Nest Thermostat

I installed one of these beauties over the weekend.  It was easy to install, and has a beautiful user interface that blows every other programmable thermostat away.  And I can change it via a web interface, which is handy if I forgot to change it before I left town.

It remains to be seen if it actually saves money.   It is a very satisfying piece of gear, though.   It has that Apple kind of industrial design, which is unsurprising since it was designed by ex-Apple folks.  It is currently in its learning mode where it learns where we like to set it at different times and days of the week.   Maybe these guys can turn their attention to lawn sprinkler controls next, as that is another industrial design / user interface nightmare.


  1. John Anderson:

    I'm jealous. A friend has one, and he loves it.

  2. kay:

    I absolutely adore my Nest. The coolest part is that sometime after I installed mine, it informed me that over the previous night, Nest had downloaded a whole new interface and additional features. It was like buying a brand-new, up-to-date thermostat without leaving the house. I also can't resist checking on it from work. Not because I want to change anything, but just because I can. Have to agree with you about the design. So very slick.

  3. DoctorT:

    Programmable thermostats are of little value if someone is always at home. The best way to save energy costs is to have room-specific adjustable heating and cooling, but almost no homes have the equipment to achieve that.

    If one has a regular schedule for being home and away, the standard inexpensive programmable thermostats are not that difficult to operate. (I've used three different brands without problems and without having to read a manual.)

  4. Scott Grannis:

    I have had two Nests (one upstairs, one downstairs) for about 4 months, and I also think they are really nifty. Not only are they self-programming, they can also detect when no one is in the house and adjust temperature settings accordingly. I am sure this feature alone has saved me money, since I am away frequently and almost never adjusted my old programmable thermostat before leaving since it was a tremendous hassle. Also, being able to check on the status of the thermostat remotely via the web is really nice since it gives me the outside temperature plus the inside temperature, plus the thermostat settings, plus a record of how long heating or cooling was in operation over each day of the most recent week, and when/if the house was unoccupied.

  5. IGotBupkis, Poking Fun At President Downgrade For 4 Years and Counting...:

    There are some interesting limits, though, on its capabilities -- for example, in learning mode, it apparently can't switch between heating and cooling (wtf?). Read the comments at the link, there's more there criticizing its limitations. The point of relevance given was in Arizona, where part of the year it would get into the 80s during the day, and drop to the 50s at night. The Nest does have Range mode which can do that, but it's not possible in learning mode. It also sounded from the comments as though you could not switch heating to cooling via the web interface, but I might be wrong about that.

  6. Philip Ngai:

    Nest could be even more efficient if there were networked motion detectors that could be placed in each room to detect more effectively when anyone is home and heating/cooling should be enabled.

    From there, further energy/convenience benefits could be had by controlling lighting as well.

    The next step could be integration into a home security system. At this point, networked and easy to install video cameras would be a nice extension to the system. In addition, the thermostats could declare a fire if the temperature exceeded a threshold (150 degrees perhaps).

    I do agree lawn sprinkler controllers could be greatly improved in terms of ease of use. There is also plenty of room for being more green in terms of including inputs on rainfall and temperature to calculate total water applied (sprinkler + rain) and total water lost (temperature and wind dependent) to determine how much additional water needs to be added.

  7. Dan Hill:

    I've got the gadget lust for this thing real bad, but with the price of gas going through the floor, my heating bill is now so low that it would take years to get a payback on this. I'm assuming though in a couple of years this will be less than a hundred bucks. Hard as it is for me to say as an 'early adopter', I will just have to wait.

  8. CTD:

    It's a beautiful piece of tech, but Coyote, you're deluding yourself if you think a $250 thermostat is ever going to save you money. You can get a programmable on one at Lowe's for $30 or so.

  9. Rob:

    Will pets trigger the ocupancy sensor?

  10. Doug:

    I'm waiting for the complaints to come in about "a closed system." How long will it be before someone jailbreaks a Nest thermostat?

  11. Ted Rado:

    I have a manually adjusted thermostat which I reset usually twice a day. I turn it down at night and up in the morning. If it is warm during the day and cool at night, I may also have to switch from cool to heat and vice versa. I do not find poking the thermostat with my finger a couple of times per day unbearably exhausting. What gives with you guys? Do you have a broken index finger or do you just love gadgets? If the object is to save money, keep the house warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. Presto! Lower utility bills! If the object is comfort, set the thermostat where you please and enjoy.