Review: Nest Learning Thermostat

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 75
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smaislin View Post

     

    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.


    Zoned heating is very expensive to retrofit.  My brother had it done in his house and it cost a huge amount of money.  But I know that nest is working on remote sensors and also that the new CO sensor works with nests to communicate auto away if I'm not mistaken.

     

    Im not.  Just read this on the nest website that the new Nest Protect Smoke/CO sensor does work with auto away to control your heating and cooling, so if your nest is in a low traffic location the Nest Protect Smoke/CO sensor acts as a remote sensor for the nest.  

    Here is a quote from nest:

    Quote:

     

    Improving Auto-Away

    Nest Protect helps improve the Auto-Away and Auto Arrival features of your Nest Learning Thermostat. In some homes, the thermostat is placed in a low-traffic area, which makes it difficult to detect if you’re away. For example, if you’re working from your home office but your thermostat is in the hallway, it may think you’re gone for the day.

    If you have Nest Protect (Wired 120V), it will detect your presence just like your Nest Learning Thermostat would if it were in the room. By knowing when you’re home or away, the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect can save you money while keeping you comfortable.

    Nest Protect (Battery) updates less frequently than Nest Protect (Wired 120V) to conserve battery life. Even though it doesn’t update right away, it can still improve the quality of your schedule over time by up to 50%.



    So having one of those or more of them would solve your issue with the nest going into auto away when your there and provide a smoke/ co sensor too.

    Hope this helps your situation.

  • Reply 42 of 75
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,307member
    mechanic wrote: »
    Zoned heating is very expensive to retrofit.  My brother had it done in his house and it cost a huge amount of money.  But I know that nest is working on remote sensors and also that the new CO sensor works with nests to communicate auto away if I'm not mistaken.

    Im not.  Just read this on the nest website that the new Nest Protect Smoke/CO sensor does work with auto away to control your heating and cooling, so if your nest is in a low traffic location the Nest Protect Smoke/CO sensor acts as a remote sensor for the nest.  
    Here is a quote from nest:
    So having one of those or more of them would solve your issue with the nest going into auto away when your there and provide a smoke/ co sensor too.
    Hope this helps your situation.

    That's great news, I have a smoke detector on order. My only small issue, and it's not Nests fault, is ours is in an area that can go untrodden for quite a while and cause Away mode when we are in.
  • Reply 43 of 75
    My turn:

    I've been a Nest early adopter since January 2012. I have two gen-1 Nest thermostats in my home, one for each level of the house. My house is 3280 square feet, heated by natural gas in the southern US.

    Before the Nests, I had bought a couple of Honeywell programmable thermostats. I had wanted to save energy and money with our household energy bills and since my wife is a sustainability PhD, she was all for it. I placed the Homeywell's manual by my bedside table to read it. After a few minutes, I realized that Honeywell assumed that the audience was someone who works with HVAC systems all the time. There is no explanation for that the wires do, so I had no confidence I could do the install myself. So I called my HVAC tech who came out and did it for me (and charging me for the service call). After they were in, I was annoyed that my new thermostats weren't nearly as flexible with the schedules, exceptions to the schedule and other things I needed. There were no lockout for the kids tampering with it. The user interface was awful. And even if I did get it programmed, i knew my wife wouldn't want to fool with it since the interface was so bad. So I left it as a non programmable thermostats, essentially wasting my money.

    The Nests changed all of that. First, it made sense of the installation process. They made it approachable and dare I say, pretty easy. Most home theater installs are a lot worse. I'm told the install process has been streamlined since the early days, which is good that Nest is always trying to improve the process. In the beginning, you had to enter all information through the ring interface on the thermostat which was tedious

    I've always thought that Nest's tech support group was pretty good and very professional. (I work in large enterprise support services). Given that when I hear that Nest is actually buying back customers products that don't work out, that's a company who is going way above what most might do in a similar circumstance. Here's a Nest tech support experience for me: this past summer my 13 year old Rheem gas/electric unit for my ground floor died and we replaced it with a Trane. A few days after the install, the Nest began acting very strangely. The unit would turn on the compressor for cooling, and then for no reason the blue cooling color on the interface would turn off, even if the target temperate was not achieved. It would cycle like this every few minutes. After discussing with Nest support, they couldn't make anything of it (and this was after a lot of examination of data coming from the unit). So they decided to send a new replacement, even though this thing isn't close to being under warranty anymore. But I got an idea from tech support at the end of the call..they said to put the old Honeywell back on the wall and run that for a couple of days until themes Nest arrived. I still had it in a box, so I did. Guess what? The Honeywell remote exhibited the exact same problem. The issue was traced to a bad board in the new Trane HVAC unit and was replaced under warranty. The replacement Nest arrived in the mail the next day after I called support and I sent the unit back unopened...no need for a swap after all.

