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Why Does My Nest Thermostat Say in 2 Hours?

A Nest thermostat that displays “in 2 hours” signifies that it is taking time to start AC, delaying cooling your house. Several things might bring this on, but it frequently occurs when a thermostat loses power because it lacks a C-Wire. The starting of the thermostat may also be delayed if you have updated your system, rebooted or completed a reset. If you want to resolve the issue, the only option is to address it at its source.

In short, The Nest thermostat will estimate the Time-to-Temperature in five-minute increments. If it’s less than ten minutes until the target temperature is reached, the nest thermostat display will read “less than ten minutes.” However, if it takes more than two hours to reach the desired comfortable temperature, Nest will read “IN 2+ Hours.”

Through this article, we’ll walk you through the most typical causes of this error and how to fix it if the issue persists.

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

Why Nest displays in 2 hours
Nest displays in 2+ hours

When your Nest Thermostat screen displays the message “In 2+ Hours,” it indicates that the thermostat is cooling your house more slowly than usual, and there is a considerable delay in starting the AC. You see the message when you are attempting to raise your home’s temperature from a particular level to one that is more desired or appropriate for your property.

This delay happens if your thermostat is not installed with a C-wire. Without a C-Wire, a thermostat runs the risk of being underpowered, which delays starting and triggers an error message.

Usually, for a limited amount of time, it’s common for your home’s temperature to wander considerably above or below the setting on your thermostat. This is frequently caused by the system’s inbuilt delay upon powering on. This delay is technically referred to as maintenance band, differential, or dead band. (1)

4 Reasons Why Your Nest Thermostat Saying “In 2 Hours”?

4 possible causes for 2 hours display

Your Nest Thermostat is recently installed and is still learning

Nest Thermostats are smart devices that are made to work on machine learning algorithms. Your thermostat will not know how long it takes for a room or home to cool down when you install it for the first time. 

As a result, it will display the message “In 2+ Hours”. This occurs because it lacks the information necessary to give a precise time estimate.

You should be aware that your Nest Thermostat is in perfect working order despite that message, and that message will eventually subside with time when your Nest Thermostat has served your home long enough.

Note: Give your Google Nest Thermostat sufficient time to learn and predict the amount of time it will take to reach the temperature you find adequate for your home conditions.

Your recently installed Nest Thermostat will work at its best once it has learnt about and adapted to your house and environment.

You did a system reset or reboot

reset nest thermostat

When you reset your Nest, all the previous data that your system has gathered as the base to learn about your device usage gets deleted all at once. System reset also clears your thermostat of all the settings, schedules and preferences you have set for the device.

As a result, when you give instructions to your thermostat in the form of temperature settings after a reset or a reboot, it takes time to process that information as its algorithm log is completely empty. That’s why you are seeing a message indicating the duration it would take to cool your room.

The circuit is not pending or not completed

In most Nest configurations, a modest amount of power is supplied through the heating or cooling wires to keep the Nest always switched on.

The Nest thermostat wire doesn’t always receive enough supply from heating and cooling cables; therefore, it requires a Common wire. 

The C-wire guarantees that your Nest thermostat receives a constant 24-volt electricity supply, regardless of whether the HVAC system is turned on or not. 

The C wire connects the Nest thermostat’s C terminal to the C terminal of the HVAC systems control panel.

Your Nest thermostat may become inadequately powered and lose internet connectivity if the C wire is not installed, making it impossible for you to adjust the current room temperature in your house.

If you want to check whether C-wire is installed in your thermostat or not, you should follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Nest app on your smartphone and scroll to “Settings”.
  2. Select “Equipment.”
  3. If your Nest thermostat is wired properly, you will see a tab showing the information below.
  • G indicates fan.
  • W1 indicates wire to the heat pump.
  • RH indicates power.
  • C indicates common wire.

 Your thermostat is not wired correctly if there isn’t a C- wire in the tab. 

System or software update

update software

A software update modifies, tweaks and upgrades certain or full programs of a system. When you have put your thermostat for an update, it makes many changes to your current running program.

Thus, when you attempt to change the temperature on your thermostat after a software upgrade, the system takes some time to figure out new processes and features, and once it’s done, it acts as per the instruction. 

How To Fix Nest Saying “In 2 Hours” Error?

Troubleshoot Next display 2+ hours error message

Give Your Nest thermostat time to adjust

Your Nest Thermostat can display delayed if you installed it recently and the system is still building a learning database. It would only take enough time before your problem is resolved. 

So, instead of bothering yourself too much with the problem, you should give your thermostat enough time in the beginning.

Over time, as the system learns about your home, your temperature settings, and how much time it takes to cool down your home, it will do it in less time and without flashing the message.  

Complete the incomplete circuit

If you inspect the system’s circuit and find the C-wire is missing, it’s time to get ready with tools and safety equipment to do some mechanical work. However, if you are not comfortable with that and a technician helped you with the installations, it’s better to dial up one and call.

