermostat to default settings, it will act as if it is newly installed.

Therefore, it will need to take a few days to learn the specifics of your home to give an ultimate temperature estimate.

It is important to note that your Nest Thermostat does not control the AC. It will only show the time it will take the AC to reach the ultimate temperature and have it working. Therefore, the time you see on the screen is just an estimate.

Just as in the ‘recently installed Nest Thermostat,’ you will need to be patient and give your reset or reboot Nest Thermostat time to learn the specifics of your habitat or house. In a short while, it will provide you with the ultimate timing.

The Thermostat Circuit is Pending or not Completed

Another possible reason why you are getting the ‘In 2+ Hours” message is an incomplete circuit.

Your Nest Thermostat is not battery-powered like traditional thermostats. A Nest Thermostat to get access to the furnace to be adequately powered requires an extra wire. Most people forget about this additional wire to make the circuit complete.

Therefore how can one check if the Nest Thermostat circuit is complete? Here is a guide;

Step 1: Get to the Nest and access the Settings.

Step 2: Click ‘Equipment” under the settings. For instance, if your Nest Thermostat is correctly wired, you will see time tabs next to;

  • Y1 that stands for the cooling system
  • W1 that stands for the heat
  • G that stands for the fan
  • C that stands for common
  • RH stands for power.

If the Nest Thermostat is not complete, you will not see a tab next to the C. You will only see tabs next to G, Y1, RH, and W1. A tab next to C signals a lack of an additional wire needed to complete the circuit.

Therefore, consider looking for that extra wire and fixing it accordingly to complete the circuit.

System or Software Update

System or Software update means bringing new features to your existing system without changing the system hardware.

Therefore, doing software updates may negatively impact the timing of your Nest Thermostat. As such, you will be alarmed by the “In 2+ Hours” message. Therefore, you will be required to fix this to have the best timing estimate.

For instance, if the firmware on your Nest Thermostat got updated recently, you do not need to be worried by the “In 2+ Hours” message.

There is no technical issue with your Nest Thermostat. You only need to be patient. For instance, give it some time, and your Nest Thermostat will be as accurate as before.

There is another instance where it has been a long since you updated the Nest Thermostat software, but you are still getting the “In 2+ Hours” error message. In such a case, update the software accordingly, and you will fix the issue perfectly.

How Do You Solve the “In 2+ Hours” Error Message?

Understood what the “In 2+ Hours” message means, and understanding is not enough to solve or fix the issue.

Therefore, how do you fix or solve this issue? There are two possible ways that you can go for;

  • Allow the Nest thermostat time to adjust
  • Complete the incomplete circuit
  • Call a qualified HVAC technician to examine your HVAC system

Allow the Nest Thermostat Time to Adjust

There is no other way to fix the “In 2+ Hours” error message other than just waiting for it to work normally if the cause is one of the following:

  • A recently installed Nest Thermostat
  • System reset or reboot
  • System update

In either case, you only need to be patient and give your Nest Thermostat time to learn your home. You should note that this usually takes time to resolve.

Once your Nest Thermostat system learns how fast your home gets cooled down, the “In 2+ Hours” error message will automatically disappear on its own. As such, your home will start cooling even quicker than 2 hours.

If the “In 2 Hours” message persists, you’ll need to troubleshoot the wiring connections, particularly if this is a new installation.

Complete the Incomplete Circuit

If you diagnosed and realized that the “In 2+ Hours” error message is caused by lack of an additional wire or incomplete circuit, you will be required to complete the circuit.

This is not an easy task for non-professionals. However, if you follow the correct instructions or guide, you are assured of solving the “In 2+ Hours” error message.

Here is a step by step guide that you should follow;

Step 1: Switch off the furnace power

Step 2:  Check to confirm if there is an additional wire in the Nest Thermostat. Usually, it is a blue wire, and it should only be one.

Step 3:  Make sure you have the following;

  • Headlight or flashlight
  • A respirator
  • Philips screwdriver
  • A regular standard screwdriver
  • 6-in-1

Step 4: Access the furnace and then double-check to confirm if the furnace is unplugged.

Step 5: Using the 6-in-1, take off the cover of the back part of the furnace. Doing this will enable you to access the wires that are usually at the lower system.

Step 6: Locate the wire that gets to your thermostat. For instance, the AC only has two wires, while the large black cable cover has several wires.

Step 7: Locate the blue wire. Once you find it, attach it to a plug that says “Comm” or “C.”

Step 8: Close your furnace. You should leave the furnace unplugged

Step 9: Access the Nest Thermostat and plug that blue wire into the “Comm”

Step 10: Lastly, plug your furnace back in. Then test it to confirm if it works perfectly.

