Nest, the smart thermostat owned by Google, has been hit with a software glitch that has seen a number of devices turning themselves off and leaving owners in the cold. A botched software update caused the thermostat's batteries to drain or repeatedly switch on and off which meant it failed to heat homes or provide hot water to many.

Disgruntled Nest owners took to Twitter and websites to complain of the fault, with some claiming of waking up in the early hours to freezing temperatures and the fear of burst water pipes as a result of the device going down. Some are even reverting back to their old, cheap thermostats in order to fix the problem.

The £200 smart device is a learning thermostat that connects to the internet and allows home owners to control their heating from anywhere with their mobile phones. Over time it also learns the occupants' routine of being at home or away and will automatically adjust the temperature to save you money on energy bills.

Nest has responded to the fault, which has been traced back to a December 4.0 firmware roll-out as well as stating some hardware issues such as incompatible boilers or old air filters a possible cause.

"In some cases, this may cause the device to respond slowly or become unresponsive. We are working on a solution which we expect to roll out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, performing a manual restart of the thermostat will help until a fix is put in place," said a Nest spokesperson.

Nest has since rolled out a 4.0.1 software update which claims to have solved the issue for 99.5% of affected owners. However if you're still experiencing problems Next support has a 10-step guide to manually troubleshooting unresponsive devices.