Google explains why your Nest Cam and Doorbell batteries are acting all wonky this winter

And the suggested workaround is … warmth


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Google’s battery-powered Nest Cam and Nest Doorbell provide some smarter security for your home with flexible placement options, thanks to their portable power source. But if you’ve installed them outdoors and, like many, have noticed that the batteries aren’t lasting as long when the temperature falls below freezing, you’re not alone. The company has heard these complaints and is now providing its customers with an explanation.

9to5Google spotted a Nest support article that details what’s going on and, more importantly, why some devices are facing problems. As it turns out, while both products will function within a pretty wide temperature range – between -4 ° F (-20 ° C) and 104 ° F (40 ° C) – battery performance will degrade significantly once the outdoor thermometer reads below 32 ℉ (0 ℃). Once the temp is below freezing, the batteries will not charge, even if you’re running wired power to them. Compounding the problem, they may also discharge up to 2X faster than in warmer weather, meaning they’ll need a recharge even sooner.

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Here’s the good news: should the batteries completely discharge in your Nest Cam, it will continue to function using hardwired electricity (unless the power source is a solar panel accessory, as that only charges the battery and does not power the camera directly). Unfortunately, the Nest Doorbell only works from battery power, as the wired power source is exclusively used to charge the battery. As such, in prolonged cold weather, your doorbell could stop working altogether.

To see if freezing temperatures are affecting your battery, you can access the device in the Google Home app and look for “Charging paused” or “Charging slowly,” along with an unusually long estimated charge time. Unfortunately, Google’s only recommendation for working around this issue is to bring the device inside, where it’s warmer, to charge it.

Finally, the support article states that temperatures beyond the upper limit of 104 ° F (40 ° C) do not affect the charging of the batteries. So, if you’re lucky enough to live in a tropical climate, you will not likely run into this particular problem.


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