One of the things I was most excited about installing in our new home was a smart thermostat. The thermostat on our wall when we moved in was straight out of last century, with a legit mercury thermometer inside. On top of that, the red bar indicating the degree setting was more than a little vague. There was no way to program a thermostat like that, and it was always a gamble whether or not it would actually turn the A/C or heater on.
I have been wanting a Nest thermostat forever, and now I can say that I am a proud owner of one. I can control the temperature of my house from my phone, and the thermostat will learn my heating and cooling habits to save me a ton of money over time. (Which is especially handy on chilly mornings when I don’t want to get out of bed, and I can turn the heat up from my phone underneath the covers.) The Nest was surprisingly easy to install, with a handy web app that will tell you if your home is compatible with the device. I had it out of the box and onto my wall in under 20 minutes with no troubles.
Aside from the element of exact control over the temperature in the house, I am most excited about the money-saving possibilities with the Nest. I can set it to “away” when we leave the house and am able to switch it back on before we arrive home, so the house is already at the right temperature when we walk in the door. No more wasted hours cooling an empty house or sweltering afternoons waiting for the house to cool down after some time away. I can’t tell you how excited I was the first time I came home from running some errands and I walked by the Nest, and it had turned on the Auto-Away feature. It actually knew when I was gone! It has a motion sensor that will turn off your system if you are out of the house for an extended period of time.
One of my other favourite features is being able to go back and look at how much energy I am using each day. When you login to the Nest app on your phone or computer, you can bring up a fancy chart of your usage details. It will tell you how many hours during each day your heating or cooling system was running, and if it was above or below average. Plus, it will tell you why. If it’s an especially cold day outside, the Nest will tell you it ran an overage of the average time due to the weather. It really gives you a clear picture of how much energy you are using, and makes you strive to have the little green leaf of energy efficiency show up all the time. It’s enough to make me want to immediately replace all my old windows to become more efficient.
The Nest is one of those appliances that you will hopefully forget about over time, just because it is doing its job so well. That being said I can’t help but smile every time I walk by it and it lights up to tell me the house is humming along at a comfortable 68 degrees. Now that I have dipped my toe in the water of a smarter, more connected house, I can already feel the itch to tie everything together and make the whole house work together. I’ve added the Nest Protect, a few Dropcams, and a smart garage door sensor to my wish list for sure.
Do you have a Nest thermostat? Have you noticed a difference in your utility bills?
More Tech Gadgets for Home: