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?



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Kate - thanks very much for sharing some hard numbers with us!  

What are the factory settings for the units, e.g. for schedule-learning and setback?

Hi Evan - Nest doesn't ship with factory settings. You simply use Nest like a manual thermostat for a few days and Nest learns your preferences and patterns to create a personalized schedule.

You can learn more here: http://www.nest.com/2011/11/11/how-to-your-first-week-with-nest/

Sorry to be late to this. With the caveat that mine is at home, has only been in use for a few waning weeks of heating season, and we don't have cooling, I am a fan of the Nest. 

  • It's beautiful to look at but also functionally exceptional
  • It's engaging--for kids, for guests, for everyone
  • The programming is stunningly easy--both my kids were able to change a setback time with zero training in less than one minute
  • The data reporting is clear and easily understood (simplistic for me as a geek, but right, I think, for the typical homeowner)
  • The learning components are easily controlled, so if you're like us and have your set back times dialed, you can make sure that the learning functions don't produce inadvertent ons. 

Price is obviously a tough one. Our replaced a perfectly good $40 Aube that was working fine. And, to get all our zones, we'd need two more. 

Still, because it's the first real energy efficiency tool to embrace great product design and usability (finally....), I like it.

Thanks, Peter.  I've already taken the plunge, and we're waiting to finish all the nasty, dirty stuff (drywallling) in our space before we install it. 

But we DO have a "C" wire.  It is a heat pump.  We're putting it in a place that will monitor occupant passage.  We'll override it via the Web-enabled programming.  I think we have all our bases covered, based on what everyone's said.

I'll report in from the field. 

Hi Kate,

I just saw you chiming in here.  Thanks for that.  I have an installer right now (not a certified one or even an HVAC tech, but one of our energy-efficiency guys) trying to install it, but unfortunately no go.

Do you have installation instructions, or perhaps even trouble-shooting instructions, somewhere?  Out there?  Or a number he can call?  If we can do it ourselves, we'd like to.  If not, we'll call in someone.


Melissa Baldridge



Hi Melissa,

Call 855-4MY-NEST. They're very knowledgable. We also have an installation video and tips here: http://support.nest.com/ 

Super!  Thanks, Kate.  We'll get on it when we're fresh in the morning.  And if we need additional help, we'll let our fingers do the walking.

With warm regards,


Ooh, Kate.  My EE guy is telling me that the error message has to do with the "OB" wire. 


I think that's where support should step in to troubleshoot. :-)

The O/B wire is for the reversing valve on the heat pump. 95% of heat pumps have reversing value engaged in cooling mode. Not sure how NEST does it but most digital stats have an option for "reverse value energized in cool" (default on most stats) or "reverse value engaged in heat" (for the other 5% of heat pumps).

Kate, does Nest have options to control how the AUX heat is engaged in heat pump systems? Does it have the option to turn off compressor and run straight AUX heat when outdoor temp is below a certain temperature or lock out AUX operation above a certain outdoor temperature? Virtually all of the nicer digital thermostats can do this with the addition of an outdoor sensor. Doesn't Nest have a way of knowing outdoor temp with the internet setup?

Melissa, since this is a new system install, have you verified the heat pump works with a conventional thermostat? Could be a wiring/installation issue with the new system and not thermostat related at all.

We're you ever able to get the Nest to work? Did your system work with a conventional thermostat?



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