Dec 312013
 
Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation - 1

Energy-Efficient and Quality Built Thermostat., October 15, 2012 (5 stars)

830 of 914 people found the following review helpful

I originally purchased the 1st generation of this thermostat. The only thing I didn’t like about the 1st gen thermostat was how far it protruded from the wall. On my final day for the return policy of the 1st gen, the 2nd gen was advertised to be released soon. So, I didn’t hesitate to uninstall the old thermostat to send it back, pre-order and wait on the 2nd gen. The 2nd gen thermostat’s profile in my opinion is perfect for the look and style I desire in my home; It makes my home appear a little more modern, but not too much. The install was easy and it looks great just as with the 1st gen. I noticed a $35 drop in my $120 per month power bill w/the first gen. I have a 2200 sq/ft home w/3bdrm and 2bth that’s occupied by only myself and my wife. My AC system is a basic singles stage AC and a two stage heater; I hooked up six wires: O,R,B(C),W2,G & Y. I live in FL and the AC runs at 82 during the day and 78 at night. I’m hoping for about the same performance if not better with this thermostat. I’ll admit I did try to go with a programmable Honeywell thermostat which ended up not being compatible with my system while waiting on this order. So my options were keep to my pre-order with the 2nd gen nest or keep the old thermostat from over ten years ago with no features. I’m glad to have decided to go with the 2nd gen Nest.

There are Nest only exclusive cost-saving features on this device. So please no ranting on how this is just another overpriced thermostat for those who are reading reviews and are against this product. Move on to another product where people care instead of being a Debbie downer. My two favorite features of this unit are the auto-away and air-wave technologies (for the A/C) which are probably the two most cost saving features for me. Air-wave shuts down the compressor before the push box. Since the coils are still cold from the compressor running, the thermostat knows how long it takes for your home to get from one temp to another. Depending on this time, the thermostat knows when to shut down the compressor to save power while still getting the home to the desired temp. Auto-away is a feature that shuts off the AC within a programmable range if it detects no one is home. My unit is in a hallway that doesn’t see much traffic (I spend most my time in a back office) and this unit still managed to not go into auto-away mode while I’m home. A side note on auto-away though is that it must be trained within the first two weeks before it has an idea of your home activity. Once the unit trains itself, the power saving features will all be automated unless you manually disable them.

As everyone else has claimed, the setup was quick and easy for both the thermostat and wifi to access a personal profile/account. The tools to install the thermostat are generously included with the premium price. Packaging was premium and very Apple-like; a nice presentation.

Yes, like mostly everyone else, I realize $250 is a lot to spend on a thermostat. I don’t mind spending that kind of money on something that is going into my home that will be used 24/7. If you don’t mind the price hurdle, I’m pretty confident you’ll be happy with the performance, company(Nest) and style of this thermostat.

I’m very happy with this thermostat if its anything like the 1st gen in performance. If it doesn’t perform, expect a followup to this review. As of now, I’m very pleased assuming the only real differences I’ll be expecting from the 1st to 2nd gen is aesthetic appeal.

If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to respond. Also, before giving a review a thumbs down, provide a suggestion for making it better. Thanks.

———-update (12-12-12)————–
I just wanted to mention then 2nd gen is on par with the 1st gen thermostat in cost savings and performance.

 

Stay away – stay far, far away!, April 9, 2013 (1 star)

2,101 of 2,362 people found the following review helpful

I received and installed my second-gen Nest thermostat about three weeks ago and was initially very happy with it. Simple to install, beautiful, easy to use, it is certainly all that. Unfortunately, it lacks one characteristic that a thermostat MUST have. It is not robust. It fails under circumstances that a $50 hardware store thermostat would have no problems with, and when it fails it DOES NOT FAIL SAFE – which is a pretty major problem when you’re talking about a device that is controlling expensive heat and cooling (and, in a cold climate, keeping your pipes from freezing!)

