Posted on September 18, 2015
Okay folks this page is a review of the Nest Learning Thermostat, a recent impulse purchase I made, yes I am a sucker for gadgets but a recently had some good fortune and was looking around for something to spend it on, as you do
Now when I first saw the price of the Nest thermostat I nearly choked as it’s a fair chunk of change to shell out for a device to turn your heating on and off, but being the inquisitive type I had to check this device out and find out what it can do compared to standard stats, and I have to say so far I am impressed with unit so I will share my findings here with you.
Overview Of The Nest
First off this unit looks really nice and neat, not like the ugly square boxes most of these temperature control devices seem to be, this thing looks like it came from an Italian design studio. The Nest is also very nicely made, really good quality with a solid feel to it as you would expect for this money. The front is covered with curved glass and it turns really smoothly when adjusting it.
The display for the temperature is digital with very sharp white lettering and scales on either a blue, black or red background, this arrangement is very pleasing to the eye and really does make a normally mundane-looking object into a thing of beauty.
Also set in the display is a little green leaf that illuminates when energy is being conserved, more about this shortly. The casing is brushed stainless steel and once again the quality is flawless. So it looks really cool but how easy was the Nest to fit and program, lets look at installation first…
Installation Of The Nest Thermostat
Installing the Nest is simplicity itself for anyone with just a modicum of DIY skill, although if you are not comfortable playing with electrical wiring you are advised to get someone to do it for you, but it really is simple and no special tools are required. To do it yourself start by turning of the power to your heating system this should be a separate circuit buy if not and you are unsure just turn of the main switch in the fuse box or consumer unit. Remove the existing room stat from the wall label the wires so you know where they go.
Remove the mounting plate for the old unit and then install the base plate for the Nest unit, once this is firmly in place push the wires into their locations, these are spring connectors no need for a screwdriver as there are no terminals. Once the wires are in place locate the Nest Thermostat onto its base plate and that’s it you are done. Turn the mains power back on.
In case you were wondering about leaving holes in the wall because of the different size of the unit you are replacing, don’t worry on this score as the Nest Thermostat
comes with a fitting pack that includes three sizes of plates that will cover almost every size of hole in addition to a special adapter plate to cover most standard electrical boxes.
If your old thermostat happens to be a circular one then this is even better as the Nest can be mounted directly on the wall and no adapter plates will be required.
With everything fitted and working now comes the fun part, and that is programming this little beauty.
There is no real point in repeating to you how I installed my unit as your wall and fittings may be different but in any event every unit comes with easy to follow step by step instructions and there are many videos around to help you if you need it like the one on this page, all you have to do is follow them and you will be up and running in no time, they are not complicated at all and are a far cry from trying to set up the old mechanical units, the big difference with the Nest is that it will be connecting to the internet
You just need to enter a few settings like a name for the unit, as you may have more than one, some data to enter as regards what system(s) you are controlling, it actually ‘knows’ what is connected you just need to confirm. Your location by State and Zip code and the time and date, you may also want to set the maximum and minimum temperatures for heating and cooling when the house is unoccupied, although this is automatically set at default levels.
When all the data is set the unit will then generate a code for you which is then used to activate your online account. Once activated the unit will go through its activation cycle, this may take thirty minutes or so during which time it may appear to acting strangely and start switching things on and off again, once the cycle is complete it should then function normally. Written down it all seems rather complicated but it is a snap to set up.
Initial Programming Procedure
Well yes you have got to give it something to work with it’s not that clever, but this is super-easy because it’s done on your computer screen.
Obviously you need to set up a Nest account online, this is necessary for the operation and is where you enter the code the unit generated earlier, once this is done you are now connected to the unit and can begin entering your day to day temperature settings and timings. It sounds geeky but the programming screen is a grid showing Monday through to Sunday in rows and the timings in columns from 24.00 hours to 24.00 hours in intervals of 15 minutes.
All you have to do is highlight a day, click the add button on the bottom right this brings up a graphic showing the temperature in the middle. Drag the graphic to the Day and Time. Click on the up or down arrows that appear when hovering over the graphic to adjust the temperature. That’s all there is to it, one time and temperature event is added to whatever day you had highlighted, now just repeat this this operation for all the days depending on your own domestic arrangements, if any days have the same settings you can just copy them in required row. Once programming is complete the Nest will immediately become active and start following the timings you have set, you can change any settings at any time quite easily. The display on the screen is excellent and really easy to follow and see at a glance what’s going on.
Why The Nest Thermostat Is So Cool
After a few days the Nest can actually sense when the house is occupied. and so it begins to learn when the house is empty and starts adjusting the program steps accordingly, from what ever the original program settings were, it does this as a continuous process, so if your domestic arrangements change the Nest will change the heating or cooling cycles accordingly without you ever having to touch it or fiddle about reprogramming the unit.
There are sensors built into the Nest so if it detects someone standing in front of it then it will light up the display and show the ambient room temperature and what the program setting is. If On a heating cycle the background glows red, and if it has switched on the air conditioner or cooling fans then the background color turns to blue, if it is currently doing neither then the background will be plain black. The current settings can be manually overridden by just turning the dial clockwise or counter-clockwise to increase or lower the temperature of the house or room.
The Nest is just so simple to understand and operate even without any instructions, and far easier than some of the devices you may find in hotel rooms so if you can work those you will have no trouble at all.
After a few days the Nest can actually sense when the house is occupied. and so it begins to learn when the house is empty and starts adjusting the program steps accordingly, from whatever the original program settings were, it does this as a continuous process, so if your domestic arrangements change the Nest will change the heating or cooling cycles accordingly without you ever having to touch it or fiddle about reprogramming the unit.
Another cool thing the Nest does is connect to a weather forecasting site, based on your Zip code it uses current and predicted variations in temperature data to assist in anticipating what your heating or cooling system needs to be doing, for example if the weather is going to become suddenly cold it will turn the furnace or boiler on that much earlier than normal to compensate for the cold snap and try and bring the house to the programmed temperature at the set time.
But this device has another trick up its sleeve, because of the internet connection it is possible (using an App) to log into your account on the Nest website and view the current readings from the thermostat on a simple and intuitive web page, the current temperature in your house, whether it is heating, cooling or idling and you can also increase or reduce the degree settings as required, you can do this from any computer, iphone or Android phone that has the required App installed and you can of course use this facility while at home if you are really lazy!
Closing Summary And Customer Reviews
So in summary then if you like great gadgets although quite costly, The Nest Learning Thermostat is as cool as they come, and there is nothing quite like saying to people in the office before you leave for home, “It’s got very hot/cold I better just call my thermostat and tell it to switch the heating/air conditioning on early”
Right now these units are pretty expensive but I believe if they catch on then prices are likely to fall especially when the big companies get involved with the manufacture of the technologies involved, I just couldn’t wait because I love gadgets like this, and if you get one I’m sure you will too.
This is how all thermostats should be – easy to use, stylish, and control your systems without any further intervention, there’s no way I am going back to the old type after using this unit, this is a really useful item to have in the home, I love it and give it five stars.
If You are still on the fence read some more customer reviews here I’m sure like me you won’t be disappointed at your purchase especially when you start saving a packet on wasted energy.
I did plenty of research before buying but as usual found Amazon to be the cheapest for this unit, you might like to see if the Nest is on special offer here
Unlike many products that come and go The Nest Learning Thermostat is the recipient of many awards and has been recognized by some heavy hitters as one of the most innovative energy-saving products of this generation.