We're moving our office space and doing a lot of the build-out ourselves.  In our HVAC overhaul, we need to replace the manual thermostat with a setback model.  So I bought a Nest b/c I read about it, and it sounded great.  That, and it looks cool.

Our HVAC guy ripped it, though.  'Said that they don't work, they don't really do what they're supposed to do, 'worthless, and the company that makes them is being sued.

'Haven't done a lick of checking on any of this, but I wanted to touch base with this knowledgeable group first.  Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about the Nest they can share?

TIA.

Melissa

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Electrically the Nest is no better than the 3M $99 web enabled stat at Home depot. Only single stage, no expandability. The extra $150 is because it looks pretty and has the "apple name" attached to it.The one thing the nest has that other stats don't is "auto learn". Unless the thermostat is located somewhere where it detects regular activity (aka NOT in a hallway like many stat are mounted) auto learn doesn't work. Most Nest buyers are skipping the "auto learn" and programming with their phone app instead.

The ecobee STAT-2 on the other hand is a full featured thermostat, options are almost infinitely configurable. It has humidity control (both humidify and dehumidify) and can operate just about any system. It can read your smartmeter if you have one, and give you full energy reports. The ecobee can adjust temperature according to kwh cost if you are on a variable price power plan, this will REALLY save money... It has a full information touch screen. It only requires 4 wires from the stat to the furnace/air handler, and is NOT "power stealing". The ecobee is a little bit more complicated to install than most thermostats, therefore professional installation is recommended if you aren't familiar with HVAC controls. IMHO the ecobee STAT-2 is well worth the extra $50 over the price of the Nest. The basic ecobee stat is $50 LESS than the nest and STILL has more functionality than Nest.

Bob, I need a "like" button for this post! Thanks for taking time to spell out the differences.

No problem. For those about to drop $200+ on a thermostat (or any tech product) it pays to download the installation/programming instructions for what you are considering to buy. See what each product will/won't do and if the price difference is worth it.

My own thermostat is an Pioneer Z100 . Excellent thermostat, the big feature for me is it communicates with my smartmeter. It doesn't hurt that our local utility gives them away for FREE (including installation) when you sign up for SmartHours. OG&E is working on enabling the web app in the future.

Our IT Director (at CEE) got one and installed it in his house. Here is a blog he posted: http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/May-2012/The-Nest-Thermosta...

I've got one at home. It's very nifty. That said, there definitely won't be payback on my investment, especially as it replaced a 7-day programmable thermostat.

I think the reasons one would choose a Nest over other IP-addressable / learning thermostats is the same reason one would choose an iPod over a Zune - - does it really do more? Not really - but it does it in a much smoother, classier way. (I once saw a Zune... once...)

Likes: Being able to set up a schedule through the web interface and have a seemingly unlimited number of set points over the course of the day. The motion-detection. Easy smart phone interface. Having all your efficiency-type friends think you're the coolest kid on the block.

As for getting sued, Honeywell is going after them for patent infringement - which in my book makes them both a part of the modern IT world and not much else. Everybody is suing everybody in the IT world these days. I imagine the manufacturer of every high-tech piece of equipment I own is getting sued by someone over IT IP at the moment while suing others. The Honeywell patents are typically vague and would monopolize the whole cutting-edge side of temperature control systems if allowed to stand as Honeywell wants them to.

So you picked the Nest over the Ecobee based on styling? That's really the only advantage Nest has over Ecobee.

I'd say I chose it based on both form and function. It sits there in my hallway after all.

But as someone who has been heavily involved in these things professionally for quite a while, I'd have to say the Ecobee loses straight off the bat because I'd never heard of it before this Home Energy Pros discussion. I know of plenty of other IP-addressable thermostats, and have worked with a couple companies that make them, but not that one. So they're doing something wrong.

Also, just based on a cursory browse through their website, it doesn't seem to learn.

Most people using Nest gave up on the self learn functions and just program manually with the app. Ecobee just hasn't spent the marketing dollars that Nest has. People buy Nest because it's pretty, there are LOTS of other thermostats that are more functional for $250 or less. Nest is the ONLY $250 thermostat I know of that can't even handle a conventional 2 stage system. Most $250 thermostats are also capable of controlling humidifiers/dehumidifiers, not Nest. $250 stats can typically control dual fuel systems w/o an external control module, not Nest. Other than Nest looking pretty and the questionable self learn function I don't see where it's any better than any other IP thermostat, especially considering it's $250 price tag.

Hi, Melissa. I work at Nest and thought that the following data might be helpful:  

- 94% of Nest Learning Thermostats have schedule-learning enabled    
- 99% of Nest Learning Thermostats are running a setback schedule (this is significantly higher than any number we've seen in the industry)
- More than 90% of devices qualify for auto-away based on their placement in the home  
- More than 80% of Nest Learning Thermostats have experienced auto-away
- 74% of Nest Learning Thermostats go into auto-away at least once a week
- Nest is compatible with two-stage heating and single-stage cooling.  

Thank you for buying Nest - we think you'll love it and look forward to hearing about your impressions after it's installed. If you'd like to read some real customer reviews of Nest, you can read them on the Apple storeAmazon, and Lowe's.

Please feel free to contact me with questions.  

All the best,
Kate

Have you had many calls concerning the "C" wire? This seems to be an issue that has come up on many internet forums. It seems the Nest is set up as "power stealing" in most installations and cannot "steal" enough power to operate the wifi radio reliably. In most conventional heat/cool installations the "C" wire is not hooked up in the furnace, although the extra wire is usually present. Heat pumps typically have the "C" wire connected in the air handler. For installs that customers can't get reliable power without a C connection is Nest tech support recommending people go into their furnace to hook up the C wire, or are they turning it over to a HVAC contractor? IMHO all digital stats should be common wire powered. A device such as this could be used to common power the thermostat w/o having to pull a new wire, but installation would probably require and HVAC contractor to do it.

Does Nest have any plans to distribute through conventional sources such as HVAC supply houses or will it primarily be retail marketed?

Hi Bob,

One of the advantages of Nest is that in the vast majority of homes, Nest can charge its built-in battery using the heating and cooling wires. There are a small number of heating and cooling systems and situations where Nest may require a common wire to bring power to the thermostat. In those instances, customers work with our customer support and Nest Certified Professional partners to connect Nest. You can read more information here: http://support.nest.com/customer/portal/articles/197951.

 

With regard to distribution, we are available through HVAC supply houses. Specifically, you can find us at Carrier Enterprises, Gemaire Group and others. More info about our Nest Certified Professional program here: http://certified.nest.com/

 

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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