I was pretty surprised to come home today to a sweltering-hot apartment when the outside temperature was in the mid-to-high sixties. It’s a brand-new apartment, very well insulated, and initially I simply thought that all the sun streaming through the skylights and windows was responsible for the high temperature. The Nest indicated that it was 86 degrees inside and of course, with a set point of 50 degrees, it was obviously not heating. (Right?) I set the temperature to 75 and switched it to cooling mode. Cool air started streaming from the AC vents – great. Should cool down in a little while. (Right?) After thirty minutes with the AC on, I was if anything more uncomfortable, so I went over to the Nest again – imagine my surprise when I saw that the inside temperature had gone up to 89 degrees! At this point I knew something was very wrong. It took only a few seconds to determine that the Nest had my heating on full bore – even while the AC was cooling. No wonder the place was sweltering! I called Nest and after a very short debugging session (the customer service agent had obviously seen this many, many times before) he determined that the Nest had failed in such a way that the heating was stuck on, full-time.

The rep informed me that this was a known issue that Nest’s engineers were trying to solve. Apparently the Nest, unlike a cheap hardware store thermostat, is extremely sensitive to voltage “spikes” on the wires that connect it to your HVAC. Such spikes are pretty much par for the course in an HVAC environment – those wires are connected to electromechanical relays, transformers, and other old-school electrical gear – and regular thermostats are designed to deal with it, which is why you don’t have problems with your cheap Honeywell. (The one I replaced with the Nest had been doing its job happily for the better part of a decade.) But this electrical “noise” can make the Nest fail – and fail spectacularly, typically by leaving the heat (or cooling) on full time, or else keeping them from coming on. Any of those failure modes could get pretty expensive if you happened to be away when they happen – you could burn through a lot of fuel and/or use a lot of electricity, and in the worst case scenario your pipes could freeze and flood your house. Nest knows this, so they are no longer replacing thermostats that fail this way (since their hardware is flawed, any replacement is just going to fail again, and the next time it could be a lot worse). Of course, they won’t tell you this in so many words: the company line is that your system (because it exhibits voltage spikes) is “incompatible” with the Nest. Never mind that it is a bog-standard HVAC setup, passed their compatibility test with no issues, and has worked fine for a couple of weeks). Never mind that it works fine with a garden-variety hardware-store thermostat. Naturally Nest doesn’t want to admit that their fancy hardware is seriously flawed in its inability to handle the kind of electrical noise that is found on ordinary HVAC control lines, but make no mistake about it: the fault isn’t in your system. It’s in their thermostat, which isn’t designed to handle real-world conditions.

This isn’t just a matter of semantics. The problem is that, if you purchased your thermostat from Amazon, Nest wants you to return it to Amazon (not to them). They are explicitly disclaiming any responsibility under their warranty – since it’s your HVAC system that’s “incompatible,” not their thermostat that is broken. Presumably if the thermostat fails outside of Amazon’s 30-day return window you’re out of luck. At least the Nest would make a nice paperweight. This is the part that really shocked me and made me feel that the company must be getting a bit desperate. Reading the online forums, I can see that this is a pretty common problem, and I suspect that Nest financially can’t handle the number of returns it would have to handle if it treated this as a warranty issue. Fortunately, my Nest is only 3 weeks old, so I can return it to Amazon, but I really hate to have to do that – it seems like an abuse of Amazon’s generous return policy, when it’s really Nest that should be facing up to their problem. I feel very sorry for those whose devices fail, excuse me, prove to be “incompatible” outside of the return window. At least I kept my old thermostat rather than recycling it as Nest suggests I do!

Nest has a serious engineering problem on their hands and I believe they are scrambling to do something about it before it all comes crashing down. (The rep offered to put me on a mailing list to be informed when their engineers fix the issue, presumably so that, I can court disaster again by buying the next version.) They’ve had a lot of really great press (not undeserved, because their device *is* really nice, when it works) but that can only carry them so far – if the news gets out that their $250 thermostat could leave you overheated or flood your house, they’re going to lose that momentum. So it’s not surprising that they’re trying to frame this as “merely” a compatibility issue. But if I had a Nest at this point, even if it seemed to be working OK, I would still be really, really nervous about it, for two reasons: (1) the device is not robust to typical levels of electrical noise; a voltage spike could happen on any system at any time, possibly breaking the Nest and subjecting to you God-knows-what financial loss, and (2) it’s not clear that the company would stand behind their product if that did happen.

Advice: stay far, far away from this product.

 

Nest 2nd Gen review, October 14, 2012 (5 stars)

267 of 330 people found the following review helpful

Picked mine up from the store today.

***DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE FILM FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE UNIT*** I am one of those remove plastic wrap from everything kind of guys. Guess what, that isn’t plastic wrap on the entire bottom of the Nest ring itself. It’s the sensors. Don’t scuff up your Nest!

