According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, approximately 47.7% of the total every usage in your home is taken up by heating and cooling. Considering this author lives in the desert, where the temperature skyrockets during the day yet manages to get unpleasantly chilly at night, that hardly seems surprising. Nest, the makes of the Nest Learning Thermostat, having been pushing for years to reduce home energy costs for homeowners through an ingenious methodology. Granted, heating and cooling costs are the result of ineffective windows, poor insulation, and naturally affected by the environment that we choose to live in, but one of the ways that we continue to lose money is through ineffective heating and cooling.
Nest aims to change our habits and reduce our bills through a learning thermostat that has gone through two incarnations already, and Nest just unveiled the latest model. Showing a lack of imagination, Nest chose to name its latest version the 3.0, but don’t let the name fool you, this version is the best yet and a no-brainer to buy when you’re a homeowner. According to their own website, “independent studies showed that it saved people an average of 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.” With advanced functionality over the previous models and a larger screen, Nest is certainly making the case that new homeowners should jump ship from more conventional models to the Nest.
Since the 2.0, the new Nest has a host of features that will be sure to delight any new owners. The previous model had a motion detection feature that would light up the display from 3 feet away, but the 3.0 can identity motion from 25 feet away. Prefer to see the screen at all times? Nest now allows you to leave the screen on permanently, a nice feature considering that the screen is now 40% larger with a brighter display. Nest calls it Farsight, and it can display the time or temperature, depending on your preference, effectively eliminating the need for a wall clock in whatever room the thermostat is in.
Personally, I see the true usefulness of the Nest now coming to light since software was improved and integration with existing home systems has leaped forward over previous models. What they’ve now added is the ability to monitor your furnaces functionality. This new feature is called “Furnace Heads-Up” and it monitors your furnace’s auto shutoff feature to detect unusual variations. If you’ve ever had a gas leak in your home, you’ll understand how that could be a life saver, both with bills and quite literally. What happens if there’s an issue with your furnace? Nest will send you notifications through their app and display them on the thermostat screen to alert you.
Overall, the Nest is finally turning into an exemplary device that could actually be worthy of your $250. If you’re unsure about changing your thermostat though, you can always grab a 2.0 for $50 off, and enjoy some of the same features as the 3.0 thanks to a software upgrade promised later on this year. Personally, the 3.0 seems worth the cost, and if you’re looking for home automation, it’s the perfect place to start. It’s easy to install, useful, and most importantly, convenient.
YouTube: Meet the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat
Photo credit: Nest