    And yes, the Nest Thermostats save me money..They have easily paid for themselves in the first 18 months.

    Since my experience with their products has been positive, I've decided to go with the Nest Protect smoke alarms. I've installed two so far....current codes demand six units but the house was built with only 2 twenty years ago. Eventually I'll have seven working total. One thing about the new Protects was that the product launch made me aware I might have a problem. The AC powered smoke alarms in my house I discovered were probably original to the house (20 years ago, we've bought it 10 years ago). No wonder the one next to the kitchen never went off regardless of what I burned...that was one of the first to be replaced. The only working alarm was a battery powered one in the hallway next to the bedrooms.

    For those that are interested, yes the Protects act to expand the auto-away sensor net for the thermostats, which is useful if your thermostats are not in a high traffic area. Eventually I think the heat sensors they come with will help the thermostats better regulate temperature in a given zone (but it doesn't do this now). A lot is possible with a smoke alarm that's wifi enabled and can take firmware updates.
  • Reply 44 of 75

    I had a new heat pump installed in mid-October, and installed a Nest thermostat at that time. Granted, the heat pump is a new, high efficiency model, but the Nest has shown plenty of 'no usage' or extremely low usage (<30 minutes in 24 hours) days. Since I'm on my electric company's 'levelized' plan that averages the last 13 months, I haven't seen a drop in the bill just yet, but in the usage chart, there was an obvious drop in October 2013 v. 2012. Granted, there were probably more factors than just the new unit/Nest thermostat, but it had to be part of the equation.

     

    Having recently added a Nest Protect to replace an old smoke detector and help the Nest with it's auto away features, I'm sure going forward, the electric bill savings will be even greater.

  • Reply 45 of 75
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

     
    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?

    and a "seriously wrong" choice, right?



    and your response to SolipsismX...

    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...


     

    Your response is a bit lame. If you don't want to understand I cannot make you.

    The 'quote' chopped of the first few words, that alters the meaning, relevant for the conversation.

    I pointed that out, it seems that SolipsismX acknowledged my point.

    Regarding the air conditioner, yes thats a seriously wrong choice, you got that right.

  • Reply 46 of 75
    oldrick wrote: »
    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.

    This is not true at all. You obviously don't have a Nest or know how they work. I have 3 Nest thermostats in my house. They all talk and interact with each other to keep the house at the optimal comfort level, to set and detect auto away, etc. The Nest web site clearly states that they work together.

    Your Honeywell thermostat is functional, but the technology is like 10 years behind the smarts and sensors in a Nest. And, the Nest is simple for everyone to use where the Honeywell can only be programmed by tech people.

    I had Honeywell thermostats for years. The family could never figure out how to use them When I got the Nests, the whole family now can easily use them and love then.
  • Reply 47 of 75
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vmarks View Post

     

    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.


     

    Ok thanks for your response. My point was a bit to strong I think.

    It's much more constructive to think in/of solutions, especially working from an existing situation.

    One part of the solution is changing the existing mindset. It is for example perfectly possible to not use the airco even if it is installed.

    Another one is restrict heating to 20 C (or lower), comfort is subjective and one can adapt to new circumstances.

    In the part of Europe I live it can get very hot in the summer, we always have a few days a year with 25 or 26 C (79 F) in house.

    It takes a week of 30 C (86 F) to get there because our house is completely insulated and has 'special' double glazing and air vents that reduce the humidity in the house (and thereby reduce the energy needed to heat the house in the winter).

    (You might consider that the humidity is high in the part of Europe I live in, so 30 C can be compared to 40 C or so in drier areas.)

    A big cost (and energie) saver is to dial back the thermostat every night so that the heating is completely off for the night.

    (Sleeping in a heated room is unhealthy and uncomfortable.)

    Its also a good idea not to heat the whole house, only the parts you live in.

     

    A very good investment would be to put solar panels on the roof to power the airco (if you must use it), this is a perfect solution.

     

    Regards.

  • Reply 48 of 75
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    knowitall wrote: »
    The 'quote' chopped of the first few words, that alters the meaning, relevant for the conversation.
    I pointed that out, it seems that SolipsismX acknowledged my point.