It took longer to unbox it then it did for me to install it. It helps that I only had 2 wires, red & white to connect. Connected to my Wifi easily. It then downloaded a software/hardware update 3.01. After that it was pretty painless.

Looks great on the wall. If you think the stainless ring reflects the color of your wall like they say it does, then you are willing it to happen.

I never had the Nest 1 to compare it to but this one is very sharp looking. Everything in the box was well packaged.

Mainly got this unit for the fuel savings and the fact that it does not need a “C” wire to work like every other fancy thermostat.

Android app works perfectly over 4G or Wifi. Running ICS on a Droid Razr.

Unit does have an Anti-Freeze temp setting since someone asked.

 

Still Learning – Life without a Common Wire, November 15, 2012 (4 stars)

62 of 74 people found the following review helpful

This is a cool product. You want it because it is cool, stylish, and easy to use. I like it. My family likes it. It’s easy to use. It works pretty well. Overall, if you’re reading long reviews about the Nest, you should probably buy it. Just know about certain things (read on).

Design and Packaging

This is a premium product. Sure, there are similar thermostats on the market at higher price points and even more features, but everything about the Nest is designed to remind you that it is a premium product.

It is beautiful. Its face is heavy glass. It comes with two types of backplate: a big, plastic one to cover up the unfinished wall behind your old thermostat, and a little, metal one to use to make the Nest appear to just float up against a new or repaired wall. It comes with a fancy screwdriver to help you with your install. The backplate has a built-in level to help you mount it properly. Opening the packaging is like opening up an Apple product.

Initial Setup & Support

Before I requested this item, I took a picture of my old thermostat wires, emailed it to Nest (the company), and called Nest to confirm compatibility. Nest support answered the call right away and the guy I talked to was very helpful, professional, and to the point. He said the Nest would work with my rather simple setup. (It did.)

Setting up the wiring was not difficult. I had three wires (heat, A/C, and fan), and I had a jumper between two of them. I didn’t know what to do, but Nest had a support article on its website that confirmed that the Nest does not require a jumper–it handles the connection internally, through software. Overall: it worked.

The setup wizard was easy to go through. Setting the thermostat is even easier and more intuitive than my old electronic thermostat.

Life without a C Wire

I do not have a common (or C) wire in my HVAC system. The C wires is a low-voltage wire that simply provides power to the thermostat. The generation 2 Nest does not require a C wire–it will leech voltage whenever the heat or A/C is operating. This is good enough to keep the internal, rechargeable battery charged most of the time in my area (central NJ), since we usually require heating or cooling at some point during the day or night.

However, I installed my Nest during a very temperate period in October, during which the heat and A/C were not called upon for about a week. After 3 days, I noticed that the Nest was not available on the network. I learned that it drops the network connection to serve power when the battery runs low. (Otherwise the Nest worked fine.) When the battery is extremely low, the Nest will pulse your heat or A/C to keep itself charged. I don’t think that happened in my case. In extreme circumstances, such as long power outages, it may discharge so much that it can’t turn your heat or A/C back on. (In this case, you can pull the Nest off your wall and charge it via micro-USB (cell phone charger). I never thought I would test the Nest’s battery resiliancy, but I ended up doing so thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

We lost power for a week and had to leave our house due to the cold. I wasn’t sure the Nest would come back on after not having power for so long, so I turned off the water and drained the pipes before my family left the house. To my pleasant surprise, the Nest came back online by itself when the power came back on (nearly 7 days after the outage). In fact, while my family was away from home, one way I was able to determine we still had power was to check in with the Nest thermostat via the Nest iPhone app!

For my house, it will cost me a lot more than the Nest thermostat to get a C wire installed, but I don’t think it is really necessary (in my case).

Nest.com and the Apps

Controlling the Nest via iPhone, Android, iPad, and Web is really cool and convenient. The apps had some intermittent problems connecting to my thermostat, but after a couple weeks, I have had no problems with them. (Nest probably fixed something on their servers.)

The Nest.com support pages are fantastic, and include a lot of guides and pictures and detailed explanations to questions you might have. They helped me feel comfortable about the thermostat’s features, and about how it will work without a C wire.

