I’m sure many of you have heard about or seen television commercials for Nest thermostats. At the time of this writing, the typical cost for a 2nd generation Nest thermostat is about $200. They do periodically go on sale which can save you anywhere from $20-$50. Prior to my better half wanting to buy one, I was very skeptical that we needed one for our house. However, since we replaced our old programmable thermostat more than a year ago with the smarter Nest thermostat I will admit that I have become a true fan.
GREAT PHONE SUPPORT
We did have some technical issues with the original Nest thermostat that we purchased at our local hardware store, but the people who work at the Nest support hotline are very well qualified and were able to provide extensive help and support over the phone to get all of our issues resolved. To be honest, the Nest hotline provided the best phone support that I’ve ever experienced before or since.
MORE THAN A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
By itself, I believe a standard $25 programmable thermostat can accomplish most of the basic tasks that are performed by the Nest. They can both be programmed to heat or cool at certain times of the day according to your personal schedule and preference. The Nest also has a self learning mode which I don’t use. It can learn your temperature preferences and program itself to mimic the settings that you desire so that you don’t have to fuss with programming it yourself.
However, the true power of the Nest becomes apparent when it is combined with the smart phone app. This is when it becomes far more powerful than the typical garden variety thermostat. With a touch of a virtual button on my phone, I can tell the Nest to turn the heat/ac on or off. As I’m rushing out the door, I can tell Nest to enter Away mode and suspend itself until I return. When I complete whatever I left the house to do (ie. work, shopping, dining out, etc.) I can tell the Nest that I am on my way home and I want the house to be restored to a comfortable temperature before I set foot inside the door. This is really a great feature during the height of Summer or Winter. It’s not fun to walk inside your house when it feels as hot as an oven or as cold as a freezer.
The Nest will also tell you what it considers to be reasonable cooling or heating temperatures by means of displaying a green leaf when it thinks your thermostat setting is “green” or friendly to our environment (and to your pocketbook). According to the official website, Nest thermostat owners typically save 10% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.
The Nest also tracks monthly usage and once a month it will email you a progress report that tells you how much you have been using your HVAC. This can help you analyze your bill and, if necessary, make modifications to reduce your utility costs. The report tells you if your usage has gone up or down and how you compare with nearby Nest users. If your usage is way out of line with your neighbors, this could indicate that you are overworking your HVAC or that your house may have other problems like poor insulation or drafts.
When I am on vacation, with the phone app, I can monitor the temperature and humidity in the house. This is especially useful for extreme weather climates where there may be a danger of the pipes freezing and bursting. During Christmas vacation, I sometimes leave my home to spend time with relatives who live in other states. While I am away, if a cold arctic blast rolls into town and drops outdoor temperatures to dangerously cold levels, I can tell my Nest to raise the heat inside the house to counter the cold outdoors and protect the pipes in the house.
Before I purchased a Nest thermostat, I was always fearful of leaving the house alone during Winter months in fear that when I returned I would find that a pipe had frozen and burst and flooded my house. So I would often decline requests from relatives to spend Christmas at their house. With my Nest thermostat, that is no longer a big concern for me and I have regained the good graces of my relatives who thought I was paranoid or antisocial.
BENEFITS OF A NEST
When all is said and done, the added comfort, peace of mind, and utility savings that the Nest thermostat gives my family make it easily worth the initial cost. I also view it as an investment in the value of my home that will be an additional selling point in the future when it is time for me to move.
I’m not a Nest salesperson and I don’t receive any rewards for helping to promote Nest products, but when my friends and family ask me how I like my Nest thermostat, I honestly tell them that I love it!