One of the most exciting parts of buying a house last year was knowing that I could finally start building the “smart home” I’ve dreamt about for quite some time! For some reason, I haven’t talked about tech too much on the blog, but in real life, it’s something I talk about quite a bit! This year I’m going to start sharing more of my passion for tech and all the fun gadgets – especially as I continue to build my collection of smart home things.
In Friday’s Fun Findings post, I mentioned the Nest Learning Thermostat as one of my faves. I wanted to talk about it a little more in depth today since it’s a product I’ve been using daily since I got it for my birthday in June (thanks mom and dad)!
What is the Nest Learning Thermostat?
If you haven’t heard of the Nest Learning Thermostat, here’s a quick overview. It’s a “smart” thermostat, which hooks up to your home’s AC/heat unit, and helps you save energy, which means saving money! Some of the big features (a.k.a. what sold me on it):
- Home/Away Assist: Nest automatically turns itself down to “eco” (energy saving temp) when nobody’s home
- Remote Control: Thermostat is connected to Wi-Fi, enabling you to control the temperature from your phone, wherever you are
- Farsight: When you walk by, Nest detects your presence and lights up (great for nighttime), displaying the temperature, time, or weather
- Auto-Schedule: Nest learns your temperature preferences (e.g. cooler at night) and programs itself
- Energy History: View your energy usage/temp history in the app
- Works with Amazon Alexa*: You can check your thermostat temp or change it via voice control with Amazon Alexa (new cool feature for me since I just got an Amazon Echo!)
In true “tech geek” fashion, I wanted to tear the box open and install it right away. But since installation involves wires and dealing with electric stuff, it seemed kind of intimidating. I looked into getting someone to come out and install it but the $125ish price tag wasn’t something I was wanting to shell out. So after reading up on the install process and watching a couple YouTube videos, I felt confident that it was a task we could handle on our own.
The installation process took about 20 minutes and we only had one hiccup (more on that in the next section)! I’m really glad we decided to install ourselves too because we were able to put that $125 toward other home improvement projects! I promise it’s not as intimidating as it looks!
Here’s how the install process works:
- Watch Nest’s “how to” video to make sure you’re comfortable with the process, which is actually super easy!
- Remove the face of the old (existing) thermostat from the wall
- CRITICAL STEP: Take a photo of the placement of the wires in your existing thermostat
- Turn the power to your system off (or in my paranoid self’s case, the entire house)
- Remove the wires from the old thermostat and label them with the stickers in the Nest instruction manual. Then remove the old thermostat entirely.
- Mark the wall position of the Nest thermostat and install the trim plate/Nest base
- Connect the wires to the Nest
- Pop the Nest display (thermostat) in
- Turn your power back on and go through the device setup
Any Issues? Call Customer Support
After we finished installing the thermostat, we couldn’t wait to switch the power back on to get the AC going (setting this up in the middle of the day in the FL summer heat is rough), only when we did, we found heat blowing out of the air vent! We immediately put a call into the Nest support line and I think it’s safe to say, received the BEST customer service from a brand, EVER.
To diagnose the problem, the support agent sent me an email and asked that I reply to it with the before and after pictures of the wire configuration and was immediately able to diagnose the problem, which just required us moving a single wire from one spot to another. As a follow-up, the agent also sent over some additional reading material in case we were interested in learning a little more about the interworkings of the AC system since the details were totally new to us!
Overall Thoughts on the Nest Learning Thermostat
So after 6+ months with the Nest Learning Thermostat what do I think? Totally loving it, guys! As with every tech gadget, the price isn’t “cheap,” by any means, but I think it’s well worth investing in one! This model runs about $250 (Amazon’s currently running a special on the white one for $200), but in my opinion is a must-have for any homeowner!
What do you think of the Nest Learning Thermostat? Are you a fan of smart home products?