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Review: Nest Learning Thermostat

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
It's hard to believe a device like the the Nest Learning Thermostat wasn't invented earlier; it blends existing hardware technology with customized software to solve a number simple of problems many people deal with on a daily basis, and does so elegantly.

Nest


The Nest learning thermostat is the first product to come out of Nest Labs, a home automation company co-founded in 2010 by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Fadell is most well known for his work on the iPod and is sometimes referred to as "the godfather" of the iconic device. After successfully launching the thermostat in the Apple Store, the startup expanded its offerings to home improvement outlets, while broadening its device range with a second-generation Nest and a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

Nest answers the question: "What would happen if former iPod engineers from Apple decided to fix the terrible devices in our home, the ones we though thought couldn't be made any better?"

Why Nest?



For us, there are three good reasons to buy the Nest Learning Thermostat: we can change the temperature in our upstairs bedroom without having to get out of bed on a cold night; the device's ability to "learn" our schedule and change temperatures based on usage history; and the fact that it's probably already paid for itself in energy savings.

Nest


We didn't purchase Nest for its potential energy savings, however. We bought it because we were tired of being kicked by our significant other in the middle of the night to go turn the heat up, the controls for which are located downstairs. Also, the programmable thermostat we already had on the wall when was a hassle to program.

Our original thermostat was a Robert Shaw 9600 unit that was so obnoxious to program, it was frequently left at 68 or 72 degrees and adjusted manually. Any energy savings it could have offered was moot because we simply didn't have time to re-learn how to properly set it each time we wished to make a change.

Thus, we first installed a first-generation Nest in March of 2012 and have lived with the device ever since, getting monthly reports on our energy consumption/conservation.

It should be noted that the the second-generation Nest has design tweaks and added support for low voltage heating and cooling systems, including second stage cooling, third stage heating, dual fuel, emergency heat, and whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers. The interface and installation of either version is essentially the same. Our use of a first generation model for this review means we've had it installed long enough to make meaningful observations about energy savings and the results of those savings in energy bills.

What's It Do?



Right away, there were benefits. Nest doesn't require us to program it intentionally, although it allows us to do so if we really wanted to. Instead, Nest tracks the changes we make to the temperature and uses that to form a schedule for each day of the week.

In reality, if you and your significant other were to fight over the temperature, you can see Nest's program bounce around a little, but it's easy to correct this the same way you'd create a manual program.

In the app, select the thermostat, settings, schedule, select a temperature and adjust it. As it is, our schedule started out with 72 degrees at 7 a.m., 68 degrees at 10 p.m., and somewhere along the way the family adjusted it to 69 degrees at 10 a.m., so it's 69 degrees throughout the day.

A nice touch to the manual scheduling is that it's possible to copy and paste from one day to the next including pasting a whole day's schedule.

Nest is strongly focused around energy efficiency, and displays a green leaf on the thermostat and in the application to let you know that it's saving energy.Nest is strongly focused around energy efficiency, and displays a green leaf on the thermostat and in the application to let you know that it's saving energy. The app displays energy history, showing how long the heat or cooling ran for, and a leaf to serve as notice that it was efficient that day. Tapping on the day results in a detailed display of the temperature changes and whether or not the house was listed as "away."

Away can be invoked manually, or Nest places the house in "away" if no one has walked past the thermostat's proximity sensor in the last two hours. The temperatures will shift to the "away" settings, which we set at "heat to 50, cool to 78" so that the house isn't using energy when we're out. We could make it a little warmer when we're away but in practice the house doesn't lose that much heat in the time that we've left and come back. We can't recall the last time it was actually 50 in the house.

Nest also allows adjustment via the web browser, and they send out a monthly email detailing energy savings, including the number of times auto-away occurred versus manual away being invoked.

DIY Handy



Installing Nest was relatively easy, although we took our time to make sure it was done right. In our case, we have a furnace and an air conditioner to control. The previous thermostat used four wires. Nest would have worked just fine with those same four wires, charging its battery with small amounts of power leeched off the furnace lines, but the best way to do the install was to use a C wire that delivers 24V. The furnace had a C terminal that wasn't being used, so we connected Nest via an unused wire already in the wall.

