Programmable thermostats, while useful, can be incredibly complicated. So much so that around 90 percent of folks that have them don’t program them!
Created to be real energy savers, all the programmable thermostats on the market lost their Energy Star ratings in 2008 because, the EPA said, the devices tended to create consumer confusion and could lead to increased energy use, not savings.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is designed for simplicity AND savings.
Unlike other programmables, it has the capacity to learn and then program itself based on the habits you’ve taught it. A simple metal knob lets you easily adjust the temperature. If you turn it down at night and then leave for work, it remembers.
After answering some basic questions at the start, simply program your preferences – when you’re too warm, too cool, etc. – and the Nest will create a schedule for itself to follow. After that, the “Auto Away” and Energy History features will be available to let you monitor your energy use and savings. The Nest “Leaf” appears when you’re in savings mode.
You can control the Nest remotely if it’s hooked up to WiFi, through your laptop, Smartphone or tablet. And if you have multiple thermostats (and who doesn’t), it will help you manage them all.
When it’s time to switch seasons (winter to spring, etc.), it’s time to teach the Nest new tricks, er, habits. It quickly learns and stores them, making the changes you want.
To add to its ease of use, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can install the Nest Learning Thermostat. If not, just include installation when you purchase it.
It definitely sounds a lot simpler than any other programmable thermostat out there – and one likely to deliver on real energy savings. The key is teaching it good habits in the first place. After that, you’ll mainly get to leave the programming to “the expert”.