Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Although I am a (fairly) young guy I have always been pretty pragmatic and very logical. The same goes when Christmas comes around. Over the last 8-10 years I have been getting grief from my family regarding my gift wishes, some of which have included a new vacuum cleaner, cook wear, wool sweaters, etc. This year’s wish list include a new house thermostat. But not just any old thermostat… a NEST! And to my surprise and excitement I unwrapped the gift that keeps on giving, warmth and cooling at least.

If you are unaware of the wonderful splendiferousness of the Nest, it is more than just a programmable thermostat but a Hal like self-teaching thermostat. It takes about a week of human to machine interaction and then goes self-aware like Skynet.  Except the goal of this device is to keep you comfortable and save on energy bills, not enslave and exterminate.  Nest was co-founded by ex-Apple engineers, which you can easily tell from the get go by its clean lines and packaging that takes you on an emotional journey.

The Nest is capable of running heat, air conditioning, humidifiers, and I’m sure launch a Russian built satellite into orbit. Our system is heat only but I think I might be able to wire it into our future whole house fan… fingers crossed. The installation is really straight forward and comes with an outstanding manual, but if you are even slightly confused or have questions their help line is quick and extremely friendly. There is a disclaimer seal on the box that is quite insistent that you call or email ahead to make sure your HVAC system is compatible; which ours was, but I called anyway. You can actually take a picture with your Smartphone, email it to them, and they will send you back a custom diagram suited for your installation. Really cool!

I have a two wire system, so I felt a little dumb, but what the hell the guy was nice and I didn't feel like I had to explain myself. The diagram came, I unwired the old thermostat and wired up the Nest. 

The screen welcome was so exciting I made a girly noise and made Megs come look. The set up took about 10 minutes by answering questions such as zip code, wi-fi data, and personal information. 

From there the unit searched for updates, churned, bubbled, and finally gave me back control to tune my house temperature at my lease. That latter part I could always do, but the pleasure of the action changed immensely.

The well diagrammed and easy to read pamphlet that come within the packaging says the Nest will require about 7 days worth of human to machine activity, which means when you wake up turn the temp up to where you want it, when you leave or go to bed turn it down. 4 days in the NEST kicked on automatically at 5:45am! When I approached my precious, it sensed my presence and the screen read “The NEST will now make your life more better”… not really but it prompted me that I was no longer needed. AWESOME!

If by now you have not realized that I think this simple device will make me more handsome and smarter you do not get my humor. I love this thing. I also love the fact that it will generate daily reports of how long the furnace has run, the program time and temperatures, and how much energy it has saved you. The last feature I can rave about on the nest is the little green leaf icon that comes on when either you or the Nest is saving energy. If you turn down your heat even one or two degrees the leaf pops up making you feel warm and fuzzy inside despite the fact it is getting colder in the house. My family has decided that the leaf feel good I get does not equal the life sustaining heat that they need… whiners!

To add to the awesome/ creepy factor is a feature that “knows” when you are in the house and when you have left for the day, or at least a part of it. It senses you have left and turns town the heat/ cold to a base set point, for our house that is 58 degrees. When you walk in from being away for a days outing the house is cold but instantly kicks back on like a welcome home gift. I swear one time I heard it whisper…  “I missed you”.

I have drank the Kool-aid and can’t say enough good things about this product. Because I am a nerdy engineer, I will be comparing year over year heating costs to see just how much energy it has saved us and will provide an upcoming report out, even with this Arctic Vortex on full blast. Megs has already started mumbling about the Nest fire and CO2 monitor that they have released and I am fully on board. Bring it on!

1 comment:

  1. Your wish of having a thermostat has finally been granted. This will surely be very convenient for you, since you can save on your energy bills and maximize the efficiency of your heating system. Anyway, thanks for sharing some helpful information about it. A lot of people will surely find these helpful when they shop for a thermostat for their house.

    Shelley Coday @ C & C