    Speaking of lame, I acknowledged your foolish point from the get go. Your assertion is that vmarks was doing something wrong. I neither removed nor rearranged any words from your sentence. You made an ignorant statement but instead of admitting it when you were called out you decided to act like an ass knowitall.

    knowitall wrote: »
    My point was a bit to strong I think.
    Ya' think?
    It's much more constructive to think in/of solutions, especially working from an existing situation.
    Good advice, try it sometime.
    One part of the solution is changing the existing mindset.
    And yet you attacked me when I asked very logic questions after you made your initial knee-jerk reaction.
  • Reply 49 of 75
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

     

     

    Ok thanks for your response. My point was a bit to strong I think.

    It's much more constructive to think in/of solutions, especially working from an existing situation.

    One part of the solution is changing the existing mindset. It is for example perfectly possible to not use the airco even if it is installed.

    Another one is restrict heating to 20 C (or lower), comfort is subjective and one can adapt to new circumstances.

    In the part of Europe I live it can get very hot in the summer, we always have a few days a year with 25 or 26 C (79 F) in house.

    It takes a week of 30 C (86 F) to get there because our house is completely insulated and has 'special' double glazing and air vents that reduce the humidity in the house (and thereby reduce the energy needed to heat the house in the winter).

    (You might consider that the humidity is high in the part of Europe I live in, so 30 C can be compared to 40 C or so in drier areas.)

    A big cost (and energie) saver is to dial back the thermostat every night so that the heating is completely off for the night.

    (Sleeping in a heated room is unhealthy and uncomfortable.)

    Its also a good idea not to heat the whole house, only the parts you live in.

     

    A very good investment would be to put solar panels on the roof to power the airco (if you must use it), this is a perfect solution.

     

    Regards.


    We also have high humidity here in the summers.

     

    I'd like to know more about your humidity reducing air vents - do you have a link?

     

    We dial the thermostat back to 68 for the nights, which tends to mean it's essentially off for most of the year, and may run a little heat in the winter. 

    Adding solar seems prohibitively expensive initially. I think the money would be better spent on newer double-glazed windows.

     

    Unfortunately, heating or cooling the whole house is the only option at this time. There's one thermostat and one aircon / furnace for the whole house. This is also very common in homes contemporary with my home in the US.

  • Reply 50 of 75
    bill42bill42 Posts: 130member

    Love my NEST. Also love their tech support. They are a new company and they strive to keep customers happy. Their support and the user experience is very Apple-like.

  • Reply 51 of 75
    focherfocher Posts: 679member
    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.

    This is actually untrue. Multiple Nest Thermostats do actually interact, although Nest doesn't really make it clear to what extent. One function, for example, is the Away function. Setting one device to Away (or having Auto Away trigger) is communicated to other devices. When the Away is deactivated - manually or automatically - it also does so on the other thermostats.

     

    The new Nest Protect (CO2 and smoke alarm) also interacts with Nest Thermostats.

  • Reply 52 of 75
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

     

    Your issue is not wide spread I read nest forums every day and nest is working on a solution.  For customers that can't wait for that solution they are refunding your money. 

     

    Here is a post from a Nest Engineer on there forums that I quoted:

     

    Apparently some HVAC systems generate electrical noise (voltage spikes) causing the switch transistor in the base to overheat or be damaged.  As was stated in the letter there are literally hundreds of thousands of nests out there.   This problem is related to relatively a very small number of those.

    No I don't work for nest.  So don't go there.  I have two nests installed in my house now for over 2 years with not one issue.

     

    For you to post here and tell everyone that it is not if but when it fails is inaccurate at best.

    Making it sound like all of them are failing when a small number are because of the HVAC units there install on is inaccurate too.

    Nest cannot account for the literally hundreds of HVAC systems that are out there.   With different control circuits and different architectures. But they are correcting your issue as I write this and Im sure that it will not be an issue in the future, like I said for those that can't wait they are refunding your purchase and you can go back to whatever you were using previously.




    That is a BS reason from Nest. The Nest system should be able to handle the Voltage spikes and noise since this is common on HVAC systems. The Nest is sold as a smart replacement for dumb and even programmable Thermostats. Thermostats that have run my systems for years with no problem. The thermostats I have had to reinstall when the Nest failed. If the cheaper thermostats can handle the voltage spikes and noise, why can't Nest. Nest, then needs to tell you this may be a problem. It's a disappointment that $250 thermostats fail (1 after 1 1/2 years and the other less than a year), while my $30 dollars ones still run after 7 years.

  • Reply 53 of 75
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Speaking of lame, I acknowledged your foolish point from the get go. Your assertion is that vmarks was doing something wrong. I neither removed nor rearranged any words from your sentence. You made an ignorant statement but instead of admitting it when you were called out you decided to act like an ass knowitall.

    Ya' think?

    Good advice, try it sometime.

