Nest thermostat now available for $250 in Apple's online store

13»

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 54
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Perhaps someone with some knowledge of how this works could answer a really basic (perhaps dumb) question: what is involved in setting this up in a home with five different thermostats? 5 Nests + an electrician?



     


    I was looking into the same thing, and found this:


     


    https://support.nest.com/customer/portal/articles/185478-how-does-nest-work-if-i-have-multiple-nest-learning-thermostats-in-the-same-home-


     


    As for installation, however many units, here is how:


     



     


    BTW, the installation video may give a clue why Apple is helping to sell this item :)

  • Reply 42 of 54
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    What do you mean? It's just like iCloud: any change made is applied in the order given, overwriting the last change.

     

     

    Trying to read this post was fairly frustrating. Can you please rewrite this last sentence? I'm not sure what you're saying, but I believe the Nest does it, too.

     

    It simple, if two people live in the house and the one which has the linked iphone leaves and the system obviously determines you left your house and now set back the temperature so the heating and cooling does not turn on and someone else is in the house this does not work. That person left in the house will have to manually override the system which defeats the learning aspect of the thermostat.



    Now add the complexity of multiple iOS devices and knowing which one to use as determining factory on how to control the system is not simple nor easy to deal with. The answer is not icloud that is for sure. You will need to tell the system about each iOS device and it will have know each devices preferences and habits and then have to figure out which on rules in all cases. In my house Dad set the temp and no one is allow to mess with it.



    You're correct, my last sentence was mess, not sure how happen there. But basically you can do this exact same thing with a Inteon thermostat and their software to not only control the temperature while away, you can control other aspects of your home like lighting and such and it cost are less and it does not require you to use an outside service to connect to your home. No requirement to give up your privacy to some third party.
    temp and no one is allow to mess with it.



    I have done plenty of home automation in the past and playing with stuff now to use and ipad or iphone to control my home, and this product is a lot of money for as single use item.
  • Reply 43 of 54
    jukesjukes Posts: 213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    What do you mean? It's just like iCloud: any change made is applied in the order given, overwriting the last change.


     


     


    Trying to read this post was fairly frustrating. Can you please rewrite this last sentence? I'm not sure what you're saying, but I believe the Nest does it, too.



     

    It simple, if two people live in the house and the one which has the linked iphone leaves and the system obviously determines you left your house and now set back the temperature so the heating and cooling does not turn on and someone else is in the house this does not work. That person left in the house will have to manually override the system which defeats the learning aspect of the thermostat.



    Now add the complexity of multiple iOS devices and knowing which one to use as determining factory on how to control the system is not simple nor easy to deal with. The answer is not icloud that is for sure. You will need to tell the system about each iOS device and it will have know each devices preferences and habits and then have to figure out which on rules in all cases. In my house Dad set the temp and no one is allow to mess with it.


     


    The iOS app isn't necessary for the Nest to learn. It has a motion sensor or something that actually drives this feature. And you can manage the Nest from a simple web interface. My understanding is that the iOS app just adds convenience.

  • Reply 44 of 54
    nhtnht Posts: 4,522member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by focher View Post


    Actually, the Nest does quite a few things automatically that a simple programmable thermostat doesn't do. It knows the outdoor temperature, and uses that information to better control the inside temperature. It monitors humidity in the air, and uses that information to better control the inside temperature. It can automatically know when you are away, turning off your heater/AC. With the AirWave feature, it can turn off the AC compressor while leaving the fan on because it knows that the compressor will remain cool for quite awhile after it's switched off. It monitors your actual energy usage. It's also Zigbee compliant, so can be used with other home automation items like closing/opening automated shades.


     


    Almost none of those things are available on a simple programmable thermostat, or even "advanced" ones. I have Nests in my house, and it easily took 25% off my utility bill compared to the programmable thermostats I replaced.



     


    The infinity thermostat also uses outside temp, humidity, etc.  The Nest can't handle more than 2 levels of multistage heating and 1 stage of cooling and given the control wires probably can't handle the same number of blower speeds as the higher end trane/bryant/carrier/honeywell systems.

  • Reply 45 of 54
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 469member


    It's becoming clear to me that many people are commenting on this product but few actually own one.  I got my two Nests on the third week of January so I've had a 3+ months of usage out of them.  My overall impression:  outstanding.


