Nest Learning Thermostat 2.0
I just finished updating my home automation system and was planning on using a Z-Wave compatible thermostat with my VeraLite automation controller. I decided that the constant learning of the Nest thermostat would benefit me more than simply being able to control the thermostat over Z-Wave and trigger automation scenes.
Onto the new Nest. What’s new in V2? A slimmer design, easier installation, more HVAC system compatibility and a newer 3.o software update. Those of you with the original Nest will be getting the 3.0 update as well.
The Nest and its packaging are what you’d expect from a design team made up of ex Apple employees. Included in the box is the thermostat, thermostat mount, a multi-tip screwdriver, and installation instructions.
The Nest thermostat itself just feels well built. It’s heavy in the hand before you attach it to the wall and once it’s mounted, the scrolling and clicking just feels right. Definitely reminiscent of the iPod Classic click wheel.
I was afraid that the Nest thermostat wasn’t going to be compatible with my older HVAC system. I have a 5 wire setup with forced hot air and central A/C and last year when I tried to install a Z-Wave thermostat, I didn’t have a 24v common wire. So I took a leap of faith and wired up the Nest thermostat. I snapped some pics of my older White-Rogers thermostat next to the Nest to show the huge asthetic improvement.
I’m lucky enough that I just recently replaced the Sheetrock on the wall where my thermostat is installed, so I didn’t need to use the cover-up plate and was able to do a clean install of Nest directly on the wall. I noted the thermostat wire colors from my old thermostat, and screwed the Nest backplate to the wall using the included screws and screwdriver. The Nest thermostat has a built in level which makes installation extremely easy, and the new press connectors hold the thermostat wires securely in place.
Nest setup is almost too easy. You control the user interface by rotating the bezel left and right to scroll through settings and clicking the bezel in to select. You’re walked step-by-step, through your language selection, WiFi connection, heating and cooling set up, your location, and temperature set points.
Nest easily detected my WiFi connection, and automatically checked for Nest software updates. It automatically detected my wiring set up was for heating and cooling and asked me my about my heat system, specifically, forced air powered by oil.
Setting the Temperature
Setting the temperate with Nest is super simple. Simply walk up to the thermostat and its motion sensor will activate the display. Nest will show the current set point in the center of the display and the actual current room temperature in the outer part of the dial. If Nest is in heating mode and you adjust the set point above the current temperature, the display will turn red indicating that your heating system is in use. The opposite happens if you’re in cooling mode; if you put the set point below the current temp, the display will turn blue indication that the A/C is in use. If the current temperature is within the set point, the nest background color is black.
If you’re using nest with energy friendly settings, it will display a green leaf in the lower section of the display, below the set temperature.
Remote Control of Nest over the Internet
You have the ability to control Nest over the Internet in a multitude of ways. First, after creating an account, you can control you Nest thermostat via the Nest web portal at https://home.nest.com. You can adjust you current temperature and view you temperature schedule. Next, the most common way that most people will control nest will through their iPhone and Android Apps. Changes via the web and mobile apps happen almost instantaneously
So far, I’m loving this thing. Its clean simple design looks amazing on the wall, and even though it’s only been there for a few hours, I can tell it will keep me entertained trying to get the most efficient settings and keeping that green leaf on the display.
In order for Nest to be at its most efficient settings, you need to train it by adjusting the thermostat when you come and go. I’ll report back after my first month with Nest to see how it sets my schedule and see if I can realize any noticeable energy savings this heating season.