    And yet you attacked me when I asked very logic questions after you made your initial knee-jerk reaction.

     

    He, I am sorry if you interpret my comments in this way.

    Have a nice day.

  • Reply 54 of 75
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vmarks View Post

     

    We also have high humidity here in the summers.

     

    I'd like to know more about your humidity reducing air vents - do you have a link?

     

    ...


     

    It's above almost all windows, its a bit like this: window air vent. Hot moist air can exit the house via convention.

  • Reply 55 of 75
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vmarks View Post

     

    ...

    Unfortunately, heating or cooling the whole house is the only option at this time. There's one thermostat and one aircon / furnace for the whole house. This is also very common in homes contemporary with my home in the US.


     

    We have multiple floors here in most of the houses. This means that it is relatively easy to seal off all other floors (we have a hallway and door that does this), so only ground level is heated and the other floors have the radiators set to low.

  • Reply 56 of 75
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

     

     

    We have multiple floors here in most of the houses. This means that it is relatively easy to seal off all other floors (we have a hallway and door that does this), so only ground level is heated and the other floors have the radiators set to low.


    We have no radiators. We have central air to both floors at the same time.

     

    We have no door that separates the floors and installing one would require construction of walls to hold a door frame. While the air vents themselves have a lever and door flaps, they don't really seal. Any other adjustments are in the ductwork themselves, below the floors or above the ceilings. 

     

    There is no easy way to seal one floor from another.

     

    Our home construction is very different from the way your home is constructed. How it's heated and cooled is different as well. Unfortunately, it's difficult and expensive to change this, and if ours reflected yours it would be unique in this market and could reduce the value of the home at time of sale.

  • Reply 57 of 75
    Latest Honeywell offering (especially RedLink enabled devices) are more sophisticated, able to do mach more than Nest and have a very solid iPhone/iPad app which is not changing constantly :)
    Price is reasonable as well.
  • Reply 58 of 75
    thrangthrang Posts: 869member

    Nest did release an updated backplate about two months ago, but it still does not address a number of the issues that cause the blown FET failures.

     

    If anyone has called lately, their tech support wait times have gone through the roof - there are more people than they would like to admit that are having issues - as the cold season hit the northeast, they are getting slammed with calls.

     

    I absolutely wanted to keep the Nests - I liked the promise of what they could do. But my setup is so simple and it still fails, and they have no clue why.

  • Reply 59 of 75
    neilmneilm Posts: 882member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post

    In the part of Europe I live it can get very hot in the summer, we always have a few days a year with 25 or 26 C (79 F) in house.

    It takes a week of 30 C (86 F) to get there because our house is completely insulated and has 'special' double glazing and air vents that reduce the humidity in the house (and thereby reduce the energy needed to heat the house in the winter).

    (You might consider that the humidity is high in the part of Europe I live in, so 30 C can be compared to 40 C or so in drier areas.)


     

    You don't say where in Europe you live, but as someone who lived in various parts of northern and southern Europe for many years I can assure you of this: unless you've spend a good deal of time in the USA, you can have no idea what the climatic extremes are like in many parts of the USA. 

  • Reply 60 of 75
    Sadly there is a lot of misinformation here in the comments. First off, oldrick is completely wrong, the Nest will talk to multiple Nest units in a single house, as long as they're on the same WiFi network:

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

    I personally haven't used this, as I only have one thermostat for my home, but I've never heard that this doesn't work (only that it works great). You can even set different preferred ranged & temps for houses with multiple zones as long as there's a Nest in each zone to detect the current temperature there. Supposed to work quite well, but again I can't attest.

    Secondly, they just released the Nest Protect, which is their fancy name for a smoke & carbon monoxide detector. It also connects to WiFi, and it also has a motion sensor which will affect the auto-away feature of the nest thermostat(s) that you have. So Nest does, indeed, have multiple sensor solutions now. I don't have one of these (yet) because I'm not ready to drop $129 on a (nice) smoke detector. But the motion sensing feature and the night-light (to illuminate a hallway at night when you're walking nearby) sound like something that might (almost) make it worth it!

    Source:

    I've owned a Nest for about 7 months, and have used it frequently. I've never used an easier thermostat (though my Nest installation was a nightmare, it didn't like our "C" power line, and so I had to install it without, but the error message was confusing and it took a few calls to their hotline to fix.) I absolutely love their smartphone app, it works wonderfully (I never had the problem the author did with the previous version, but I also definitely like the newest version far better) and it is amazingly convenient to be in bed or 30 minutes from home and change the temperature to something more comfortable so that the house is the right temp when I'm ready to get up or arrive at home.
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