How To Create Custom Voice Commands for Nest Thermostat + Alexa

Post publication date: 3/21/19 – Many landlords in California—like mine—are using clean energy grant money to install Nest smart thermostats in their rental units. I’ve found there are no intuitive, default voice commands for Nest thermostat + Alexa, but it’s easy to set up a couple of Alexa Routines to create your own, custom voice commands to control your Nest.

Before I got the Nest I thought it would have some pre-programmed Alexa voice commands like, “Alexa, turn up the heat,” and “Alexa, make it cooler,” but I was wrong. However, setting up a Routine for each command you want to use is easy, and when you create a Routine you get to specify the exact wording you want to use. Just follow the steps below.

How To Get Alexa Connected To Your Nest

1. Download and install the Nest app.
Surprisingly, the app is not available in the Amazon App Store. You’ll have to get it from the Google Play store for Android, and the Apple App Store for iOS devices.

2. Launch the app and follow the prompts to get your Nest connected to your WiFi network.
It’s pretty self-explanatory once you open the app.

3. After Nest setup in the Nest app is complete, open the Alexa app and tap on the Devices icon.
As of this writing, it’s the little house-shaped icon at the lower right of the main menu bar at the bottom of every screen in the app.

4. In the Devices screen, tap the plus sign to open the Add popup list.
As of this writing, the plus sign is at the upper right hand corner of the Devices home screen.

5. In the Add popup list, tap Add Device.
In the device selection screen, scroll down to the All Devices list and select “Thermostat”. From there, follow the prompts to specify your thermostat brand (Nest, in this case) and get Alexa connected to it.

How To Create Your Own Custom Nest Commands Using Routines

1. Open the Alexa app main menu and select “Routines”.
As of this writing, the main menu is accessed via the ‘hamburger’, or three-line icon at the upper left of the app home screen.

2. In the Routines screen, tap the plus sign to open the “New Routine” screen.
In the “New Routine” screen, tap the plus sign icon to the right of “When this happens” to create a new voice command for your Nest.

3. In the WHEN THIS HAPPENS screen, tap the Voice icon.
In the “When you say” screen, enter the exact voice command you want to use to make your Nest adjust the temperature. For example, “turn up the heat” or “turn on the A C”. Note that the command does not have to include the word “Nest” or “thermostat”, and it can be as formal or silly as you like. Go with the wording that feels most natural to you, so you’ll be sure to remember it. When you’re finished entering your command, tap the “Next” button to load the “Add New” screen.

4. In the “Add New” screen, tap “Smart Home”.

5. In the SMART HOME screen tap “Control device”, then select “Thermostat” from the list.
In the “Thermostat” screen, you’ll find a temperature slider you can set to the temperature you want to set your Nest to when you use the command you just created.

It appears that the options available on this screen may vary according to your specific Nest model. In my case, I only have access to adjust the temperature. I’d hoped to get fan control as well, but no such luck.

6. Tap “Next” to save your new Routine.

7. Repeat for each different Nest command you want to be able to use.
I’ve created two commands: “turn up the heat” and “turn on the A C”.

Click here to view Nest’s main support page for its smart thermostats.