Nest


Installation basically comprised of removing the old thermostat, using the screws provided by Nest to mount the new baseplate, connect the wires to Nest's convenient spring-loaded terminals and plug the unit onto its base. Setup was also easy, as Nest asked questions via its integrated LCD display about the type of heating system we used (gas, oil, electric). Connecting to our Wi-Fi network was similarly painless. We added our account created at Nest.com and were ready to start using the thermostat.

For those less confident, Nest support can locate a local installer to get the job done.

Because Nest is a so-called "learning thermostat," programming consisted of simply using it. Other options are available via settings or the iOS app, including convenience functions like getting temperatures to reach a certain level at a specific time, and energy-saving features like running the fan to push heat already in the ductwork without turning on the furnace.

Nest


One of the things Nest always presents was the ability to turn on heating and cooling. Additionally, we can set the unit to automatically stay within a temperature range - don't let the temperature drop below 70 degrees, don't let it rise above 73 degrees. Three degrees is as close a spread as Nest allows, although you can set it further apart. The notion is, by letting it decide when to turn on the heating or cooling within that range, you can be comfortable and save energy in the process.

Nest also has a proximity sensor used to turn on its display when someone walks past. The unit can put itself into an energy savings mode when it detects we are away for two or more hours. When we return, we simply walk past past it to bring the temperature back to our desired setting.

The Downside to App Dependence



Nest uses an app for remote temperature control, device settings, notifications and presentation of in-depth energy usage data, among other functions. This makes software an important part of the thermostat's platform, but the Nest app is a bit lacking.

When the app was originally released, temperature was adjusted by tapping on up and down arrows located above and below a readout of the device's current settings. Later, these arrows were removed in an app update, replaced by a circular UI meant to mimic the physical thermostat's control wheel. To change the temperature, drag your fingertip clockwise or counterclockwise in a around the number of degrees. This is both hard to do on a touchscreen and is very inexact. If you tap anywhere on the narrow outer circle, the degrees jump to predefined temperatures, meaning a stray tap takes changes the setting from 72 degrees to 50 degrees, something we almost never need to do in daily use.

Nest


Nest did leave the empty space above and below the degrees displayed as hot spots so you can still tap up or down for fine adjustments, but if you miss slightly and tap the circle, it will jump to a number very far from what you intended. If Nest had made it possible to trace anywhere on the screen in a circular gesture to adjust temperature and not just on the narrow circle that looks like the display of the thermostat, it would be better. If the tracing in a circular motion wasn't a one-to-one compass degree to temperature degree, the UI could have worked. One solution would be a system that needs a quarter or half revolution to initiate change, then accelerated motion to accelerate the adjustment, not unlike older iPods. As it is, the current app is too literal.

Touch screens are not tactile and users should not be forced to operate flat interfaces as if they were physical devices. After a good amount of time, we have cut down on errant settings, but the original implementation was much better and led to fewer accidental adjustments.

It is with great relief we can now say that Nest have come to their senses: in the latest version 4 of the app, the arrows are back. It is still possible to adjust temperature by dragging a finger on the outer ring. Tapping on the outer ring also doesn't result in absurd jumps, but changes the temperature in one-degree increments. Thank goodness for that.

Tapping on a Settings icon causes an overview of the inside temp, humidity, account settings, notifications, and settings of the thermostat itself to slide in from the right. Previously, the notifications menu was buried a little deeper in the app, not one tap away from the home screen.

Nest


There are some ups and downs to this settings interface. Formerly, you had to rotate to landscape, tap to prompt the menu of Heat, Cool, Heat-Cool range, or Off. Now you have to tap the settings icon, tap again on the temp to get the menu, and then select them. Also, they used to have text labels, and now they do not. It turns out, not everyone in my family knows the power icon.

We know it's only two taps instead of one and icons should suffice, but our family has asked out loud, "Why did they change this? It is now worse." To be clear, the family used to change the temperature with the app on their own. Now I hear about it as they speak their frustrations while attempting to do it. Or they ask me to do it.

Bills, Bills, Bills



The Nest Energy Reports have been coming in monthly. Year on Year, we're heating and cooling less, and our bills have dropped.

Nest


Let's review.

In July 2010, we used 2619 kWh and had a bill of $292.41 for total energy usage. The bulk of that is going to result from running the A/C. The high that month was 103 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average high at 93 degrees. Comfortable is usually around 72 degrees.

