A while back, Google partnered with Nest, a company that focuses on reducing waste and using energy wisely by using some ingenious technology. Because of that partnership, a lot of attention was brought up, specifically with their learning thermostat, which really caught my eye. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it’s basically a “smart” thermostat; It uses newer technology and special algorithms
to learn your schedule and save you money. There’s dozens of neat features built into it, and many more to come based on their community (which is surprisingly active). Let me just mention ahead of time that this review is going to be pretty extensive, so bare with the giant walls of text.
When I first saw the Nest Thermostat, I instantly fell in love. Not only was the concept behind it amazing, but the design of the thermostat overall really caught my eye. While I might not be one of those “power users” who strive to save every ounce of energy, I knew this was something I needed to have. I mean really… how many of your friends can say they have a smart thermostat? (Unless you’re Armando). What I also found nice was the fact that Nest includes an online compatibility checker, so you can easily input what wires your current thermostat uses and Nest will tell you if it’ll work or not.
To me, packaging and shipping is a huge issue for me, especially when I’m spending hundreds of dollars on something. I want to know for a fact it’s safe and secure. Once I got the Thermostat in my hand, I could tell that the packaging inside was nice. No rattling, no shifting; that thing was solid. Upon opening it, the box, from the inside-out, was literally designed for it. It was securely in place and everything fit together perfectly. Going through it I found an installation guide, some screws, the thermostat (obviously), and even a nest screwdriver (how nice of them). Overall, some of the best packaging for a product I’ve seen.
Something a lot of people are concerned about is the installation. Many times, people think they need to do some extra wiring, or change something drastic that will almost be impossible to do without a hired professional. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case at all. Installing this thing is probably the easiest kind of DIY Home Improvement I’ve ever done. Cut the power, remove the old thermostat, mount the new one, plug the wires in, and power on. Took me about 15 minutes to do from start to finish. Seriously, they couldn’t have made it easier.
Once you turn the power back on and attach the head to the base, it’ll automatically turn itself on for the first time. The setup process is very easy and straightforward, although, as soon as you connect it to the wifi, it’ll automatically begin to update itself. It’s a nice feature, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to stop it, so be prepared for that. Their updates are a bit slow, but it never had and trouble through the update process. After finishing the setup process and syncing it with my Nest account, I was ready to rock and roll. Very easy setup guide, and every you set in the beginning can easily be changed later on.
When you first get the thermostat, it obviously isn’t going to know how your schedule works, so you need to use it as much as possible for the first week or two. Doing that allows it to learn your schedule, as well as how long it takes to heat/cool your home, Auto-Away detection, and some other features. The more you use it the first few weeks, the more accurate it’ll be later on. A hassle, I know, but you’ll have that “I have a new toy and want to play with it all the time” kind of feeling anyways.
Remote access if also a huge plus. Nest did a great job with their UI on the Nest itself and in their Apps/Web CP. Their remote access not only lets you change the temperature, but it also allows you to change many of the settings within the Nest itself. And the ‘delay’ between them is very minimal (usually under 5 seconds). The first day I got this I remember raising the heat before my younger brother got home so he wouldn’t freeze to death as soon as he walked in. Definitely a very useful feature.
The Nest Thermostat is an incredible product, and the features it holds are not only useful and informative, but they’re also very efficient in regards to saving energy. In fact, it’ll even show you how much you’re saving by giving you an energy report each day! But is it worth the $250 USD? That’s debatable, and in my opinion, not entirely. I probably would have been happier paying $150-$200, but it’ll pay itself off in time. Plus, the build quality is impeccable, so at least you’re getting some top quality materials. Not to mention, new software updates can easily add new features in the future, so who knows what it’ll be able to do next!
Overall, I’m very impress with the Nest Thermostat, and even though it’s a bit pricey, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to save some money on their next energy bill.