Still Learning

I’m using the auto-learning feature of the Nest to let it control our temperatures, and tweaking the schedule a little bit with the iPhone app. So far, it is worked pretty well. Lately the nights have gotten colder, and I’ve had to turn up the heat sometimes, but I trust that it is learning our preferences and will adjust its schedule accordingly.

The Future?

Apparently, the internal battery is non-replaceable and has a lifetime of 7-10 years (according to Nest.com support). This is a little worrysome, and I haven’t found anything on Nest.com about replacing the battery or recycling the thermostat.

 

the compatibility check on nest website is not accurate, don’t buy if you don’t have a common wire, February 13, 2013 (1 star)

79 of 91 people found the following review helpful

this is my first review as i’ve never been so totally excited and then totally disappointed by a product and the company that backs it. like everyone else, i was thrilled by the promise of nest. like too many, it turns out, i was disappointed by the actual implementation of the concept. nest appears to be willing to lure customers into needless wasting of time and money, rather than simply acknowledge on their website that they are not compatible with 2 and 4-wire configurations. at the very least they should say that their system may not work with your system and describe how one might confirm before purchasing. are we supposed to be their R&D department? even if you go through their compatibility check and get an indication of compatibility like i did, you risk having the experience i did.

i spent about a week trying to resolve an issue of the temp constantly falling well below the set points, waking up cold (with a pissed off wife that didn’t want me to buy the cool toy in the first place hehe) and trying again the next day. various tiers of tech support explained that this is a common problem related to the way nest does “power sharing” or “power stealing” when there isn’t a dedicated C or common wire. it somehow falls asleep at the wheel instead of continuing to call for heat. tonight was the final straw, as the nearly new gas heater that serves the radiant system started making sounds like a sick tuba. it had never made such noises and it can’t be good for the device. i’ve read online about other folks having similar problems. tech support was polite, but ultimately unwilling to do anything to solve the problem, like have a technician out to take a look at it even though they say they have concierge service for which i could pay extra. instead, he said i can send it back or install a common wire on my dime. since i already got rid of the nearly new thermostat, i’m now going to have to pay to send the nest back and go buy an ugly normal one to do the job. so, bottom line, if you don’t already have the common wire, no matter what the nest website tells you, do not buy this thermostat.

 

Nest Learning Thermostat is HORRIBLE for Rental Properties, January 2, 2013 (1 star)

151 of 178 people found the following review helpful

The Nest Learning Thermostat is HORRIBLE for Rental Properties.

The only thing worse than using the Nest in a rental property, is then contacting Nest support to stand behind their product.

I was a huge fan of this company. In fact, I own a total of five Nest Learning Thermostats, representing an investment of $1,250. I will be selling them all on ebay as soon as I am done typing this review.

I was an early adopter of the Nest learning thermostat for my primary residence. I thought it worked well, looked cool, and had functions that other thermostats just didn’t have.

Long-story short, after success with the thermostat in my primary residence, I called Nest to inquire about the functionality if the units were installed in a vacation rental property. The person on the phone said they would work great, and as a landlord I would really like the “lock” feature. They directed me to their support website which said “When Thermostat Lock is enabled, anyone can change the temperature on Nest – but only within a range chosen when you locked Nest”.

This sounded wonderful. I could set a range of temperatures, and know that my weekly guests would not be turning up the heat to 80 and then leaving for the day, or running the air conditioner on the second floor with the heat running on the first floor.

My two vacation rentals are in Florida. I installed them about a month ago – and they worked great – until it got cold in Florida. I had the units set to “cool” mode, but in the evening, the temperature drops quite a bit in late-December/early January, so there are instances when the heat needs to run in the evening or early morning.

No problem I thought, because Nest has three different settings: Heat, Cool, or Heat-Cool.

I set it to heat-cool, and I set a “lock” range of 68 degrees up to 78 degrees. This meant that the heat would automatically come on if the temperature dropped below 68 degrees, and the air conditioner would automatically come on if the temperature went above 78 degrees, and the guest should be able to set the temperature within that range.

I received a call today from the guest telling me that the home was too hot, and asked if everything was working okay. I viewed the Nest online, and I saw that the temperature in the home was 77 degrees. I told her that the air conditioner would automatically kick on if the temperature went over 78 degrees, but if she wanted to adjust the temperature now, she could simply turn the dial to the left.

She said “I tried that – but it keeps asking for a lock code”. After 15 minutes of me trying to troubleshoot it over the phone, I gave her the unlock PIN and she was able to change the temperature.