In July 2011, we still hadn't installed a Nest Learning Thermostat and used 2241 kWh for a bill of $241.91. The high for that month was 104 degrees with an average of 95 degrees. The billing cycle was two days shorter, which could account for the slightly lower kWh measure than the previous year, but wouldn't account for the $50 difference. These are very similar months and the only thing we can conclude is that we just didn't run the A/C as much or as hard.

In April 2012, we installed Nest.From a peak energy bill of $292.41 in 2010, Nest helped us get down to $202.18 as of this June.

In July 2012, Our kWh usage dropped dramatically to 1,907 kWh and resulted in a bill of $207.67. The max and average high temperatures that month remained about consistent, at 105 degrees and 95 degrees, respectively. So far, so good, right? This is already nearing $100 less than we paid for the same hottest summer month two years prior. Nest is saving us money, and this is awesome. But wait.

In July 2013, we still used less kWh than the year before, or 1,737 kWh, and the bill was $202.18. The high temperature for July in my area was 96 degrees with an average of 88 degrees. Using 170 kWh less than last year, the high and average temperatures in our area were as much as 9 degrees lower, and on average 7 degrees lower.

Two years after installing Nest, our bills are lower and usage is lower. As Nest updates make the thermostat more conservative, our bill is reflecting that, but it's not nearly as great a change as when we first installed it.

This Is Cool.



Even with disappointments in the app changes, Nest is still the best thermostat we've ever had the pleasure of using. Yes, there is a one- or two-degree variance as it adjusts for efficiency, but on the whole it's been a comfortable thing to have. We don't mind that it adjusts the temperature actively to find a balance between our desired temp and saving energy: the specific temperature number isn't as important as 'are we comfortable?' And we almost always are.

Nest


The second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat is available now and sells for $249

Score: 4 out of 5



ratings_hl_40.png

Pros:


  • Easy to install
  • Don't have to get out of bed to adjust temperature
  • Saves money


Cons:


  • Every other app update seems to change the interface in ways that cause frustration.
post #2 of 76
I have 4 Nest Thermostats with 2 already failed. The base plate has failed on both of them. The fan is locked on even with face unit removed. The worst part is the base unit heats up the ambient temp. According to Nest's forums this is a common problem. I'm trying to get hold of Nest to get replacement bases. This is a big disappointment for a $250 Thermostat. I have to use the old dumb cheap thermostats that have worked for years until I can get replacement bases. I love the Nest thermostat when it works but this failure rate is disappointing.
post #3 of 76

Can anyone add some comments about how Nest interacts in a two thermostat home? Do you still get the same benefits and is it designed to work with other Nests?

~Tokolosh
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post #4 of 76
Incredible, in one month the same electric bill as I have in almost a year (and yes I am talking about a house (and not a small one), not an apartment).
You must be doing something seriously wrong.
post #5 of 76
The Nest does not offer any multi-sensor or multiple-control features - no multi-thermostat features at all, and Nests in the same home don't interact.

For a Nest-like system with multiple sensors and remote control, the much more capable Honeywell Prestige 2 series does a great job.
post #6 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

Incredible, in one month the same electric bill as I have in almost a year (and yes I am talking about a house (and not a small one), not an apartment).
You must be doing something seriously wrong.

When you assert they are "doing something seriously wrong" after claiming to have "the same electric bill" are you referring to the energy utilized, the cost of the actual bill, or even considering that each month is rarely ever an exact calendar month which would need to be prorated against your bill?

Furthermore, did you get with the author to fully consider the the size of their domicle, the temperature variances of their specific location, the age of their structure, the type of structure (including windows and ceiling height), and their ideal temperature ranges, among many other factors that have nothing to do with HVAC that contribute to power usage?
Edited by SolipsismX - 12/1/13 at 9:57am

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post #7 of 76
Quote:
Incredible, in one month the same electric bill as I have in almost a year (and yes I am talking about a house (and not a small one), not an apartment).
You must be doing something seriously wrong.

 

Are you saying your annual electric bill is $300?  That seems impossible unless electricity is almost free where you live.

post #8 of 76
We have three Ritetemp programmable thermostats. Two control hydronic floor heat on each end of the house and the third one controls the forced air heat exchanger. We heat with propane, I wished we could heat with natural gas which is the cheapest. The most expensive method is electric. We get a lot of solar gain with most of the windows facing south and get to enjoy a wood pellet in between. Our setup works well for us.
post #9 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetfire70 View Post

I have 4 Nest Thermostats with 2 already failed. The base plate has failed on both of them. The fan is locked on even with face unit removed. The worst part is the base unit heats up the ambient temp. According to Nest's forums this is a common problem. I'm trying to get hold of Nest to get replacement bases. This is a big disappointment for a $250 Thermostat. I have to use the old dumb cheap thermostats that have worked for years until I can get replacement bases. I love the Nest thermostat when it works but this failure rate is disappointing.

