A Nest in our home

 This isn’t a music education post…it’s a post about a new product, called the Nest.  It’s a wi-fi enabled thermostat that learns your preferences  It’s also customizable.  It’s a $250 purchase, but it will pay itself back in energy savings over time.  It was designed by the father of the iPod, Tony Fadell.

Some tech bloggers have complained about the set-up of the Nest (a “C” connection is typically required, but not connected on all heating systems), but I had tried to install a 3M50 wireless thermostat last summer to no avail.  I tried three different 3M50s, and all failed to connect to the Internet reliably.  I ended up returning that thermostat and getting my $125 back.  I’m glad I did.  At twice the cost, the Nest is 100 times better than the 3M50.

The Nest was well labeled, came with all the accessories I needed (including a multi-purpose screwdriver), and connected in minutes.  The biggest potential issue would be people living in a home without a “C” wire (a “C” wire provides power to the thermostat) and thus might need to pay a specialist to run that wire.  At the same time, most thermostat wiring includes extra wires for situations like these.

The hardest part of the setup was using the click wheel (remember that the designer of this device invented the iPod) to enter my wireless router’s information into the device.  The device then connected to the Internet, downloaded an update, and has been good to go since.  Turning the thermostat up or down is as simple as rotating the clickwheel left or right.  It also has a motion sensor, and if the thermostat senses no motion in your house, it takes your house into energy saving mode (at the temperature you choose).  If you walk past the thermostat, it lights up, and if it saved you energy, it lets you know with a message.  It also indicates if it is heating (glowing orange), cooling (blue), or at temperature black)

The theromstat also comes with iOS and Android apps, allowing you to control the thermostat remotely, and to set heating schedules.  You can have up to five thermostats in one house, and up to two locations (think about the cabin, if you have one).  Our house, like many others, only has one thermostat.

I particuarly like that my wife can control the thermostat in the bedroom, without having to come all the way downstairs.  Sometimes our house seems colder or warmer, even though the thermostat reads a specific temperature…so if that happens in the middle of the night, she can easily adjust the thermostat.

We’re also finding that the house seems warmer…we used to live at 72 degrees (winter), but now have the thermostat set at 71, which still seems warmer than the old thermostat at 72.  The Nest also monitors humidity, and may adjust for the feeling of humdity in the house while heating or cooling to a specific temperature.

We really like our Nest, even though it was expensive.  But I’ve tried other wireless thermostats…some are just as expensive as the Nest…but none are as easy to use or install.  If you’re looking for or even considering a thermostat…check out the Nest.



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