One of my biggest weaknesses is gadgets. I’ve always been a first adapter to anything new and cool (yes I had a laser disc player and lots of movies for it). If it wasn’t for my impuse on all the cool gadgets I had to have I’d most likely be a lot closer to my millions by now. So it came as no surprise (to me at least) when I was walking around lowes and I came upon this cool display for this new thermostat. I know your are thinking to yourself “cool thermostat, wtf?” but yes it is very cool.
The Nest Smart Thermostat looks like Hal from Space Odesey 2001, at least thats what I first thought of. It is very simple in looks and function just like an ipod or iphone. This comes as no surprise as the founder and creator along with a fair amount of his team were involved in the making and designing of the ipod and iphone for apple.
What is the Nest
The Nest is a learning thermostat. Most programable thermostats these days are about as much fun to set up as programing your VCR (remember those?) So most dont even bother, just turn it on at some point then off if you remember. The Nest has a very sophisticated AI that learns from your use of the device and programs schedules by itself. So after a few days of you setting the temp you want at different times you will no longer have to as it will take over from there.
It is also so simple to operate. No buttons or switches it is just one big dial that you turn to set the temp you wish. The display screen will then show the current temp along with the target temp and change to red for heat and blue for cool, and look good at the same time. With a built in motion sensor just wave your hand in front to see current conditions. even shows a little green leaf when your setting is energy efficient, kinda of like a little prize for making Al Gore happy.
You can also press in the unit like a button to get the menu options for doing all your set up functions.
There is an app for that!
Nest is also WiFi enabled and will quickly connect to your wireless network effortlessly. This allows it to get software updates automatically as well as check local weather conditions itself! The best part of being WiFi? You guessed it there’s an app for it, for both iPad and iPhone (ok theres one for you androids as well).With the app you can control your thermostat from anywhere, yes anywhere your device has internet access (you do need to sign up for a free Nest account). Just open the app and click the bubble (which shows the current temp setting) it will in large and look just like the display on your Nest unit, showing you the current temp and the setting. You just adjust up or down!You also get information at a glance such as the current temp inside your house, the setting as well as the humidity.With the app you can also view the schedule Nest has set up for you, as well as edit it or set up your own.Nest also keeps records of your energy use, showing the times your air/heat was running with little notes on how you saved energy. The company will alos use this data for improving their software and most likely data on energy use. Now for all you conspiracy nuts out there I’m sure they will not turn you in to the green police if you are using to much energy.
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Breeze to set up
Installation and set up of the Nest will take most people less than 20 mins, its that easy. Their website has videos to walk you through it and the instructions that come with it are easy to follow. Basically you just remove your old unit, marking the wires (typically there are 4 sometimes 5). Next install the Nest base (it even has a built in level bubble for you) and connect the wires back. After that just plug in the Nest to the base and it will start up on its own and walk you through the set up (which just takes a couple mins). Thats it!
When connected it even senses what wires you have hooked up and will guess the type of unit you have. If you connect the wires wrong it will even tell you so (but be careful some wrongs can damage the unit to). During the set up you will connect to your wifi, enter your zip code and set min and max temps for when you are away.
If you do run into trouble their support is awesome. I did have an issue and called them up and we determined I need a 5th wire for a ground. Wire was already there and took me an additional 5 mins.
When done and its running you can then download your apps and sign up for your nest.com account. Running the app for the first time will have you log in and it will then find your nest unit on your network, all in 5 mins tops.
More than good looks
Yes this device will look like a piece of art on your wall, it even is packaged like the iphone in a artsy box, and be your new cool toy for awhile but it will also help you to save money and energy. I’ll admit neither of those crossed my mind when I bought it though 🙂
One way is the remote access mentioned above. Just last week this came in handy. Normally when you leave the house and you want to come home to a comfortable environment instead of a sauna you would set your thermostat for that target temp and leave. Your AC would then start running with no one at home. This time I cranked it up to turn the unit off and went on my mary way. Then about 30 mins before I was to arrive home I opened my app and saw the house was at 83 (no bueno) so set the temp to 76 and by the time I got home it was nice and comfy 🙂
Another way the Nest saves you money is built right in to its AI, again I didnt know this till I got home and read about it but great bonus! Its called Airwave and it works to save you about 30% of energy. Basically your AC has a condensor unit wich pumps coolant into the pipes that your fan then blows air across to cool down your home. Most AC’s will run this constantly will it is on it is a big part of the energy consumption. Now if you shut the condensor off for a bit the pipes still remain cold for a period of time. Thats what your Nest does, during times of low humidity, it will shut down your condensor from time to time saving you energy while still cooling the house.
The nest after time will also learn your away times and go into away mode, incase you forget to shut it down!
Best impulse buy!
Yes I will admit it was an impulse buy, based on the coolness factor alone (yes Andrea I used a credit Card), but it turns out that we are already saving money so it turns out to be practical as well. Nest estimates that most will recover the cost of the device in a year or two. It is a bit pricey compared to your regular thermostats at $249 but it dont forget its cool (and saves you money)
You can grab the Nest Learning Thermostat at amazon.com and have it at your house the next day if you wish and start saving money tomorrow!
Links on this post are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you decide to purchase, which I hope you will and it will be greatly appreciated!