Nothing you write here seems to make any sense.

I've had one since the day they came out. Love it, works flawlessly. Nothing to overheat, no face to remove ... I think you must have a different product.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #10 of 76
I am always amazed how there is never a comment on the simple fact that if your NEST is in a place where you almost never walk by it, you lose one of the most valuable part of its capabilities. My thermostat is in the living room, a place that I just don't visit all that often. Without an ability to have multiple remote sensors, it is useless beyond what I already have, a good and dependable programable Honeywell thermostat.
post #11 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaislin View Post

I am always amazed how there is never a comment on the simple fact that if your NEST is in a place where you almost never walk by it, you lose one of the most valuable part of its capabilities. My thermostat is in the living room, a place that I just don't visit all that often. Without an ability to have multiple remote sensors, it is useless beyond what I already have, a good and dependable programable Honeywell thermostat.

Since they have WiFi I had hoped they would offer a simple (read: inexpensive) wired/battery sensor solution that you could screw or stick to your wall to maximize the effect of the Next thermostat. Do their Nest Protect products offer this as a bonus feature to better understand how you utilize your space?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #12 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

Incredible, in one month the same electric bill as I have in almost a year (and yes I am talking about a house (and not a small one), not an apartment).


You live in a temperate area & don't have AC.
post #13 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetfire70 View Post

I have 4 Nest Thermostats with 2 already failed. The base plate has failed on both of them. The fan is locked on even with face unit removed. The worst part is the base unit heats up the ambient temp. According to Nest's forums this is a common problem. I'm trying to get hold of Nest to get replacement bases. This is a big disappointment for a $250 Thermostat. I have to use the old dumb cheap thermostats that have worked for years until I can get replacement bases. I love the Nest thermostat when it works but this failure rate is disappointing.


What are you doing that damages the base plate?  Slapping the thermostat every time you walk by?  Dog jumping and biting it?


And by 'base unit heats up the ambient temp', do you mean it is physically getting warm?  If so, that sounds like maybe you have wired it so a short is occurring, not enough to blow a fuse [hopefully even these wires have a fuse, I know my furnace does, as when we were fixing the hole we made to run new wiring for our Nest, we weren't careful about the wires and touched the wrong two together, and the fuse in the furnace itself blew].

 

Even only using the thermostat itself to program and control it shouldn't damage the base plate, unless you are unable to control your own strength and keep detaching it from the base.  And for the fan to remain on with the thermostat removed means that somehow either the wires themselves are crossed [bare metal is touching] or pins are bent.

 

Simply put, this doesn't seem like it is occuring during normal usage.


Edited by whatisgoingon - 12/1/13 at 11:12am
post #14 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanceh5 View Post

We have three Ritetemp programmable thermostats. Two control hydronic floor heat on each end of the house and the third one controls the forced air heat exchanger. We heat with propane, I wished we could heat with natural gas which is the cheapest. The most expensive method is electric. We get a lot of solar gain with most of the windows facing south and get to enjoy a wood pellet in between. Our setup works well for us.

We used to live in Payson, AZ... ~5,000' in the pine trees.

 

Propane to heat was $400/mo (during the winter) but a pellet stove was $20/mo and made the whole house warm! :)

post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetfire70 View Post

I have 4 Nest Thermostats with 2 already failed. The base plate has failed on both of them. The fan is locked on even with face unit removed. The worst part is the base unit heats up the ambient temp. According to Nest's forums this is a common problem. I'm trying to get hold of Nest to get replacement bases. This is a big disappointment for a $250 Thermostat. I have to use the old dumb cheap thermostats that have worked for years until I can get replacement bases. I love the Nest thermostat when it works but this failure rate is disappointing.


Me too. 

