Nest Smart Thermostat Overview

Introduction

A Nest smart thermostat was a bit of a luxury for me when I first got it in 2012. But it was my first smart home device. I won it in a silent charity auction. So it was a win-win for the local elementary school and the start of my smart home. The Nest quickly became an integral part of our house and life.

Nest smart thermostat
Nest Thermostat. This is an older model. The newer models are sleeker. Does the design look familiar? They were designed by the same person who designed the original Apple iPod.

Applications for a Nest Smart Thermostat

The Nest not only looks cool and modern on your wall, but it is smart in many ways. Here are a few examples:

  • Self programming – As you adjust the temperature, it learns your patterns and preferences and self-programs itself. (It can also be programmed manually).
  • Away mode – It has a motion sensor, so it detects when you are not at home, and can adjust the temperature to an away setting, saving energy.
  • Remote access – No more calling your neighbor to turn on the AC when returning from vacation on a hot day. You can do this on your phone.
  • Works with Alexa – Control the temperature of your house by giving Alexa commands. (Or many other smart speakers).
  • Tracks Usage – And gives feedback on energy consumption so you can make energy conscious decisions.
Nest smart thermostat app
Controlling the temperature from the Nest app is very easy and intuitive.

Installation

The Nest Smart Thermostat was easy to install. And the installation kit comes with all of wires and tools you will need. The Nest connects to existing wire used by your thermostat. And the instructions are crystal clear.

Integration

The Nest connects to your smart home via WiFi. I would prefer if it connected to my SmartThings Hub. But I can tolerate a few WiFi devices here and there. The integration instructions were very easy to follow. Integration involves installing the app, connecting the Nest to WiFi, which the app walks you through, and then configuring the setup.

Programming and Use

Nest smart thermostat schedule
Example of the manual programming of the thermostat in the Nest app. The Nest can also self-program using the patterns of when you adjust your thermostat.

The Nest is advertises with the feature of being a “learning thermostat”. This means that you don’t need to program it. You can simply adjust the temperature to where you want it during the day and week, and Nest will learn you routines. In theory, this is a great idea. But I found that it was much simpler to just program the Nest Manually.

Conclusions

We love our Nest Smart Thermostat. The Nest adds so much value, from remote access, to Alexa integration to change the temperature, to energy saving features. It is a very nice addition to the smart home. Go ahead, just get one!

Nest smart thermostat history
Example of the energy usage history in the Nest app. It looks like it was cold on the 9th and 10th. Welcome to Michigan!

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