     


    A little background...three years ago I went to Home Depot looking for a better, more energy efficient household thermostat after talking to my wife who was in the middle of her Ph.D. program in environmental management.  I ended up buying what was state of the art then...two of Honeywell's wall units.  The first problem with them is that Honeywell expects experienced HVAC people to install them.  So there's no effort to demystify the process for DIYers.  I ended up calling my HVAC guy and having him put them in.  But that was just the start.  Now I must say, the Honeywells always worked as advertised.  The problem is that the user interface is such crap that even after having the instruction booklet next to my bed for some reading for a week, I never wanted to really engage the thing.  And worse, it was so complex I knew my wife wouldn't want to fool with it either.  So while you could program it for weekdays and weekends, what you really find yourself doing was just sticking this thing on "hold", meaning it would hold whatever temperature you selected at that time.  For the $300 I spent on the two units not to mention the install fee, I was literally no better than the older units I replaced them with.


     


    When the Nests finally came in January, I installed the first one in the evening using the online instructions.  The whole operation worked great as it recognized the wires and set up the unit, asking me whether I wanted Farenheit or Celcius, the particulars of the WiFi network and the zip code.  I mated it to the Nest account I had previously created.  After about 20 minutes of it downloading firmware updates and flashing itself, it settled into the initial learning mode.  During the install of the second Nest, I ran into trouble.  The upstairs wiring diagram had something the downstairs didn't have, a fifth wire for Common.  That confused the Nest since it knew it was connected to Common but there was no power on the circuit.  A quick call to tech support isolated the cause...Common wasn't connected to anything at the HVAC unit!  This apparently happened a lot with customers but it was nice for support to know this.  Disconnecting the wire fixed the issue and the second Nest was up and running.


     


    I would classify the Nest as an evolving product, in a good way.  There have been a number of firmware upgrades since purchase.  I began with the 1.0 code base in which the Nest updated immediately to 1.04 upon install.  A week later the 1.1 code base shipped which turned into the only snafu I've had with the product.  The Nest units were supposed to find a certain server at Nest HQ to communicate to...a server that had been decommissioned.  That led the units in customer hands try and try and try to establish connections until the battery in the units fell below a certain level.  When that happens, the Nests drop off Wifi to save battery life and in many cases, just shut down all together to preserve power.  The problem was quickly solved on Nest's data center's end (and fixed with another firmware patch on the Nests in the field), but for customers with dead Nests or non-working Wifi, the solution was to unhook the unit off the wall from the base and hook the Nest up to a USB port with 5V of power.  After about 30-60 minutes, the unit was back in action.  It was an unfortunate lesson for Nest but it was a good thing they put USB ports on the back of the units in case you needed to recharge them (normally Nests charge themselves by trickle charging against the current provided on the HVAC's control wires.


     


    Since then there have been no problems.  Even better, we've seen energy savings of about 20% in the winter heating months (about $40-$45) a month in my house.  I'm still trying to assess savings data from AC usage.  My electric power company's monthly usage data in relation to average temperature data is a little hard to understand versus our gas company that made the comparison a lot easier.  As for day to day use, control of the household environment is easy through the interface on the Nest dial or through the iPhone/iPad interface.  When the 2.0 code base dropped, we got the ability to see exactly how many hours a day (and when) your HVAC units are really running (versus just spinning the fans).  Previously you only got an approximate idea that you were saving energy through temperature choices and feedback (although it did tell you how many hours the HVAC unit ran).  Now it shows when temp changes happened according to the schedule and how that affected it turning the HVAC on or off.  This is extremely powerful.  The latest feature that we got in the 2.1 code base was Airwave, which basically is the Nest knowing that during the summer, if it turns off the AC compressor, that compressor is still cold for several minutes, meaning you can still blow cold air past it and cool the house.  Pretty slick.


     


    The latest feature is new in the last two weeks and something I've wanted every since the Nest arrived:  monthly analytics.  You get a summary of how long the HVAC ran for in hours (separate readings for heating and cooling).  You also get gamification data like how many "leafs" you earned for being energy efficient as opposed to other Nest owners.  Lastly, you learn how often and how long auto-away kicked in, or if you manually set the Away function if you stepped away for longer periods of time.  And yes, if you set one unit for "Away", the entire house shuts down without you having to visit every nest you own...as it should work.


     


    Our Nests are teaching us how our house uses energy, what temperature changes mean to our usage profile, and is easy enough for the entire family to use.  And yes, we're saving money too and somehow they made it fun.   Highly recommended.

  • Reply 46 of 54
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 469member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nht View Post


     


    The infinity thermostat also uses outside temp, humidity, etc.  The Nest can't handle more than 2 levels of multistage heating and 1 stage of cooling and given the control wires probably can't handle the same number of blower speeds as the higher end trane/bryant/carrier/honeywell systems.