I went through 4 units until they refunded me.  They have a major design flaw...Search for user discussions if you don't believe me.  It's wide spread.  It effects both the Gen 1 and 2.  I ended up developing a "nest isolator" to prevent them from failing.  When the thermostat was working correctly, it was great.  Once it started failing - you were left with a system turning on sections of the system when it shouldn't.  The first time one failed, it turned on my AUX heat for a SOLID week during the summer.  I thought my A/C was failing only to find my system fighting against itself due to the mentally-ill Nest.  Needless to say, that month's power bill increased FAR more then what that thermostat cost. 

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post #16 of 76
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Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Nothing you write here seems to make any sense.

I've had one since the day they came out. Love it, works flawlessly. Nothing to overheat, no face to remove ... I think you must have a different product.


You're extremely lucky...and your experience is getting more rare relative to users experiencing failures.  It's not an issue of if, but when it will fail

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post #17 of 76
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Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post

It's not an issue of if, but when it will fail

It's not an issue of if the Sun will expend its fuel and grow into a giant red star that will burn up this planet, but when it will fail. I suppose Nest will definitely stop working by then so you're right¡
Edited by SolipsismX - 12/1/13 at 11:35am

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post #18 of 76
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
It's not an issue of if the Sun will expend its fuel and grow into a giant red star that will burn up this planet, but when.

 

Pshh. In less than a billion years’ time we’ll have the technology to throw crap into the Sun to keep it burning. Next, however, will always be broken. /s

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post #19 of 76

http://support.nest.com/article/How-does-Nest-work-if-I-have-multiple-Nest-Learning-Thermostats-in-the-same-home

 

Shows that there is some coordination between multiple Nests in the same home.

 

Because they learn separately, they develop separate schedules - which makes sense. During the day, you may spend more time in a living area than a bedroom. They coordinate for auto-away and knowing when you trigger the proximity for one that you've triggered proximity for all of them.

post #20 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post
 


You're extremely lucky...and your experience is getting more rare relative to users experiencing failures.  It's not an issue of if, but when it will fail

The unit reviewed is the unit that was purchased back in 2012. It has never required replacement. On a long enough timeline all technology fails, but this one with the original base hasn't had the problems that yours have.

post #21 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleworks View Post
 


Me too. 

I went through 4 units until they refunded me.  They have a major design flaw...Search for user discussions if you don't believe me.  It's wide spread.  It effects both the Gen 1 and 2.  I ended up developing a "nest isolator" to prevent them from failing.  When the thermostat was working correctly, it was great.  Once it started failing - you were left with a system turning on sections of the system when it shouldn't.  The first time one failed, it turned on my AUX heat for a SOLID week during the summer.  I thought my A/C was failing only to find my system fighting against itself due to the mentally-ill Nest.  Needless to say, that month's power bill increased FAR more then what that thermostat cost. 

 

Do you have a link to your Nest isolator? I'm curious what you're doing.

post #22 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


When you assert they are "doing something seriously wrong" after claiming to have "the same electric bill" are you referring to the energy utilized, the cost of the actual bill, or even considering that each month is rarely ever an exact calendar month which would need to be prorated against your bill?

Furthermore, did you get with the author to fully consider the the size of their domicle, the temperature variances of their specific location, the age of their structure, the type of structure (including windows and ceiling height), and their ideal temperature ranges, among many other factors that have nothing to do with HVAC that contribute to power usage?

 

 

1800 sq ft. constructed in 1981, wood frame structure, 95-105 degrees F in the summer, no trees to provide shade. The windows are not efficient at this time. Lowering the bill by a hundred dollars in the summer was a real win.

post #23 of 76
I build custom homes in Carmel, Ca.. Most of my clients build second homes here.

I started giving everyone a Nest upon completion. They are great for my clients, driving down from the Bay Area they can crank up the heat when they are a half hour out.

Also works great if they accidentally leave the heat on, just open the app and turn it off!.
post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

Incredible, in one month the same electric bill as I have in almost a year (and yes I am talking about a house (and not a small one), not an apartment).
 

You live in a temperate area & don't have AC.

 

Perhaps, although -15 degrees Celsius or 35 degrees Celsius is no exception.

But having an airconditioner is a choice as is keeping room temperature at 22 degrees Celsius.

post #25 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


When you assert they are "doing something seriously wrong" ...

 

Actually I did no such thing.

post #26 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

Actually I did no such thing.

You wrote, and I quote, "You must be doing something seriously wrong."
Edited by SolipsismX - 12/1/13 at 12:38pm

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post #27 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by jax44 View Post

I build custom homes in Carmel, Ca.. Most of my clients build second homes here.

