Review - One Month With a Nest Thermostat


I've wanted a Nest Thermostat for years. Really, since before the first-generation Nest was available. 

I read an article on the NY Times about it, and I was completely hooked. 

It was sleek. Immediately understandable. Perfect. 

Of course, it was several years before I actually pulled the trigger and bought one. 

One month later, this is our AAAD review. 

After dithering about getting a Nest thermostat for two full years, I finally pulled the trigger when ComEd started offering $100 rebates for those willing to join their "Summer Rush Hour" program. (More on that later.) 

At $250, this was a big investment. At $150, substantially less so. 

Install was surprisingly easy, even for a less-than-handy weekend-warrior DIYer like me. 

Unfortunately (in my opinion), I learned quickly that our install was going to require the Nest wallplate. 

The hole behind our thermostat was huge, and wouldn't be covered up by the Nest itself. 

And with my track record, I wasn't about to start a drywall patching/repair project in the middle of our dining room. 

The first step is to get your existing thermostat off of the wall. 

And in order to do that, you'll have to disconnect a bunch of wires. 

(Take a photo first, so you remember what goes where!)

Install tip - Photograph the old thermostat's wiring configuration.
Our current thermostat was a bit of a jumble under the hood - you remove the plastic cover to find multiple connections, jumper wires, exposed copper and so forth. 

The Nest is just as pretty inside as it is outside:

That's..... really simple.
There's a built-in bubble level, and the install brackets have a LOT of wiggle room, so you don't need to worry about being off-center.

Snap the Nest into place, and it practically sets itself up. (You'll help it sign into your wi-fi network, and that's pretty much it.)

You can even see the faux wainscoting in this photo!
So how has the Nest performed?

Honestly, we haven't really given the Nest a second thought since our install. 

And that's the entire point, really.

It's convenient (there have been a number of times when we've used the iOS Nest app to turn the heat up or down from a different room), and it's responsive - the AC or furnace kick in almost immediately when you change the temperature with the thermostat, or with the app. 

But the best part about the Nest is its almost total unobtrusiveness. It keeps the house at a constant temperature (even utilizing the local weather forecast in order to get a head start on cooling on hot days), and it gets to learn your routines, turning off the fan when you're away. 

But there hasn't been a single time in the last month when anyone in the family has NOTICED the Nest doing its thing, and that's a major point in its favor. 

It's especially nice, given that we enrolled in ComEd's Rush Hour Rewards program. A few times during the summer, ComEd will take control of the thermostat for an hour, easing off use during peak periods. (We can override any particular rush hour if we choose.)

We've had a couple of "rush hours", and only learned about it after the fact. 

While we're hoping that the Nest can result in some lower electric bills, that really wasn't the point. 

The ability to control our home's temperature from anywhere has been invaluable (especially with a new baby), and the ease with which the Nest can be programmed - and even program itself - makes this an easy 4-star review.  

And now that the Nest Protect smoke alarms are back on the market at a lower price ($99), we'll be adding some of those, giving our Nest system more motion sensors and additional Auto-Away functionality. 

Can't wait. 


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