I am just wondering if anyone has used Nest | The Learning Thermostat. At $200 it is very expensive, and I wanted to know if it is worth the price!? Is it practicle, is it actually smart? How precise and accurate is it? What do you think of the price, and value?
I've got one that I've been using since late December. I'm not sure yet if it has helped reduce heating costs. I have to examine the bill numbers from the last two months.
I also switched operating modes on the furnace when the Nest was installed. I was previously using a single stage thermostat and relying on the furnace (a Bryant furnace) to decide when to activate the second stage. With the Nest (and a new wire for activating the second stage (see below)), I'm now letting the Nest control both stages. So, I've changed two variables that will make deciding if the Nest is winning a bit more difficult.
It is easier to use than the last "dumb" thermostat we had. There are other brands of smart thermostats out there that are similarly priced, and I'd bet they have similar features and smarts.
Installation was as easy as other thermostat installs I've done, save for the need to run a new control cable from the furnace to include a common wire. Our existing thermostat included wires for the R, G, and W connections but didn't include the C wire. This prevented the Nest from charging properly. Luckily, this new cable was very easy to run in our house, otherwise it would have been an upsetting development.
A couple things I like about the Nest in particular (these may be present in other brands, too):
- Control via Internet. Through the Nest website and an iPhone app, both my wife and I can adjust temperature and schedule. This is nice if we are on the way home and want to make sure it's not cold, if we wake up early and can't bear the thought of getting up when it's cold...
- it provides visual feedback regarding whether a new temperature will save money with a green leaf icon when you decrease the set temperature. It's not rocket science, but it's nice to see the leaf.
- It's pretty. It's nice that it doesn't look terrible on the wall.
- There is apparently a ZigBee controller in the Nest, which suggests potential for some kind of future home automation integration. That's all speculation based solely on the existence of the chip in the Nest as found in a teardown, so I wouldn't bank on that.
I think the ease of use and the Internet control are worth the added cost over a normal thermostat. They are nice to have. But, I think that a properly programmed normal thermostat will be as efficient as the Nest.
I reviewed the NEST but I didn't like the price. I went with a Filtrete 3M50 model which has many of the features the NEST has. It supports 2 stage heating & cooling. I had a 4 wire system and had to run a 5 wire system for the WIFI capabilities.
The Filtrete is not an auto learning system like the NEST but I really didn't see nor believe the cost benefit when I looked at what I could do with the Filtrete model. The Filtrete model is a 7 day system so I could set each individual day. My wife and I have 3 kids with an erratic schedule from week to week. Some weeks we have a baby sitter come to our home and other days we take the kids to a friend of ours and this changes from week to week or month to month due to all the varying schedules. So what is nice is I can use my iPhone to adjust the temperature remotely. And this model also has an away mode that you can pre-program for heat and cooling. I really like it. I know this may come across as a plug for Filtrete (and you're asking about the NEST) but I looked real hard at the NEST before settling on the Filtrete.
I'm curious to see how much $$ the other poster gets. I have an older home that needs new windows (1964 with original windows). So my home is hard on the furnace and air conditioning. I just put a new furnace in last year when the other failed and that accounted for my biggest heating savings! I expect new Windows to bring my heating/cooling costs down a bit more. It just seems to me the big money savers are in the insulation of your home and the efficiency of the units doing the heating & cooling.
The one thing the NEST has going for it also is that it looks like it tracks a lot of data and associated costs. That's the one thing that was keeping my interest in the NEST but in the end I went with Filtrete model. The Filtrete model has a USNAP WIFI module that I can hook up to a home automation system and I figured I'd like to do this in the near future and maybe I can get some data that way. Filtrete claims the 3M50 works with home automation but they don't give any specs or systems that support this.
Hope this feedback is helpful.