I started giving everyone a Nest upon completion. They are great for my clients, driving down from the Bay Area they can crank up the heat when they are a half hour out.

Also works great if they accidentally leave the heat on, just open the app and turn it off!.

 

You must have done that with my sister.  She loved the Nest so much in the Carmel house, that she got them in her house up here, and then bought me one for my house.  I'm now in the process of replacing all of our thermostats with Nests, and getting Nest Protect units as well.

post #28 of 76

I don't need to spend $250 for a thermostat when I already have a far less expensive programmable thermostat that works flawlessly, and saves me money.  When I am out of the house during the summer months, it is set at 80 degrees.  When I come home, it lowers to 76 during the summer.  I don't need to control it with an iPhone, nor do I need it to learn different patterns.  During the Fall, Winter, and Spring when the temps are average and mild, it is set to OFF and the windows are open for fresh air.  Energy efficient windows provide the most savings.  If you have thin-glass windows, a Nest won't save you money since all the heat and cool will continue to escape out of your home.  I live in CA, so the occasional heat wave requires the AC, but I rarely need to heat the house in the winter since the windows do an excellent job keeping the heat in and the temperature steady.  I don't believe in running the AC/Heat every single day when you can open the windows on cool days for fresh air.

post #29 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


You wrote, and I quote, "You must be doing something seriously wrong."

 

I know what I wrote, It wasn't the same as your previous 'quote'.

Reading 'between the lines' must be a problem for you. 

post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

I know what I wrote, It wasn't the same as your previous 'quote'.
Reading 'between the lines' must be a problem for you. 

I quoted what you wrote by copying and pasting it. There is no syntax answer and your point is very clear but your logic is flawed as you clearly didn't consider anything outside your limited, myopic view of power consumption.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #31 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post
Perhaps

Perhaps? You don't know if you live in a temperate climate or if you have AC?
Quote:
But having an airconditioner is a choice
and a "seriously wrong" choice, right?

and your response to SolipsismX...
Quote:
I know what I wrote, It wasn't the same as your previous 'quote'
Are you reading a different thread than the rest of us?
The 4 words he quoted are exactly as you wrote (hence the quotes).

But then again, you "knowitall", right?
sheesh...
post #32 of 76
I've had two Nests for a couple of years and they continue to work fine.

- Dave Marsh
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post #33 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post
 


What are you doing that damages the base plate?  Slapping the thermostat every time you walk by?  Dog jumping and biting it?


And by 'base unit heats up the ambient temp', do you mean it is physically getting warm?  If so, that sounds like maybe you have wired it so a short is occurring, not enough to blow a fuse [hopefully even these wires have a fuse, I know my furnace does, as when we were fixing the hole we made to run new wiring for our Nest, we weren't careful about the wires and touched the wrong two together, and the fuse in the furnace itself blew].

 

Even only using the thermostat itself to program and control it shouldn't damage the base plate, unless you are unable to control your own strength and keep detaching it from the base.  And for the fan to remain on with the thermostat removed means that somehow either the wires themselves are crossed [bare metal is touching] or pins are bent.

 

Simply put, this doesn't seem like it is occuring during normal usage.


I'm doing nothing wrong. I install and build custom ECU units for a living. The thing I like about the Nest is I don't have to touch it. I set the schedule and let it run. I mostly interact with though my iOS device or computer. So imagine my surprise I come in one day and it freezing in the office. The Nest Thermostat says its 80 when its really 65 and the Nest calling for cooling still. It was set to 72. Check out the Nest Community for back back/base plates. The defective plate does actually generate heat which throws of the ambient Temp.  It is warm to the touch after removing the main unit. I have replaced the bad base plate with one from another unit and everything works fine.

post #34 of 76

Nest is buying back all my thermostats (5 2.0 Nests) because of the blown FET (transistor) in the backplate issue - many people have this problem, and Nest does not know why certain systems present the issue. 

 

The wiring digram says I'm compatible, but the compressor connection (Y1) keeps blowing, causing the compressor to run, air handler off, and overheating the Nest. I have a dual transformer system (separate transformers for the AC and Heat systems), and I suspect their method of "vampire" power stealing from the transformers is getting them in trouble in many systems.

