One of the bet purchases we made at the beginning of the year when we got back from vacation was the Nest thermostat. If you haven’t heard of this, its an internet connected thermostat which you can control from your PC or mobile device. It’s a snap to install, controls both your heating and air conditioning (if you have any – we don’t) and literally learns your patterns over the course of the first week or two.
What do I mean by that? Installing it is a snap, involving removing your old thermostat, mapping the wires from your old one onto new slots in the Nest, then connecting it to the internet via your homes WiFi connection.
Once its connected, you just use it like a regular thermostat, for about a week or two – turning it up when you find it bit cold and turning it down when its too warm. After that, it remembers when you want it hot and when you want it cool and it does the work for you. It even knows the outside temperature (during the setup process you give it a zip code and it checks the internet for local temps) – it even asks for the age of your home so it has an idea of the amount of insulation it has etc.
Once its connected, you get the app for it from the App Store or Google Play and you can control it from anywhere – forgot to turn it to away mode when you go on vacation? Do it from the airport or the beach (assuming you have internet) Lying in bed a bit cold? Turn it up without getting out of bed. The web and apps (the iPad app is especially nice) show you your current schedules and temperature settings and you can revise them at all from the apps as well.
But that’s not the best part – it will save you money by heating and cooling only when you need it to. An icon will tell you when its in money saving mode, and once its tuned to your habits you rarely need to touch it again.
It’s a bit expensive at $250, but it will likely make up for it easily in saving over time. Highly recommended.
Oh yeah, BTW, did I tell you it looks awesome as well? Apparently chosen as the first non-Apple product to be featured in the Apple store. Design, simplicity, functionality and savings – what could be better?