I then tested the “lock” feature on my Nest at home, and the same thing occurred. This couldn’t be right though, because you are supposed to be able to change the temperature within a range. That’s the purpose of the lock.

I spent over an hour on the phone with Nest customer support, and after initially telling me you always need the PIN to change the temperature on the unit (which is wrong), they changed their story to tell me that the “lock feature” doesn’t work in heat-cool mode.

Okay – that’s a disappointment – but there is nothing I can do. I told them I would like to return the 4 units. They refused, stating I was outside of my 30 day window. I explained “I just installed them on 12/8/2012, and today is 1/2/2013″. They said “that’s fine, but they were delivered to you on 11/28 – you would have needed to call us on Friday to return them”.

I protested, and said “but the functionality advertised on your website doesn’t work – it is false advertising”.

I was speaking to “Brooks” in customer service, who is a “level two” adviser.

Brooks reply – and I quote – “If it was that big of a deal for you, you should have tested it within the 30 day period and made arrangements then”.

I explained again that this is Florida, and that there was no need to have it in heat-cool mode a month ago, and why would I expect it not to work if the website said it would work???

I asked him – isn’t Nest concerned about their reputation, advertising a feature that doesn’t work. He said “it does work – it just doesn’t work in heat-cool mode”. Brooks went on to say “We can’t be expected to list every little thing the Nest can’t do on our website”

I told him if the locking feature was an “add-on” or a “software upgrade”, then that would be fine – but I purchased it based on the locking feature, and the website said it would work.

Brooks reply – “The website doesn’t specifically say it will work in heat-cool mode”.

I asked him to read along with me from the website: “When Thermostat Lock is enabled, anyone can change the temperature on Nest – but only within a range chosen when you locked Nest”.

I again explained that this feature works in “heat only” mode, “cool only” mode, but not “heat-cool” mode.

Brooks reply was “We can’t allow you to return something that is working. The website doesn’t say it won’t work in heat-cool mode, but it also doesn’t say that it will work in heat-cool mode. It doesn’t mention heat-cool mode at all with regard to the locking feature, so you should have no expectation that it would work in heat-cool mode”.

Really – that’s your answer??? It also doesn’t say that the unit will work in New York but not Florida, or that it will work on even days but not odd days. Do we have to be that specific??

In closing, his suggestion was that when the unit is in heat-cool mode that I disable the locking feature.

Of course, If I were to unlock the thermostat, then the guests could move the temperature to as high or as low as they would like, they could disconnect the unit from the wi-fi, they could program a static temperature so the house will be nice and cool when they arrive home in the evening, even though they might have spent the past 12 hours at Disney, so I would be cooling a vacant house. They could disable the “learning” feature. They could disable the “auto away” feature” They would see my e-mail address and perhaps password in the settings menu.

Words cannot express how disappointed I am with this company. I really thought they were different. Couldn’t they have said “you know what, you’re right, the locking feature doesn’t work in heat-cool mode. We’re sorry”. I could understand if I found out about this 2 years after I installed the thermostat – but I missed the return date by one business day, and their website clearly displays an error with regard to the lock feature.

My last issue – which up until now I have lived with – is that these units disconnect from the wi-fi on a regular basis. Remember, I have 5 units across three different homes, each with a different router, in two states, and two cable companies. The wi-fi drops are not “operator error” – it is something in the unit itself. If it is installed in your home, so you don’t need the wi-fi, and you don’t care about remote access or the locking feature, then you will love the unit. If you are relying on for a rental property or second home – then stay away.

 

Self heating is a real problem, April 29, 2013 (3 stars)

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful

My first installation was for a forced-air gas furnace. Common wiring was available. It went very smoothly, and took only about five minutes. The wire connections are made with push-thru connector like you find on cheap speakers. I would much prefer some nice screw connectors. Each push-thru connector is apparently equipped with a switch, because the thermostat can tell what wires are installed. It would be possible to duplicate this feature with screw-down connections, but it would probably cost more.

The system fired right up and appeared to be working, but when I went to the Nest web site to register the thermostat, all I say was a big question mark. I went to the thermostat itself, and walked through the settings screens. It had correctly registered with the DHCP server (Wi-Fi only; Ethernet would be nice, especially with PoE to power the thermostat in no-common installations (see below), but I guess it would only make sense in new construction), I found a screen that did repeated pings to something on the Internet, and it indicated 100% success, but with latency that seemed too high. That pretty much ruled out basic networking problems. A search of Nest’s support materials yielded nothing.