 

My AC zones are four independent systems (four compressors each with their own air handler) so they are in affect the simplest of design, single zone AC. - direct wire from the Nest to the air handler.

 

I have spent quite a bit of money on "certified" Nest installers to troubleshoot, and they couldn't fix it. The same Carrier heating and cooling systems worked fine for 20 years on the original White Rodgers programmable thermostats.

 

Be warned that even if your wiring is verified compatible, your system may not be, and there's no way of knowing in advance.

post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldRick View Post

The Nest does not offer any multi-sensor or multiple-control features - no multi-thermostat features at all, and Nests in the same home don't interact.

For a Nest-like system with multiple sensors and remote control, the much more capable Honeywell Prestige 2 series does a great job.

You are wrong.  Nests talk with each other in the same home.  For instance if one nest goes into away mode they all do if no one is in the home they do talk with each other.

 

Here is a link talking about this:  http://support.nest.com/article/How-does-Nest-work-if-I-have-multiple-Nest-Learning-Thermostats-in-the-same-home

post #36 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by knowitall View Post
 

Perhaps, although -15 degrees Celsius or 35 degrees Celsius is no exception.

But having an airconditioner is a choice as is keeping room temperature at 22 degrees Celsius.

In this part of the US, all houses are sold equipped with central cooling and heating. There's no choice to not have an air conditioner.

 

There very much is a choice to keep the room conditioned at 72 F / 22 C. Given that you propose going without air con, that would be 105 F / 40 C.

 

No, thank you. The truth is that we could make other gains by installing gaskets under each of the electric wall plates, wrapping the ductwork under the house in an insulated blanket (not required by building code) and setting a wider range on Nest - 68 to 76 perhaps. But the value in using Nest consistently as we did the lousy thermostat that preceded it meant that all variables from before Nest to after were pretty much consistent.

post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetfire70 View Post

I have 4 Nest Thermostats with 2 already failed. The base plate has failed on both of them. The fan is locked on even with face unit removed. The worst part is the base unit heats up the ambient temp. According to Nest's forums this is a common problem. I'm trying to get hold of Nest to get replacement bases. This is a big disappointment for a $250 Thermostat. I have to use the old dumb cheap thermostats that have worked for years until I can get replacement bases. I love the Nest thermostat when it works but this failure rate is disappointing.

I have had 2 nests for 2 years and not one issue with them at  all.  The have saved me on my annual heating and cooling around 12%.  Which has already paid for the cost.  Keep in mind I had programmable thermostats before and I did have them programmed properly.  With fan control on the nest, auto away, and generally better sensors than other competitors it has led to the 12% savings which is what I wanted from them.  I have no complaints at all.  I love the green leaf system that trains you to save power and gas. 

post #38 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokolosh View Post
 

Can anyone add some comments about how Nest interacts in a two thermostat home? Do you still get the same benefits and is it designed to work with other Nests?

Yes when you have more than one nest they talk with each other wirelessly, you do have to have wireless in your home.   They coordinate auto away, and auto fan and other info with each other including the auto learning they do to save you money on your heating and cooling see:

 

http://support.nest.com/article/How-does-Nest-work-if-I-have-multiple-Nest-Learning-Thermostats-in-the-same-home

post #39 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaislin View Post

I am always amazed how there is never a comment on the simple fact that if your NEST is in a place where you almost never walk by it, you lose one of the most valuable part of its capabilities. My thermostat is in the living room, a place that I just don't visit all that often. Without an ability to have multiple remote sensors, it is useless beyond what I already have, a good and dependable programable Honeywell thermostat.

I think your thermostat location is more the exception than the norm.  Most thermostats are in the hallways between bedrooms and the rest of the house.  If you had multiple nests like I do they do talk with each other and communicate auto away and other functions and share sensor data.  Nest has said that it is working on remote averaging sensors for there nests which do support home automation integration.

post #40 of 76

Yes, I expect mine is not a common location. It is my guess that there will be a product that will have multiple wireless sensors or will use my or my wife's iphone to track my movement (it is always with me) and that is what will let the house know that I am on my way home. And of course, it will also know when I am home. The possibilities are endless. 

 

Oh, we only have the one thermostat as the house has only one zone for cooling or heating. Interestingly, there are four floors, so system balance is important. Retrofitting it to have multiple zones would be prohibitly expensive. So, at this point, there is only one place for a thermostat.

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