Nest Thermostat Black Screen: How to Fix [2022]

My Nest Thermostat has defaulted to display a black screen, leaving me to succumb to the harsh temperatures of the outside world.

This annoyance needed an immediate fix and I jumped straight into the depths of the internet to find just that, only to see a lot of conflicting solutions.

This got me to write this one-stop troubleshooting article with all the fluff solutions cut off so that you can ultimately fix the problem with no hassles.

If your Nest Thermostat shows a black screen, check if the thermostat is compatible with the HVAC system. If it is, then check if the thermostat display is properly attached to the base. If the issue persists, check for power issues and ensure that the batteries are charged.

In this article, I have explained each troubleshooting step in detail so that you can fix your Nest Thermostat if it is showing a black screen.

Check if Nest Thermostat Is Compatible With the HVAC System

Check if the Nest Thermostat Is Compatible With the HVAC System

Compatibility is a huge factor to consider for the proper operation of your Nest Thermostat with your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems.

This can be the case if you bought your Nest Thermostat second-hand and didn't check whether it even supports your HVAC systems out of the hype.

Nest Thermostat is compatible with most 24V HVAC systems and using systems with higher voltage requirements can prove to be detrimental to the Thermostat.

Usually, when setting up the Nest Thermostat, the Google Home app or Nest app will take you through various compatibility checks to judge your HVAC systems.

You can also check whether your Nest Thermostat is compatible with your HVAC system using Google's own Compatibility Checker tool.

But there are three types of HVAC systems that can cause issues with your Nest Thermostat, ultimately leading to a blank screen display due to insufficient charge.

These are hardware-specific factors for HVAC systems, and there have been cases where Google falsely verifies such systems to be compatible.

The three HVAC systems to look out for are the following:

Millivolt Heating Systems

These are wall or floor-mounted heating systems that are powered by natural gas or electricity.

This type of system can be responsible for providing less power than the required power for operating your Nest Thermostat.

High Voltage Heating Systems

These are the HVAC systems that are rated much above the recommended 20V rating compatibility with Nest Thermostats, with the systems requiring up to 240V.

Proprietary Heating Systems

These usually have only 2 wires for both heating and cooling systems. This also provides much less power than the required power for operating your Nest Thermostat.

If your HVAC system is categorized under the above-mentioned systems, then chances are that you won't be able to use your Nest Thermostats with them safely.

But with the help of certified Nest technicians, it is possible to rewire your HVAC systems to work with Nest Thermostat, albeit at a hefty cost.

Check if Nest Thermostat Display Is Properly Attached to the Base

Check if the Display of the Nest Thermostat Is Properly Attached to the Base

This can seem like common sense, but if the display has somehow detached from its base the screen can stay blank and unresponsive.

It might not seem detached at first glance, but if there is a slight gap between the display panel and the base it can be a sign of detachment.

This can be caused due to a multitude of reasons, ranging from accidental detachment due to external factors, or even due to a degraded glue layer.

Either way, this can be easily fixed by simply following the steps given below:

  • Detach the Nest Thermostat from its power and disconnect all cables to the unit.
  • Remove the display panel of the Nest Thermostat from its base by carefully pulling it out.
  • Check whether there are any protruding cables. If so, tuck them back into the wall.
  • Carefully arrange and plug in the base connectors to the base of the Nest Thermostat.
  • Reattach the display to the base till you notice an audible click, ensuring the panel has been properly attached.

Check if Nest Thermostat Is Receiving Power to Operate

Check if Nest Thermostat Is Receiving Power to Operate

This can be an overlooked step in most cases as it is quite fundamental when it comes to the operation of the Nest Thermostat, but it is something to check up on.

There can be a case where the Nest Thermostat is not receiving enough power for operations from the circuit breaker.

This can happen if the circuit breaker has switched off due to power issues and simply hasn't been turned on since.

This can be fixed very easily by simply doing the following:

  • Turn off the Nest Thermostat's circuit breaker by first putting it in the OFF position, if it isn't already in that position.
  • Toggle the circuit breaker ON to switch the breaker on.

Check if Batteries Are Properly Charged

Check if Batteries Are Properly Charged

If the batteries inside the Nest Thermostat get low or completely drains, it can also lead to a situation of blank screens.

In such cases, you will need to replace the batteries or charge them up to their optimal power for the proper functioning of their intended operations.

The task of replacing or recharging the batteries depends on what kind of batteries are used on your Nest Thermostat.

If your Nest Thermostat uses AAA alkaline batteries, then it is a simple task of just swapping the batteries inside with a fresh pair.

If your Nest Thermostat uses a system where the batteries are non-swappable, like on the Thermostat E and Learning Thermostat, you need to manually charge it.

Usually, this is not the case, as these batteries automatically charge up via your HVAC system. But there have been reported cases where that fails to occur.

In such cases, you might need to resort to charging the batteries manually using the USB cable that should be provided in the box.

In order to charge your Nest Thermostat manually using a USB cable, simply follow the steps given below:

  • Detach the Nest Thermostat from its power and disconnect all cables to the unit.
  • Remove the display panel of the Nest Thermostat from its base by carefully pulling it out.
  • Identify the USB port inside the unit and insert the USB cable.
  • Connect the other end of the USB cable to a charger. Make sure to not use a high-wattage fast charging adapter to charge the Thermostat.
  • Plug the charger into the power outlet.
  • Once the screen turns on, attach the display panel back to the base unit of the Nest Thermostat.

The charging should take about an hour, and once charged up you can connect the cables to your HVAC system and use the Nest Thermostat as usual.

Check if the HVAC System Is Working Properly

Check if the HVAC System Is Working Properly

If your HVAC is facing issues with a blown fuse or anything related, this can lead to the Nest Thermostat not being charged, and in turn, give you a blank screen.

This unfortunately might not be something you should dabble in fixing on your own unless you are a certified HVAC systems engineer.

It is best to call a professional installer to help you with your quest to patch up your HVAC system and then hopefully make your Nest Thermostat work again.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

If the above troubleshooting steps didn't work in your case, then it is best to contact Nest support and ask them to send a certified technician to check the issue.

I hope my article on how you can fix the black screen issue on your Nest Thermostat has been a helpful read and has aided you with the same.

Have a good day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the average life span of a Nest Thermostat?

A Nest Thermostat can last up to 10 years of regular usage, provided the batteries are regularly changed once its life of 2 to 3 years comes to an end.

Can Nest Thermostats function without WiFi?

Nest Thermostat can perform basic functions without a WiFi connection, but it won't have its reputed smart functionality and will rather work as a regular non-smart Thermostat.

Does Nest Thermostat support an Ethernet connection?

Nest Thermostats do not support a hardwired ethernet connection and rely primarily on the internet provided by a WiFi connection.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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