I took stock. This had all the indications of being firewall-related. I surmised that the Nest thermostat used some non-standard TCP or UDP ports, and the thermostat’s feeble cries for connection to the Nest mothership were being cruelly denied by the Sonicwall meanie. A quick web search got me what I needed. I opened up TCP port 9543, and the thermostat and the Nest servers rushed into each other’s arms.

Score Nest down a bit for the non-standard port. Score them down a lot for not mentioning that prominently in their installation instructions.

I was able to see and set the thermostat via the web, and, after a few days, monitor the amount of time that it was calling for heat. The analysis tools are meager: no graphs, no calculations of energy used or fuel costs incurred. Nest ought to take a lesson from Sunpower on how to do reporting right.

Still, I was sufficiently impressed that I bought another thermostat, and connected it up, this time to a zone in a radiant-heating system. Installation was a bit more troublesome, since the wires were 18-gauge solid core, and didn’t want to go in to the push-in connectors on the thermostat. I dug around the Nest web site, and finally found the specs for the connectors; they should work with my wire. I filed off the corners on the copper left by the diagonal cutters and was able to fit the wires into the connectors, albeit with some difficulty. The place with I was putting the thermostat had no common connection. The Nest compatibility check list said this was no problem, but I was suspicious. How was the thermostat going to power itself? Steal 24 volt ac from the line, but not enough that the furnace will think it’s calling for heat? Turns out that’s exactly what it does. [I was wrong. It does the opposite. It steals power when calling for heat (or cold). I wouldn’t have designed it that way, since in temperate climes, there are months on end where no heat is needed. What the thermostat apparently does during those times is call cor heat when it’s not necessary just so that it can charge its batteries. This uncivil behavior could easily eat up all the energy savings the device may provide during the winter. If I’d been designing the device, I’d have has it test to find out how much current it could draw without tripping the relay that tells the furnace that the ‘stat is calling for heat, and then make sure it takes less than that to charge the battery during times when its not calling for heat.] It must try to minimize the amount of power it draws by shutting down what it considers to be nonessential functions, because the zoomy feature that makes the thermostat’s display turn on when you approach it is missing in action in the no-common installation. That aside, the installation worked for me, but I’d be careful if you don’t have a common, especially considering all the complaints floating around the `net from unhappy customers.

It didn’t take long for me to discover that both thermostats thought the room was hotter than it really was. I wondered if the calibration of the temperature sensor was off, or if the too-high reading were due to self-heating – there’s a lot more processing going on in this thermostat than your average dumb one, and that processing has to need power.

I took a floor-standing fan, placed it below one of the thermostats, aimed it upwards so that it blew air parallel to the wall, turned it on, and monitored the temperature. After fifteen minutes, it had come down five degrees. I checked the temperature with an expensive photo processing thermometer. It was now right. I turned off the fan, and, over the next half hour, the temperature as reported by the thermostat rose back to where it started. I performed this test several times over several days, and saw drops of between three and seven degrees. Apparently, the thermostat uses more or less power depending on what it’s doing.

My conclusion is that the temperature sensor in the thermostat is accurate, but that self-heating is throwing the readings off. This doesn’t seem like the right way to design a thermostat. I can understand not being able to insulate the sensor from the heating of the thermostat, but I can’t understand why the thermostat’s software doesn’t calibrate out the error. The thermostat knows the humidity; there’s a sensor built in. The thermostat should be able to know how much power it’s been drawing well enough to build a model for the heat that it’s putting into the sensor, use the humidity number to calculate the unwanted rise in reading, and subtract that amount from what the sensor says.

This solution probably wouldn’t be perfect, since the airflow in the location of the thermostat is unknown, but it would be a whole lot better than the present situation. It would not increase manufacturing cost by one cent, and it should be pretty easy to develop. I can’t understand why anyone would design a product with a built-in error-generating mechanism which has an easy solution and not take advantage of that solution.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the error were constant, but having it change all the time makes it a real problem.

Until this is fixed, I would not recommend the Nest thermostat for use with radiant heating, which doesn’t take kindly to having the temperature of the thermostat changed arbitrarily.

