Owners who are frustrated by the w5 error that has affected some Nest thermostats will be able to get a free replacement from Google. The w5 error, which appeared as far back as November, prevents the Nest thermostats from connecting to Wi-Fi. A thread on the official Google support forums about the issue has received more than 200 replies, and even with comprehensive troubleshooting instructions provided by a representative, owners of the smart home device are still unable to fix the problem.
While there is speculation that an update broke the Nest thermostats, the culprit behind the internet connection issues is the Wi-Fi chip, a Google spokesperson told Android Police. The problem takes out the device’s remote management capabilities, but the ability to control heating and cooling systems is unaffected, the spokesperson added.
“If a user sees this error and it can’t be resolved through troubleshooting, they are prompted to contact customer support for assistance and will be issued a replacement device,” the spokesperson said.
This does not affect the thermostat’s ability to control the customer’s heating and cooling system in the home, but does impact the user’s ability to manage the thermostat remotely,” a part of the statement reads.
There’s also a support page specifically for those running into a w5 error on their Nest thermostat. Google’s statement notes that only “a very small number” of users are affected by the issue, though a lengthy support thread dating back to Nov. 2019 and its 200+ replies suggests otherwise. If you’ve been running into connectivity issues with your Nest thermostat, you might want to check and see if this is the problem so you can get that replacement process started.
Controlling the temperature of your home with your smartphone when you’re out of the house or away from the physical device is pretty much the sole selling point of the Nest thermostat. So that makes this a pretty serious issue, even if you still can manually adjust the temperature on the device itself. The fact that Google has to outright replace some of these thermostats is a bit concerning, considering a thermostat is not something you typically want malfunctioning.
Not everything has been negative for Nest thermostat owners recently though, as Google recently expanded the Seasonal Savings feature to all owners of the devices for free. The feature functions as a personalized energy monitor that will adjust energy usage to help lower the bill. Seasonal Savings result in an average of 3% to 5% savings on heating and cooling costs, according to Google.