If you’re looking to spend over $100 on a “smart” thermostat, know that the $250 Nest is the only one worth your money.
Not only does it have the internet remote controllability and data visualization offered by other products in this price range, it goes one step further by actually making adjustments for you.
(If you just want a cheap, programmable thermostat with no bells and whistles that just works, skip to the end.)
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First, if Nest doesn’t work with your home heating and cooling system, you probably don’t want it.
Considering Nest 3rd generation is compatible with 95% of low voltage heating and cooling systems (and a number of HVAC systems as well), you’re probably in the clear–unless you have some kind of specialty HVAC system.
If your house is compatible, read on. If not, skip to the competition section, where we outline some alternatives that may fit your needs.
The Future We Were Promised
The concept of a smart thermostat isn’t new, but the actual product has evaded us for years. Before Nest, companies’ perception of a “smart” thermostat was one that was easier for users to program.
As a result, we got these contraptions with color touchscreens that have pop up keyboards, pretty menus, cloud-accessible controls, and data visualization.
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But for all their fancy features, they all shared the same flaw: they ultimately rely on humans to make the decisions.
The nest was the first company to realize that programming itself was the problem and that the only solution was to get rid of it entirely.
The Nest is the only thermostat that actually simplifies your life and improves your happiness by making decisions for you.
It does this by learning how you use your home’s climate control system over a one week period and then setting itself accordingly from there on out.
It’s also got a motion sensor in it that automatically sets it into power-saving mode when you’re not around.
And, thanks to its internet connection, it can also factor in the weather when setting the temperature. Now that’s smart.
Why We Like it
The original Nest debuted a couple of years ago, but it was so far ahead of its time that no companies have even come close to matching its functionality.
Meanwhile, Nest has released a 20% slimmer, more widely compatible version 2.0 already. It’s often called the iPod of thermostats, an apt comparison considering the fact that Nest was started by Tony Fadell, the head of the team that created the original iPod. But the similarities don’t stop there.
In addition to its designers, the Nest also borrows its user interface from the once-ubiquitous click wheel found on every iPod.
Grab and rotate the entire body to navigate through lists, click it down to select.
Lest there be any skeptics among you, CNet’s Lindsey Turrentine writes that “[her] kids can’t stop touching the thermostat to explore the menus, and they instantly understand how Nest works.”
The GUI is similarly intuitive. The display background glows red when the heat is on, blue when the air conditioning is running and stays black when it’s off.
Once it’s installed, setup is a breeze.
Installing it is almost as simple — assuming you know your way around a screwdriver. It comes with all the necessary tools, parts, and hardware.
All you need is about 15 minutes to take down your old thermostat and match the right wires to the right holes. There’s even a dedicated website to aid you in the setup process.
All the reviews we read indicated that everyone but the most tool-averse among should be able to install it without outside help, but should you need it, installation service is available for $120.
- Programmable smart thermostat that learns your schedule and the temperatures you like and programs itself to help you save energy and stay comfortable
- Home/Away Assist automatically adjusts itself to an Eco Temperature after you leave, so you don’t heat or cool an empty home
- Remote control lets family members change the temperature from anywhere on a phone, laptop, or tablet The Nest Leaf appears when you choose a temperature that saves energy
- With Energy History, just check your phone to see how much energy you used and why, or use Quick View on the thermostat’s display to reach Energy History, settings, or your schedule
- Smart thermostat with HVAC monitoring, which looks out for your heating and cooling systems; sends an alert if something doesn’t seem right, along with helpful reminders to make maintenance easier
Once it’s installed, setup is a breeze. By all accounts, it shouldn’t take more than a week of preliminary manual adjustments for the Nest to learn your usage habits.
From there on out, it’s pretty much a set it and forget it product. You can still make occasional manual adjustments on the thermostat itself or remotely through its smartphone apps/web app if you so desire.
If the Nest determines those adjustments are truly random, the Nest will ignore them, but if you make them with any sort of regularity, Nest will take that into account and do them for you.
For example, if it notices you’ve been turning up the heat a couple of extra degrees the last several times it rained, Nest will automatically raise the heat for you whenever rain is in the forecast.
Another parameter Nest learns is how long it takes for your house’s furnace/air conditioner to go from setting the desired temperature to actually achieving said temperature.
With so many different brands of thermostats on the market, you might have been thinking that you have to choose the first one you see on the TV or on the radio without ever taking the time to find out the features and benefits of each model. However, you can actually take advantage of technology and find the best smart thermostat for you. Since these devices use electronic processes like wireless networks, room sensors, and voice commands, they are straightforward.
They provide instant feedback as to your settings so that you can always maintain a comfortable temperature while not paying attention to it. Now you can stay warm even when you are stuck in traffic or cooking dinner while your kids are still sleeping soundly in their beds.
High-voltage heaters are very energy efficient. They are also a smart choice since they can sense their environment so that they can be turned on only when the room temperature is safe for them.
An excellent example of this would be room sensors that detect heat waves. These are usually found in hospitals where patients typically stay awake and monitored by medical personnel. Suppose the temperature outside is freezing with this kind of thermostat. In that case, the room sensor will turn the heating down for the patient before it gets too hot outside. This is the best smart thermostat that can be bought as there are different models of the same product.
Wireless room sensors are a great option for both energy saving and comfort. These are installed just right at the door, and they can sense whether someone is inside the house before turning on the heat or air conditioning.
The great thing about it is that different zones will detect moisture, temperature, or even movement. If there is movement in the room, it will automatically turn the fan on or switch on the lighting. This is just another smart choice of thermostats with the best features for both comfort and energy saving.
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Last update on 2021-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API