 

From CNET reviews Dec 20, 2013

First, let me point out that it is “Okay to ask for Directions”. Nest phone support is the most professional I’ve used, slightly edging out Apple with the ability to send screenshots to the support person. We called nest support during setup when I overrode common sense and connected the Orange “O” wire to every potential other than the “O” over “B” connector. Support was very quick to see my issue when I sent them the photo of my old thermostat’s wiring. You did take a picture of the old thermostat wiring, right?

Anyway, after wiring, I began tracking and micromanaging the Nest to squeeze the optimum temperature control for our system. I have to say we are extremely impressed with this thermostat. Basically, for the first winter in 5 years here our heat pump is operating without beating itself to death. In addition, for the first time ever our home seems evenly conditioned without cold and warm spots. Note: no other changes were made to our vents or system.

Micromanaging: The first day with the Nest installed was really cold and the thermostat brought on both the outside unit and the AUX heat to get us up to speed to the requested temperature. I decided that a stair-step approach might be easier to achieve so I set 2-degree bumps in the morning an hour apart to ease us to our daytime comfort temp. That worked out so efficiently that the second tier was reduced to a 1-degree bump and we settled for a daytime number that was one degree cooler than our old Carrier thermostat ran at. Because the home seems so evenly conditioned, the lower temp seems warmer than the drafty conditions we had before. Run time has dropped from 10.5hrs to 2.25hrs (one day was 1.75hrs).

My advice is to spend some quality time with your Nest and you’ll soon feel as if the system that controls your environment just got upgraded from cattle car to a subtle and austere control of luxury accommodations. All we wanted was a little more control, but we’re getting the impression that we have gotten a lot more than we could have asked for.

It’s only been a month, so I’ll add to this review as time goes on, but I thought there were some little tidbits that might help others make the best out of their thermostat choices.

The build quality of the Nest is second to none I’ve seen. The resolution of the display makes it easy to fully appreciate all details of how your system is operating. Interacting with the device is both smooth and elegant.

Our system is a heat pump with an auxiliary heat unit (that was handled as Emergency Heat by the old thermostat). The Nest 2nd Gen. handles these two heating systems as a tandem unit magically intertwining their operation to deliver a noticeably more comfortable home thru out, and that’s saying something because we didn’t think it was uncomfortable before (guess it was).

The replaced thermostat came with the Carrier Puron system back in 2005. The old operating characteristics of the heat pump was much more erratic with starts and fits during it’s reversing cycles, a clicking noise that came from the thermostat when it activated or deactivated, and uneven heating thru out the house. The original setup always seemed to really struggle to the point that I purchased a spare capacitor for when it would fail under duress. All that has changed to the well-oiled potential that we always knew it should have been.

With the Nest, the heat pump and E-heat units act in near silent operation. That quiet running without a sense of straining by itself makes the purchase worth every penny.

Take the time to configure the online account and iPad app, then go through every setting and scheduling choice you can think of. BTW: scheduling can be copied and pasted I learned the hard way, and the Nest Sense Setting “Early On” does work with heat as well as cooling showing “Pre-Heating” ahead of the temperature bump.

Oh yeah, personally, I don’t mind that the Nest doesn’t wake up every single time I get near it. I mean, it is a hall. Anything more lively and it would seem needy for attention. The amount of attention it asks for is what I would expect from a professionally designed device.

 

From CNET reviews

Having a generation 1 unit for two years with flawless operation came to an end last night as the new pushed software 4.0 update turned the unit into a paperweight. With temps around minus 15 in Colorado it was not a good time to have a vital system in my house not working; imagine if my wife and I were out of town – 2 year old house – Xfinity router is also two years old.

Love the technology, the concept, the elegance, and the interface – hate what it has become – A PaperWeight

Luckily I had my original Honeywell programmable unit ($75) and got the heat back on. The Nest was running the fan non stop but would not turn on the heat. Checked The Nest website and google and to my surprise the company has been having all kinds of issues for the past year with units not communicating with router, on and off, battery draining, restarting, etc. and I have seen virtually the same comments about customer support for the past year, wait time is 30 minutes and two hours later the support person regurgitates what is posted on their website. In addition, they have purposely designed their website so that there is not alternative route to actually speak to anyone of consequence; poor business model for support.

