Over the summer, my wife and I bought a house.
When it started to get cold here in the Northeast, we decided to get a Nest thermostat.
Nest is a company co-founded by Tony Fadell, who built the original iPod. Fadell is CEO, and his mission to improve the “unloved” products in our homes, like the thermostat. Recently, Nest launched the Nest Protect, a smoke detector.
The Nest thermostat is an Internet connected device that learns your habits and adjusts automatically after figuring out when you’re home and when you’re away. It also has a smartphone app that can control the thermostat remotely.
Prior to installing the Nest, we just had a normal thermostat that was entirely manual. It did its job, but we had to always remember to adjust the temperature. One weekend, we left the house and forgot to turn down the heat, so we were burning money. Other times, we would be in the house, turn down the heat before going to bed, but would wake up freezing.
After a week or so in the cold weather, we decided to get a Nest. I didn’t do much research into rival thermostats. I had heard good things about the Nest. I liked the company and the CEO, so I decided to dive in.
The Nest is $US250, which makes it more expensive than any similar thermostat we’ve seen on Amazon.
I think it’s worth the money because it’s easy to use, it works brilliantly with my phone, and it should save me money this winter.
Here’s a run down of my experience with Nest after two weeks.
Installation was a snap. If you’re worried about installing a Nest, you shouldn’t be. I just took off my thermostat’s face plate, and snapped a photo of the wires underneath.
On Nest’s website, a few check boxes made sure my house was compatible with the thermostat. After I bought the thermostat, I just screwed in a base plate, snapped in the next piece then reconnected the wires. From there, I had to punch in my WiFi password, then Nest did a software update and I was pretty much good to go.
Except, I wasn’t! I mis-connected one of the wires. I had the Rh mixed up with the Rc, or something like that. Nest’s website very quickly helped me figure out the mistake, and I was all set.
It took about a week for the Nest to figure out our schedule. For the first week, we were controlling the Nest either manually, or through the Nest app. Then, after a week, the thermostat decided to take over.
The problem with Nest’s automated system is that we don’t have a truly routine schedule. Some nights we’re home from work at 7 PM. Other nights we don’t come back, we go out with friends. On the weekends, it’s a total crap shoot. We’ve been out of the house a lot on the weekends, so the Nest has no clue about what to do.
The good thing, though, is that the Nest’s smartphone app lets us control the thermostat. I love, love, love the ability to control the thermostat from my phone. During the first week, we would turn on the Nest on the train on the way home, so it was warmed up when we got home. Or, I could wake up, grab my phone and turn up the heat.
That said, the app still needs a little bit of fine tuning. You can set up a schedule for the thermostat through the app, but it’s not the best experience. I’d like to see it work more like a calendar app, maybe. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but there’s something ever so slightly off about it. Overall, I think the app and the scheduling are gold, but they could use some refinement.
Bottom line: I’m thrilled with the Nest and would recommend it to just about anyone.
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