NEST: the heaven-sent gadget that's cutting our energy bills

You may have already heard of Nest, but it seems there is a large number of people who haven't. We have one, and it's really been a great investment for us, so I thought I'd share a little about our experience with it.

What is it?
Nest is a digital thermostat that learns what temperatures you like, when you are home, when you are away, and what the weather in your area is like. It uses these factors and automatically adjusts your heater and air conditioner. It replaces your old thermostat and is accessible physically OR online/through apps. So, yes, I can change my home's temperature from any room in the house, with my phone OR, even from work!

How does Nest learn?
Light and motion sensors aid Nest in figuring out when people are home and moving about the house. During the first week after installation, it operates in learning mode and you manually adjust the thermostat to the temperatures you like (just like you normally would with your own thermostat). After about a week, it memorizes your patterns and automatically makes your house comfortable.

Is it easy to install?
Yup! I think it took my husband less than ten minutes, and he's never messed with thermostats before. Also, our thermostat was super old before (think 1971) and the modification was still no biggie.

How does it cut energy usage/costs?
By learning when you're home, and recognizing when no one is home, Nest only runs your heating/cooling unit when it's necessary. Also, it automatically switches your unit from what used to be your "on" mode to your "auto" mode, so it's only cooling and heating as long as necessary -- then it switches to fan mode and blows air from the unit once it's heated or cooled. The heating and cooling process is far more costly than the fan, so by using the fan alone when possible (while still maintaining your comfort zone temperatures) you save money.

I like charts and digital info, what's Nest got for me?
Charts and digital info. No joke. You can use the app, scroll through screens on the Nest itself or go online to see how many hours your heater/ac ran in a day/week, when usage was higher and why ("The a.c. was used more this week as outside temperatures rose 20% from the previous week" or "You were home 8 hours more this week and manually turned the ac on more often than usual").

So, what's it cost and where do you get it?
About $229-249 (depending on whether you buy the first or second generation version - we have the first, and it's great) from Nest directly, Amazon, The Apple Store, Best Buy or Lowe's
It may sound like a lot of money for a thermostat, but if you think about the fact that it'll likely cut your cooling/heating costs by 20-25%, it's totally worthwhile.

For a better summary, check out Nest's demo video:
If you have any other specific questions, I'll do my best to answer, just leave them in the comments :)

1 comment:

  1. Who knew a thermostat could be a discussion piece? This one is. I got it mounted and running (connected to home network) in 30 minutes. The directions were good enough. It is a solid, well-built piece of technology that looks great on the wall. The website is informative. The android app works as advertised (some interesting tidbits to explore). We've named it Cyclops.



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