How Do I Change the Time on My Nest Thermostat?

The Nest Thermostat is programmed to learn your temperature preferences over time. As such, it auto-adjusts the temperature accordingly.

However, it is also designed to allow you to set a specific temperature for a particular time.

This feature is only available on programmable Nest Thermostats, and you can change time directly from the thermostat itself. Besides, you can change the time using your smartphone within the installed Nest App.

I will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how you can change time on your Nest Thermostat.

Changing Time on the Nest Thermostat

Nest Thermostats have a scroll wheel that allows you to change the schedule directly from the Nest Thermostat. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can change time directly on the thermostat.

Step 1: Click on the Nest thermostat unit. This will make the main menu pop up.

Step 2:  Navigate to “Schedule” using the silver scroll wheel. Once you find “Schedule,” select it

Step 3:  When the ‘Schedule” screen opens. Click on the setting unit. This will allow you to start changing the schedule for the Nest thermostat temperature.

Step 4: Click on “New

Step 5: Using the silver scroll wheel, scroll to the time of the day that you wish

Step 6:  Select or click on it to choose that time

Step 7: Rotate the silver scroll wheel to pick the specific temperature you wish to associate or link with the particular time you have chosen.

Step 8: Click on the selected temperature.

Step 9:  Those temperature and time entries are saved. Therefore, you can move on to making more time and temperature entries.

Step 10: Scroll over the existing time entry till you hover over it

Step 11: Click down on the current time entry

Step 12: Click on “Change.” When it opens, you can make the changes you wish. If you want to delete any time entry, select “Remove.”

Changing Time in the Nest Thermostat App

Step 1: Install the Nest app on your smartphone

Step 2: Click on the Nest app to launch or open it

Step 3: Once it opens, tap on the Nest Thermostat on your main screen

Step 4: At the bottom of the main screen, click “Schedule.” This will take you to a blank calendar-like spreadsheet

Step 5: Click on any day of the week. For instance, you can click on ‘Monday.’

Step 6: In the bottom-right corner of the spreadsheet, click on “Add.” This will take you to a grid

Step 7: Click at any place on the vertical axis at the top of the time you wish to set to a particular temperature. For instance, if you want the temperature to be 62 degrees at 8 Am, click at any place just on top of “6 AM”. On clicking, a dot with a temperature value will appear with time below it.

Step 8: To change or adjust the temperature, Click and long press on the dot and drag that dot until it reads 62

Step 9: To adjust or change time, click and long press on the dot, then drag it from right to left to select the particular time you wish to set. You need to note that you can set time at an hour interval or a 15-minute interval.

Step 10: Repeat the same steps if you want to add more temperature and time settings. To remove a particular time entry, click on “Remove” at the bottom-right corner of the spreadsheet.

Step 11: To change a particular time entry, click and long press on that entry. Move it from right to left or down to up to adjust or change it.

Call a HVAC Technician to Service Your System

Finally, you may need to call in an HVAC technician to service and possibly repair your system. There can be numerous reasons why the message is displayed. Some reasons may have nothing to do with your Nest thermostat. Potential reasons include:

  • HVAC system not performing properly
  • Thermostat wire is broken or wired incorrectly
  • Ducts could be leaking air or restricting airflow
  • Air filter could be dirty

How Long Does Nest Take to Schedule?

It is common for your home’s temperature to have a slight variation below or above the temperature set on the Nest Thermostat for a particular time. This is usually due to an inbuilt schedule for turning on your Nest system.

This delayed schedule is typically referred to as deadband, maintenance band, temperature swing, or differential. The delayed schedule usually takes a few minutes. It is aimed at helping you and your Nest Thermostat system. For instance;

  • Most thermostats have an inbuilt delayed schedule to help prevent wear and tear. For instance, this is because there are moving parts of your Nest system.
  • It enables your home temperature to change by certain degrees before the system gets turned on.
  • It assists in saving energy and prevents system tear and wear for Neo thermostat systems that do not have a delayed schedule turning on.

Final Thoughts

A Nest Thermostat helps regulate the energy usage and temperature in your home.

You should not be worried if you experience a delay, an “In 2+ Hours” error message. It could likely be due to a rebooted thermostat, a recently installed Nest thermostat, an incomplete circuit, or a software update.

Fortunately, in most cases, you are not required to do anything to fix the delay. You should allow the Nest Thermostat to learn the specifics of your home. However, there are rare cases where you will be required to complete the circuit if the Nest is not connected to the “C” wire.

Hopefully, this article was helpful. You can leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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