Learning Thermostat - a huge impact on Energy Savings

Ok, I have had a couple programmable thermostats in the past... But, once again about 11 months ago I was doing my weekly (sometimes daily) stroll through the neighborhood 'big-box' home improvement store and back in the back past the garden section there is this little end-of-aisle display with a video playing and there is this neatly packaged 'Nest'.

And, I am intrigued enough to drop $250 USD on a thermostat. Again, another purchase on the fly with no pre-planning or research. And well, I was and continue to be VERY pleased with my Nest Learning Thermostat.

With my many Home Energy Conservation projects in our our home this past 18 months. I cannot quantify objectively how much impact the thermostat has made to our significantly reduced energy bills. But subjectively, I can honestly say it has been huge~!

Most importantly, and unlike my previous 'programmable' thermostats, I use this thermostat - more than passing down the hall and turning up or down the A/C-Heat. I am not standing in the hall with a head lamp and magnifying eye-glasses trying to thump-stumble with dip switches and obscure menus to 'program' my Nest.

I can program my nest from my Mac (PC), my smart phone and/or iPad. Mostly, I use my smartphone. It is an integrated part of our weekly life. I challenge myself to attain daily 'green-leafs'. The daily history is very nice to see.

The thermostat uses its motion sensor to set its state to  'Auto-away'. You can also easily, while heading out the door, set the thermostat to 'Away'.  With the wifi capability and from your iPhone/iPad you can change the 'Away' to 'Home' and set the thermostat temperature on your way back home to arrive at a  pleasantly adjusted home. Leave home for the weekend and forget to adjust the thermostat? No, problem. Auto-away will take care of it or you can turn off your A/C in Texas while setting in NYC.

It is simple and intuitive to use~! Very well worth the $250 USD I invested. I know that in the Texas summer my A/C electric bills saved me the $250~! Honestly, I can say this is the best $250 I have spent this year.

And, it wins my aesthetically cool meter - Form, Function and Fit~!


I am in the middle (hopefully, 90% complete) with various Home Energy Conservation projects in our 2,000 sq. ft. North Texas (Plano) home - R30 Attic Insulation, Radiant Barrier attic foil, attic Breeze solar attic fans, new windows, LED Lighting Replacement, etc... And, to share my trials and tribulations.

Project Cost:


Project Completion:

May 2012

Project Duration:

25 minutes

Views: 1449


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Comment by Dale Stephens on March 28, 2013 at 8:14am

Tom, in our house, it is just the two of us and a cat. The cat does not mess with the motion sensor and the girlfriend leaves the thermostat alone. Smartphone/iPad cost already incurred~! But, yes if I was living in the remote Himalayan Mountains of Nepal (which i was) with kids running all around the house, a good ol' fashioned thermostat would be just fine. Eleven months and novelty has not worn, I don't check it as often. It is a good way to see, subjectively, the impact other projects are having on the 'run-cycle' of the A/C unit. 

Comment by Tom DelConte on March 28, 2013 at 6:47am

My son has 3 Nests. The only thing about it is that it's a closed box using hidden fuzzy logic. With a Lx you have fine control over the critical swing temperature. With an Hwel you get durability plus duty cycle control. Consumer reports says pick the nest if you're a techie, but you have almost no internal settings, so it's not too technical.

I would think the high cost novelty will wear off in, maybe, two days. My son reports that his 3 nests are worthless if someone is at home because a human at home will always manually control the thermostat. So much for fuzzy tech!

ps a nest increases your heating cost do the almost necessity of high smartphone costs of iphone , and everyon'es gotta get an ipad, of course. keep it simple, just use a dumb thermostat with your dumb phone!


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