Nest in my nest

Last year the Nest Learning Thermostat came out and sold out pretty damn quickly. At the time I wasn’t really in a position to purchase one anyway. They recently came back into stock and Nest e-mailed me that it was available to be ordered again. I jumped on it right away.

In case you’re not familiar with the Nest: its a thermostat created by some ex-Apple folks that attempts to learn its schedule from you so it can save energy. (Its interesting to note, that most people don’t end up programming their programmable thermostats because its too hard.  Most of your standard ones have interfaces not unlike VCR programming. We all know how that went.) Even if you don’t remember to set the thermostat down when you leave, it’ll start to learn when you’re “away” and use its away temperature to build the schedule.  The Nest also hooks into your wireless network so you can remotely control your thermostat through their webpage or an app on your mobile device. The wifi also lets it do things like look up the external temperature, so it can use that as a factor into your heading or cooling.

Needless to say, I’m excited about such a device. Its weird to be excited by something like a thermostat, but its a thermostat made for today.  I had tweeted about my excitement that it was on the way, and had a nice interaction with Nest over twitter where they asked for pictures. That leads to this blog post… I thought I’d take the chance to do an unboxing video, which I’ve never done before, and post some photos of the install of the Nest.

Before I go into the install and pictures from it, I should point out that I’ve been running it for about 10 days and love it. I haven’t had a chance to use some of the remote control features yet, but the set up was easy. I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to learn, especially since I wanted it warm in the house before my morning shower, so I ended up programming a basic schedule from the web interface.  It’ll be interesting to see if it learns a slightly different schedule than we’ve set.

First, let’s start with my old thermostat. It was new with our furnace a few years ago. It was programmable, but very VCR like in the whole “press this button to go to the next field, press this button to move the number up by one” way.  However, it had one unique feature that was worth making a video for:

But, on to the nest.  First think you need to do if you go the nest route is see if it’s compatible with your setup.  Most home setups are pretty simple and it should be, but before you order you should use the compatibility check nest has on their page.

Let’s start the install with an unboxing video in which my son decides I needed the tv remote:

Install was pretty simple and I’ll put some pictures from it below.  There’s only 4 wires involved for my setup and its probably one of the most common type of installs you’ll see.  Unfortunately, at this time I can’t pull the humidifier control into the nest.  It’d be great to see that as a future feature.

As you can see from the pictures above, I ended up using the optional wall plate just so I’d have to do less painting and wall patching in the long run.  I was out of pain that matches our wall, so I still have some additional work to do.  Also, the wall plate is paintable, so when the time comes, I’ll paint that as well.

I’ll post more about it as I have more interesting experiences, including any noticeable power savings.  The only story I have so far is that I forgot the cleaning service was coming and the thermostat was scheduled to be down at 63, our “away” temperture.  At work once I remembered, I just went on the Nest’s control web site and turned up the temperature at home so that they wouldn’t be overly cold.  (Yes, I know, first world problem.)

The Nest is about as awesome as I thought it would be, I can’t wait to see the future features they add to the software.