     


    This is true...the Nest isn't right for all systems.  Somehow I think that Nest will fix these limitations in future versions.

  • Reply 47 of 54
    jukesjukes Posts: 213member

    Quote:


    Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

     


    [snip]


     


    Since then there have been no problems.  Even better, we've seen energy savings of about 20% in the winter heating months (about $40-$45) a month in my house.  I'm still trying to assess savings data from AC usage.  My electric power company's monthly usage data in relation to average temperature data is a little hard to understand versus our gas company that made the comparison a lot easier.


     


    [snip]



     


    You realize that the price of natural gas is much lower than last year, and that February was historically warm? Your $$ number means nothing. The only relevant measure would be MCF usage adjusted for average temperature.

  • Reply 48 of 54
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post


    It's becoming clear to me that many people are commenting on this product but few actually own one.  I got my two Nests on the third week of January so I've had a 3+ months of usage out of them.  My overall impression:  outstanding.


     


    A little background...three years ago I went to Home Depot looking for a better, more energy efficient household thermostat after talking to my wife who was in the middle of her Ph.D. program in environmental management.  I ended up buying what was state of the art then...two of Honeywell's wall units.  The first problem with them is that Honeywell expects experienced HVAC people to install them.  So there's no effort to demystify the process for DIYers.  I ended up calling my HVAC guy and having him put them in.  But that was just the start.  Now I must say, the Honeywells always worked as advertised.  The problem is that the user interface is such crap that even after having the instruction booklet next to my bed for some reading for a week, I never wanted to really engage the thing.  And worse, it was so complex I knew my wife wouldn't want to fool with it either.  So while you could program it for weekdays and weekends, what you really find yourself doing was just sticking this thing on "hold", meaning it would hold whatever temperature you selected at that time.  For the $300 I spent on the two units not to mention the install fee, I was literally no better than the older units I replaced them with.


     


    When the Nests finally came in January, I installed the first one in the evening using the online instructions.  The whole operation worked great as it recognized the wires and set up the unit, asking me whether I wanted Farenheit or Celcius, the particulars of the WiFi network and the zip code.  I mated it to the Nest account I had previously created.  After about 20 minutes of it downloading firmware updates and flashing itself, it settled into the initial learning mode.  During the install of the second Nest, I ran into trouble.  The upstairs wiring diagram had something the downstairs didn't have, a fifth wire for Common.  That confused the Nest since it knew it was connected to Common but there was no power on the circuit.  A quick call to tech support isolated the cause...Common wasn't connected to anything at the HVAC unit!  This apparently happened a lot with customers but it was nice for support to know this.  Disconnecting the wire fixed the issue and the second Nest was up and running.


     


    I would classify the Nest as an evolving product, in a good way.  There have been a number of firmware upgrades since purchase.  I began with the 1.0 code base in which the Nest updated immediately to 1.04 upon install.  A week later the 1.1 code base shipped which turned into the only snafu I've had with the product.  The Nest units were supposed to find a certain server at Nest HQ to communicate to...a server that had been decommissioned.  That led the units in customer hands try and try and try to establish connections until the battery in the units fell below a certain level.  When that happens, the Nests drop off Wifi to save battery life and in many cases, just shut down all together to preserve power.  The problem was quickly solved on Nest's data center's end (and fixed with another firmware patch on the Nests in the field), but for customers with dead Nests or non-working Wifi, the solution was to unhook the unit off the wall from the base and hook the Nest up to a USB port with 5V of power.  After about 30-60 minutes, the unit was back in action.  It was an unfortunate lesson for Nest but it was a good thing they put USB ports on the back of the units in case you needed to recharge them (normally Nests charge themselves by trickle charging against the current provided on the HVAC's control wires.


     


    Since then there have been no problems.  Even better, we've seen energy savings of about 20% in the winter heating months (about $40-$45) a month in my house.  I'm still trying to assess savings data from AC usage.  My electric power company's monthly usage data in relation to average temperature data is a little hard to understand versus our gas company that made the comparison a lot easier.  As for day to day use, control of the household environment is easy through the interface on the Nest dial or through the iPhone/iPad interface.  When the 2.0 code base dropped, we got the ability to see exactly how many hours a day (and when) your HVAC units are really running (versus just spinning the fans).  Previously you only got an approximate idea that you were saving energy through temperature choices and feedback (although it did tell you how many hours the HVAC unit ran).  Now it shows when temp changes happened according to the schedule and how that affected it turning the HVAC on or off.  This is extremely powerful.  The latest feature that we got in the 2.1 code base was Airwave, which basically is the Nest knowing that during the summer, if it turns off the AC compressor, that compressor is still cold for several minutes, meaning you can still blow cold air past it and cool the house.  Pretty slick.