Needless to say I am disappointed but as we all know there is not such thing as perfect software so you have to ask yourself if you are willing to be one of the 30%, in the case of The Nest, to have such a vital system go down. I can live with my phone not working for a few days because of a software bug, and live without my iPad not working for a few days because of a software bug, but I cannot live without a reliable device controlling my HVAC system.

To date I have received no contact from The Nest Company other than automated emails.

Also, The Nest is just eye candy packaged in a really cool way and in the end I saved about $50 year verses my Honeywell programmable unit but I really liked the eye candy. Oh well – Goodbye Nest it was nice while it lasted.

From CNET reviews

I installed the first Gen 2 Nest about a year ago, and followed it with another in my shop about six months later. My experience has been that the Nest has worked perfectly and has done exactly what I want it to do. I am retired, with an irregular schedule, so a normal programmable thermostat won’t work. I wanted a thermostat that could cope with my schedule, and the Nest, after some manual Away activity, has been very aggressive with Auto-Away. I am running 6 1/2 tons of AC (3 1/2 in the house, 3 tons in the shop) in Florida, and it appears that the Nests are saving me about 15% on my electric bill. I read a number of the negative comments about the Nest, and I have to say that I have experienced NONE of the problems commented on. I would recommend the Nest without reservation, and have done so to a number of people.

 

From CNET reviews Dec 2, 2013

I had a Nest2 for three months this summer and returned it because of the 5 degree temperature swing. I was either cold or hot because of 2.5 degree swing above and below  my set point. From the responses on the Nest Forum they do not plan to change the swing amount because that saves more electricity. That may be true but I did not like the hot and cold.

The auto-sense is more sensitive during daylight hours and will cut off if there is no movement. I get home early in the afternoon and if I worked on my computer or took a nap I would feel hot and have to get the Nest to turn on. The Nest was in the hall so it did not sense I was home if I was in the den.

They have a lot of good ideas and I would have kept it if the swing had been smaller or adjustable. I bought a Honeywell and like it. It holds the set temp much better.

 

From engadget reviews

I’ve only had the 2nd gen Nest for a couple days but I wanted to share my thoughts. Overall I’m elated to own this product! I live in a 2-story condo with a single thermostat located on the bottom floor and being able to operate central air conditioning and heating remotely is a god-send. I can choose to interface with the device directly (which in itself is very easy to use) or connect it to it’s online service that is controlled via it’s website or mobile applications. I was surprised to see that the latest iteration of the mobile client (both iOS and Android) is as versatile as the desktop browser app. I carry the mobile app everyone I go on a Galaxy Nexus phone and Nexus 7 tablet while my wife runs the software on her iPad and in all cases the software is excellent.

I do have some thoughts to share regarding the installation process. It was a relatively painless process to install in terms of replacing my old thermostat, however the wiring process proved to be a little tricky. Neither the installation documentation or the virtual wiring walkthrough on the Nest site were able to give me a working wire configuration from the start and I had to resort to calling in to talk to a live support representative who troubleshooted the rest of the installation with me over the course of an hour. Not everyone will experience this since it’s entirely dependent on the type of central air system you have, but it’s worth noting it may be worth calling in directly if you are having difficulties installing it out of the box.

On that note my customer support experience was very, very good. The rep patiently and courteously walked me through various wiring configurations and troubleshooting steps. I was most impressed by the level of service provided.

In summary, there’s allot of good to say about the product and the company as a whole. I’ll be sure to update this review as I get to know the product a little better.

 

From engadget reviews

It’s a thermostat, but it evokes the same gadget lust and pride as the latest tablet. It’s incredibly easy to install, configure, and use, and it provides real utility thanks both to its auto-learning and energy savings. Ultimately, it’s something every home should have, but can’t afford/justify. Worth the luxury price tag but I hope it gets a price cut to better pursue the mass market.

 

From engadget reviews

The installation was dead simple. The only concerning thing was the actual “current temperature” displayed for the first 12 hours or so seemed off by five or six degrees, but eventually everything has evened out and the thermostat is working great.

 

From engadget reviews

If you ever wanted to manage your home from an iPad, this is the first device to get your hands on. Installation couldn’t have been made easier or simpler. I’ve used the Nest for about a week now, and I love reviewing my energy reports and checking to see when I’m saving energy.

 

If you are convinced that you will be happy with Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation, you can buy the product from this link.

Or, if you want to continue your research for the Best Programmable Thermostats‘ reviews, here is the link.

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