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Keep your home running smoothly even when you’re away.
How homeowners are using connected devices to help when on vacation or renting their place.

Whatever takes you away from home, you’ll always want to know that everything is still in order.

Fortunately, there are things you can get to provide peace of mind when you’re not there, so you can see who’s at the front door, or adjust the temperature to prevent pipes from bursting in the bitter cold. 

Here are some ways you can use smart devices to manage your home remotely.

Keep an eye on your home

When one new dad in California goes on vacation with his wife and their baby, he relies in part on his neighbor Bob to keep an eye on things. But he’s also installed a smart video doorbell so he knows when someone has come to the house – such as to deliver an unexpected package – or if someone is trying to get into the house who shouldn’t be. He gets an alert on his phone, where he can see who’s at the door through the camera on the doorbell.1 The Nest Doorbell even allows you to manage your home remotely by selecting a list of pre-recorded messages when you can't get to the door or speak with your visitor.

For households that leave the cat at home to be fed by a neighbor, the Nest x Yale Lock is an easy way to let them in – either through a custom code you create for them or by unlocking the door remotely through the Google Home app.1 You might also set up Nest Cams in key rooms around the house to provide peace of mind when others are coming into your home and you’re not there. Plus, you can turn it on to keep an eye on kitty if you’re missing her.

Adrienne Preuss and her husband keep an eye on their beach home with Nest Cams pointed strategically around the property. This helps them see through the Google Home app whether the house has suffered any damage from the frequent winter storms. 

“The vast majority of our neighbors there are like us – they’re only there in the summer,” says Preuss. “That means that if something goes wrong in the winter, we likely wouldn’t notice until the start of beach season.” 

People who may be especially worried about emergencies while they’re away can opt into Nest Aware, a service that uses sound detection through connected devices to alert subscribers to specific noises, such as breaking glass.2 When Nest Aware is activated, homeowners are alerted to potential issues through the Google Home app. And if there’s an emergency when they’re away, they can call 911 from the Home app to reach the call center closest to their home.1

Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery)
Learn more about Nest Cam with battery for indoor or outdoor use
Keep the house on schedule

One of the easiest ways to manage your home remotely and make sure your house is safe, secure, and ready upon your return is to set up routines in the Google Home app to automate connected devices. Home & Away Routines can manage Nest thermostats, smart plugs and switches, Nest Cams, and more. Presence sensing can help your devices adjust to your needs when you’re home or away. This includes turning your Nest Cams on automatically when you leave so you can keep an eye on things with the Google Home app.

One family in upstate New York uses Google Assistant routines to turn smart lights on and off when they’re away, or have their connected TV or music on their Nest Audio come on. They like the appearance that someone’s always there.

Keep the temperature just right

When you’re not home, you don’t need the heat or air conditioning at full blast. With the Nest Thermostat, you can set Home & Away Routines to lower energy usage.3 You can also use it to suggest comfortable temperature ranges when guests stay at your house, or set it to adjust automatically in case they forget to turn it down when they leave. And the Google Home app lets you control your thermostat remotely.

For Jake Vest’s family in Chicago, the Nest Thermostat helps keep their second home near Lake Michigan running at optimal temperatures, thanks to its Eco mode. In the winter, that means it doesn’t waste energy heating an empty home, but still keeps the house warm enough to prevent frozen pipes. “It saves money and reduces energy consumption. Win-win,” says Vest. “And, I can make sure the house is at a comfortable temperature when guests arrive.”

HVAC monitoring4 alerts in the Google Home app let the Nest family know if everything is functioning as it should. If it takes longer than usual to warm up the house, or the heat shuts off by itself, a notification will go out.

Your home is a special place. Smart devices can help you stay connected to it even when you’re thousands of miles away.

When you want to see how your house is doing, Nest Cams can be your eyesYour home can remain at the right temperature while you’re away – and you can adjust it from afarIt’s easy to manage everything through the Google Home app on your phone
Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery)
Learn more about Nest Cam with battery for indoor or outdoor use
Related products
Nest x Yale Lock
Nest Thermostat
Nest Doorbells (wired or battery)
Nest Protect smoke and CO alarm
Nest Hub Max
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  1. Some features, including mobile notifications, remote control, video streaming, and video recording, require working internet and Wi-Fi. Learn more at

  2. Nest Aware subscription required (sold separately).

  3. Independent studies conducted in the US showed that Nest thermostats saved people an average of 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Individual savings are not guaranteed. Learn more at

  4. Alerts can notify you of a potential issue with an eligible HVAC system. They’re meant to provide helpful information, not an endorsement, representation, or warranty of any kind about the health of your HVAC system. Alerts aren’t intended to replace a diagnosis by a qualified HVAC professional.