     


    The latest feature is new in the last two weeks and something I've wanted every since the Nest arrived:  monthly analytics.  You get a summary of how long the HVAC ran for in hours (separate readings for heating and cooling).  You also get gamification data like how many "leafs" you earned for being energy efficient as opposed to other Nest owners.  Lastly, you learn how often and how long auto-away kicked in, or if you manually set the Away function if you stepped away for longer periods of time.  And yes, if you set one unit for "Away", the entire house shuts down without you having to visit every nest you own...as it should work.


     


    Our Nests are teaching us how our house uses energy, what temperature changes mean to our usage profile, and is easy enough for the entire family to use.  And yes, we're saving money too and somehow they made it fun.   Highly recommended.



     


    Thanks for sharing. What happens when the temp upstairs is much hotter than downstairs. How do the Nests deal with that?

  • Reply 49 of 54
    gasadgasad Posts: 2member

    It is a appreciable that[url=http://www.sleekfunmaza.com]live tv[/url]



    1 marriage site[/url]good to manage your blog because actual meaning


    of blog dies if irrelevant[url=http://www.sleekarticles.com/]Computer Articles[/url]


    comments remain for long time.[url=http://www.thescops.com/sslt.php]Web Development [/url]


    For good post knowledge[url=http://www.sleekcareer.com/]government jobs[/url]


     based comments should [url=http://www.freelegalcounselling.com/]free legal help online[/url]


    be written so that peopl[url=http://www.sleeksystems.net]no.1 software house in the world[/url]


    e can learn from this[url=http://www.sleeksight.com/]find a job[/url]


    blog.
  • Reply 50 of 54
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 469member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jukes View Post


     


    You realize that the price of natural gas is much lower than last year, and that February was historically warm? Your $$ number means nothing. The only relevant measure would be MCF usage adjusted for average temperature.



    Oh ye of little faith! :)  Yes, I figured I'd have to take that into account to make a good comparison.  First, in my neck of the woods, natural gas prices are almost identical to last year according to the Piedmont Gas.  But yes, I normalized the difference anyway.  Second, I had to find good months to compare this year's data to from the previous year.  As it turned out, I got lucky in that two months from last year did line up pretty nicely in terms of degree days and billable days for the period  For the first month (January) I only had the Nests up and running for 10 days of the billing cycle but even then we could see improvement.  The second month (February) actually lined up to last year's March almost perfectly and showed the definitive result.


     


    Finally, it helps when your wife is a newly minted Ph.D. in environmental sustainability.  She's turned into a complete data nerd and verified my findings.

  • Reply 51 of 54
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 469member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


     


    Thanks for sharing. What happens when the temp upstairs is much hotter than downstairs. How do the Nests deal with that?



    A good point.  Each Nest keeps their own schedule and operate independently in this regard.  So if you work from home and aren't upstairs most of the day, you can operate that at a higher temperature than downstairs.  What I ended up doing was putting the house zones at temps based on our usual schedules.  So in the cooling months, downstairs is set for 80 degrees overnight (basically not operating) but cools the floor down to 71 at about 5:30 AM in time for family to wake up and arrive at 6 AM.  Once the kids and wife are out of the house (I do work from home), the Nests adjust the temp to 73 which is enough for a single person during the day.  I reverse the process in the evening, lowering the main floor temp to 71 from 5 PM to 10 PM and then the house goes back to an 80 degree setting after that.  One nice touch about doing the high temp setting at night, when the Nest adjusts to this temp, it prints on the display "80 degrees for the night"; in other words, "I know I'm shutting down the floor to save energy".  A nice UI touch.


     


    The upstairs floor operates in a more limited zone of temps for sleeping comfort.  72 degrees overnight in the summer, cooling to 71 for wake up/bedtime periods and 73 for daytime.


     


    Finally, we had a situation in our home that many people have in which the attic entrance (scuttle hole) is an uninsulated door that causes heat or cold to invade the living areas in the house.  In our house, it was a real problem in the summer where the humidity can make upstairs uncomfortable, especially if I leave my closet door open (my home's scuttle hole in in my clothes closet).  The Nest has humidity sensors and you can read the relative humidity of the device from the front panel.  After verifying what I could already feel on my skin during some of the early warm March days, I went to Home Depot and bought an Owens Corning attic entrance tent ($35) that provides insulation for that door.  After insulation, the Nest verified a drop in the relative humidity by over 5 points on average.  It's still not the same as the downstairs but its a lot closer now and the Nest helped me verify the benefit.