Follow the below steps if you want to do it yourself:

  • To begin with, go to your circuit breaker and shut off the breaker. 
  •  Next, remove the Nest’s display casing and have a quick look at the cables that are attached. You will notice that all but one wire is connected, and that is C-wire. It’s time to head to the furnace once you’ve located the Common wire and verified it is properly connected.
  • You will probably notice two major wires that have torn off when you locate the low-voltage cables within your furnace. Two off-shooting wires originate from one main wire, while five off-shooting wires originate from the other main wire.
  •  Five of the off-shooting lines have a blue wire inside that is disconnected. That’s the common wire we are looking for and has to be connected to the motherboard’s “Com” port.
  •  Go back to the Nest, then remove the Common blue wire, connecting it to the “C” port of the Nest thermostat while keeping the furnace and Nest off.
  •  Restore the electricity to the Nest thermostat and the furnace at this point. Go back to Settings and scroll to Equipment after replacing the Nest display cover.
  •  Verify that your Nest now displays the blue C wire. 

Call a Qualified HVAC Technician

The easiest way to address issues caused by power problems, such as the “In 2 hours” message, is to get in touch with an HVAC technician in your region if you don’t recognize the issue or don’t feel confident fixing your system. 

They can identify and assist in the repair of any potential issues with your system and thermostat installation. They may attach the wire to your Nest thermostat using a C-wire adapter if necessary.

Fixing 2-hour Error Message on Nest Thermostats

If you get a message on your thermostat saying, “In 2 hours”, the issue’s root cause will determine the best course of action. 

If your issue is because of the recent installation, you should do nothing but allow time for your device to learn about your home. When the thermostat has worked enough hours and adapted to the modifications, the problem ought to disappear.

You will need to call an electrician if C-wire is not installed. To fix the issue, they may use C-wire adapters to finish incomplete circuits.   

Here are the steps you should take to fix the 2-hour error message on Nest Thermostat: (2)

  1. Cut off the power to your thermostat furnace.
  2. Inspect the thermostat and see if there are any unnecessary wires.
  3. Make sure that the electricity to the furnace is disconnected. Now, access the motherboard with the help of a screwdriver.
  4. Inside the furnace, locate the blue wire and connect it to the “Common” or “C-wire designated plug. Re-case the furnace but don’t turn on the electricity yet.
  5. Connect the blue wire to the “C” written port on the Nest thermostat.
  6. Finally, re-plug the furnace and test it to ensure proper operation.

Final Thoughts

Aside from random delays and small technical difficulties, the Nest thermostat is a wonderful device. They not only regulate your home temperature but, in a way, also manage your home electricity usage given how efficient they are.

If like other users, you also notice a message displaying “In 2 hours” by Nest, the reason might be that you either installed your device recently or performed a reset or reboot. 

In these situations, the device’s learning algorithm is not built or gets erased or refreshed, so it’s only normal if it takes time to start the AC and cools your home; it’s nothing to fret about. 

You should give your thermostat some time to learn your house temperature requirements. Alternatively, you can check your thermostat for C-wire. If you don’t find a C-wire connected, installing a common wire will solve all the power-related issues with your Nest thermostat. Be sure to take safety precautions during installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn off the delay on my Nest thermostat?

If you want to turn off the delay on your Nest thermostat, you can do so by going into the menus and selecting the ‘Off’ option. This will disable the feature and allow your thermostat to operate without any delays. You can also adjust the length of the delay in the menus if you want to change it from the default settings.

Why does my Nest take so long to cool?

There are a few reasons why your Nest thermostat might take a long time to cool your home. One reason could be that the Nest is not properly calibrated to your home’s cooling system.

Another reason could be that the ambient temperature outside is too hot for the Nest to effectively cool your home. Finally, if your home has poor insulation, this could also cause the Nest to take a longer time to cool your home.

If you are unsure of why your Nest is taking a long time to cool your home, we recommend contacting Nest support for further troubleshooting.

How do I fix delayed Nest?

If your Nest thermostat is running a little behind schedule, there are a few things you can do to get it back on track.

  1. Check the time and date settings to make sure they’re correct.
  2. Then, try resetting your Nest by turning it off and on again.
  3. If that doesn’t work, you may need to perform a factory reset.

Finally, if all else fails, you can try contacting Nest customer support for further assistance.

If your Nest thermostat is displaying the wrong time,

  1. Check to make sure that the time zone setting is correct. If it is, then you can try manually setting the time and date.
  2. To do this, press the Nest button on the thermostat, scroll to the Settings menu, and select Time & Date. From here, you can use the up and down arrows to adjust the time and date as needed.


  • Jason

    Jason is an expert writer and is passionate about Smart Homes and Home Improvements writing as well as lifestyle and Lawn Care. He spent the past twelve years living in Hawaii, where he worked closely alongside event planners and resort owners to perfect his knowledge of luxury products and aesthetics. He discovered his passion for DIY projects and home improvement there. Currently, he lives in Washington D.C with his family and 2 pets.

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