The Nest WiFi Enabled Thermostat

I picked up two Nest thermostats (http://nest.com/) a while back.  One for my office and one for my home.  I followed their instructions, and before I bought it I took a picture of my old thermostats wiring.  Then going to the nest website, I plugged in my information to see if the Nest would work for my systems.  Both cases came back thumbs up.  So I ordered two of the 2nd generation Nests.

The install was super easy.  It came with everything I needed, including a screwdriver.  The Nest came with a sheet of stickers so I could label my current wires.  After that I removed my old thermostat and replaced it with the base for the Nest.  It even came with an integrated spirit level to make sure it went on level.  After that it was a simple matter of plugging the wires into their corresponding slots.  Then the Nest unit snapped on. 2013-04-18 18.43.20

In my home I just installed the round Nest unit.  At my office, since the old unit had a large locking case around the unit, I had a bit of ugly unpainted wall exposed.  The Nest comes with a rectangular plate that I installed and that covered up my unpainted area.  It finished it off nice and professional like.

Once the Nest was turned on, I used their very simple menu to connect it to the WiFi.  The outer silver ring spins to let you move between screens, and there is a black button at the bottom of the faceplate to select a choice.  Inputting the password for the WiFi made me feel a little like a safe cracker as I spun the dial back and forth.  The only thing that might ultimately make the Nest better is if it had a touch screen, but I honestly didn’t really need that.  Once connected it started a firmware update.  This took longer than the rest of the installation.2013-04-17 18.59.47

After the firmware update, I had to connect my Nest to my account.  This was a simple matter of going into a menu that gave me a 7 digit pin code (3 numbers and a 4 letter word which made it easy to remember) that I had to take back to my computer and enter in.  Once connected I could adjust my settings.  I set mine to keep my house within a set comfort range while I was there, no lower than 67 no higher than 76.  When I was away I told it to keep it within a temperature range of 57 to 80.  I also told it to start learning my habits.

Now on my account I was able to set two separate locations, Home and Office.  Each one got its own Nest which I am able to set independently of each other.  This makes it easy to monitor each separately.  The office can be on away while I am at home and vice versa. 

I also installed the Nest App on my Phone.  I am using an Android phone, so that is the App I am familiar with.  I can go in to see what the temperature is at each location and I can control it such as manually set it away or there, adjust the temperature up or down.  This comes in handy when we have been traveling when it has been cold out.  I can go on and wake up the Nest at home and tell it to start warming things up about an hour before I get back home.  No more coming back to a cold house, at least when I remember to turn it on.

The Nest has a motion sensor in it.  This allows it to detect if people are moving about.  If it detects movement, it keeps the temperatures at wherever I have set them to be.  If it has not sensed any movement for a couple of hours, it switches to the away temperatures.  After a while it can start to learn your patterns and can anticipate when to start heating or cooling your home or office.  It is amazing how much energy you can save by not having the AC running when there is no one in the house.

At the office, we used to have a large locking box that the thermostat was in.  this was so that people would not screw with the settings.  It was an old thermostat, so I had to check to make sure it was set for the evening and each morning when I got in.  With the away feature I am no longer worried about that, and leave it open and unlocked.  Though if I were concerned with people messing with the thermostat, I can go into setting and put the lock on.  Then I would have to enter a code to manually change the thermostat at the device.  This can also keep the kids from playing with it at your home, I am sure my parents would have loved that feature when I was growing up.

You can also manually program temperature settings.  You can do this by each day, and set different rangers for different times.  If you want to get obsessive about it you can program out your whole week.  I usually rely just on the home and away temps I programmed in and let the motion sensor keep an eye on which to use.  Though I will admit to more than once sitting in bed and thinking it was a little warm and using my phone to kick the temperature down a couple of degrees without ever leaving bed.

The Nest will send me an email report once a month.  This report tells me how long the Nest ran my AC and my heater.  If I was more detail I can go one the computer and get a breakdown of how long the AC ran and how long the heater ran and exactly when during each day it did each.  I have already noticed a significant decrease in my heating and cooling costs since installing the Nest.2013-04-18 18.43.07

I personally think the Nest is brilliant.  It is clean and modern looking.  It allows me to totally control my environment, without ever getting up from my desk or out of bed.  It lets me keep an eye on the temperature even when I am away, and it keeps me informed with monthly reports.  This is exactly how a thermostat should work while we are living in the future.

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