  • Reply 52 of 54
    jukesjukes Posts: 213member

    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jukes View Post


     


    You realize that the price of natural gas is much lower than last year, and that February was historically warm? Your $$ number means nothing. The only relevant measure would be MCF usage adjusted for average temperature.



    Oh ye of little faith! :)  Yes, I figured I'd have to take that into account to make a good comparison.  First, in my neck of the woods, natural gas prices are almost identical to last year according to the Piedmont Gas.  But yes, I normalized the difference anyway.  Second, I had to find good months to compare this year's data to from the previous year.  As it turned out, I got lucky in that two months from last year did line up pretty nicely in terms of degree days and billable days for the period  For the first month (January) I only had the Nests up and running for 10 days of the billing cycle but even then we could see improvement.  The second month (February) actually lined up to last year's March almost perfectly and showed the definitive result.


     


    Finally, it helps when your wife is a newly minted Ph.D. in environmental sustainability.  She's turned into a complete data nerd and verified my findings.



     


    So according to Piedmont Gas, they service 3 states NC, SC, and TN. A quick comparison from their website (http://www.piedmontng.com/about/ourrates/home.aspx) shows that per-therm natural gas prices for residential customers are down 12% in NC, 20% in SC, and 21% in TN. None of these are "almost identical." Can you just give us the MCF per degree day difference between February of this year and March of last year, and leave the $ values out of it? And also verify that you haven't changed your standard of heating (i.e., daytime home, daytime away, and nighttime temperatures) between this year and last year?


     


    I just have no confidence that a nest can save normal users 20% in actual energy usage over a well programmed basic unit using the same standard of comfort.


     


    Congratulations to your wife for finishing. I'm defending in July, and it's a big pain.

  • Reply 53 of 54
    chabigchabig Posts: 641member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


     

    It simple, if two people live in the house and the one which has the linked iphone leaves and the system obviously determines you left your house...


    That's not how it works. There is no "linked" iPhone. The thermostat doesn't monitor any "devices" to determine whether you're home or not. Instead, the thermostat uses sensors to guess whether you are home or away. These include proximity sensors, motion detectors, and sound sensors. If it thinks you're away while you're home and the temperature is uncomfortable, you walk to the thermostat and adjust it.

  • Reply 54 of 54
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 469member
    jukes wrote: »
    So according to Piedmont Gas, they service 3 states NC, SC, and TN. A quick comparison from their website (http://www.piedmontng.com/about/ourrates/home.aspx) shows that per-therm natural gas prices for residential customers are down 12% in NC, 20% in SC, and 21% in TN. None of these are "almost identical." Can you just give us the MCF per degree day difference between February of this year and March of last year, and leave the $ values out of it? And also verify that you haven't changed your standard of heating (i.e., daytime home, daytime away, and nighttime temperatures) between this year and last year?

    I just have no confidence that a nest can save normal users 20% in actual energy usage over a well programmed basic unit using the same standard of comfort.

    Congratulations to your wife for finishing. I'm defending in July, and it's a big pain.

    Ok, now you're going to make me to back to my model and I'm on a flight that's boarding now and all my data is at home. I'll see what I can do when I get home.

    As for the natural gas prices, I just went off what was printed on the bill. It's possible it could be wrong but again, I'll have to go back and check.

    Finally, I'm not saying that a Nest is going to outperform significantly a well programmed thermostat from a competitor. The whole point of the Nest was actually give you a user interface that you might actually want to use. If you read their web site, that is the scenario for many of their target customers and I was certainly one of them. I had the old Honeywells and I had no design to pierce the UI in order to program the thing. And even if I wanted to, I still couldn't program it like the way I've done it for multiple actions during a given day. I'm a geek and I love my toys. But to quote a famous movie, "I'm getting too old for this sh...". I have a family and things to do. I do not have time for weekend tech projects like I used to. I wound up doing exactly what Nest said that many of their potential customers were doing with their old thermostats...locking in a temp and staying there.

    And congrats on getting to your defense. I know how big a deal that is. Keep your cool, stand your ground and keep your eye omthe big picture and out of the minutia. Your committee will be happy to pick over the details on their own. :)

    After that, it's all over but the corrections (and that's painful sometimes).
Sign In or Register to comment.