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where2 10-30-13 06:53 PM

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Bought my Generation 2 Nest on the weekend they hit the stores (October 15, 2012), a little over a year ago now. Installed it on my central A/C with electric heat strips system with no fuss, other than having to cut the wires off the old thermostat because the screw terminals were seized up. The Nest replaced a 14 year old digital 5-2 programmable with 4 different set points throughout the week. (Morning, Day, Evening, Night).

In my case, I run A/C 10 months out of the year, and heat maybe 2 weeks of the year. (3 days in 2013). The nest and other energy saving upgrades have substantially reduced my electric bill. I've had a difficult time deciphering what was nest related, and what has been due to other modifications. Something is helping more than $40/mo.

The smart phone app is intuitive and user friendly. The device is certainly unique in appearance after comparing it to so many large rectangular devices with numerous buttons or touch screens.

My thermostat is located in a 3' long hallway under my stairwell to the second floor, and between the living room and the formal dining room. This location is unfortunately not well suited for the use of the signature "Nest Sense" feature that keeps an eye on activity around the house and turns the thermostat back if it does not sense anyone in the house for 2 hours. Despite this limitation, I was able to set individual programs for each day of the week which helped greatly when my wife was working part time as a teacher only a few days a week. My old 5-2 couldn't handle the variety and either cooled the house on days where it wasn't needed, or left the wife hot on days when she was home.

Initially, when I began researching WiFi thermostats, I wasn't keen on the drastically higher expense than some of the other offerings in the Wi-Fi thermostat department, but I soon noticed that some companies were charging an annual fee for the ability to access your thermostat remotely. Those fees would have quickly flipped the expense in favor of the Nest in only a few short years. My last thermostat lasted 14 years! The Nest has no recurring monthly or annual charges. You download the free app or you access the device on their website, and that's it.

I'd buy my Nest again. I'll buy one for the next house I buy...

Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation T200577

Daox 11-01-13 11:56 AM

Can you explain how the thermostat 'learns' when to set the temperature back?

hamsterpower 11-01-13 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by Daox (Post 32736)
Can you explain how the thermostat 'learns' when to set the temperature back?

I believe it watches for patterns in when you manually adjust it. After a short while it starts self adjusting. Also has a motion detector as mentioned above. No motion and it starts backing down.

where2 11-01-13 09:00 PM

Theoretically, it's a combination of both methods described by hamsterpower. If you operated the Nest like a regular thermostat: where when you came home you changed the settings, and remembered to set it to "away" before you left the house, it would automatically program itself. That process takes ~2 weeks.

A Nest is unlike a conventional programmable thermostat where you have to think about what time you want it to react. If you leave the Nest in learning mode, it watches when you are home, and when you are not using the motion sensor, and when you adjust the dial. It responds to those adjustments by "learning" how you like things, and also by learning how long it takes to alter the temperature in your house using your existing systems. If I go adjust the Nest to make it two degrees cooler in the house (I'm still running A/C), it will actually tell me how long it will take to get to my new desired temperature setting (Time-to-Temp feature). It also has a toggle that will start cooling or heating early to reach the target temperature by scheduled times (Early On feature).

It has multiple fan settings. One allows you to choose what time span the fan will run to circulate air, and what duration of each our the fan will run (15, 30, 45 minutes, or always on). Unfortunately, that setting is one of the newest features Nest added, and I would have appreciated more flexibility than just one window of time for every day of the week. (not individual days, only all 7 days as a lump).

Servicetech 11-09-13 07:57 AM

Now that you have owned it for a year do you typically let "autolearn" control the thermostat or do you set the schedule with the app? How useful is the autolearn feature?

where2 11-09-13 11:38 PM

For people who don't have the patience or the programming skills to program a technology device, Autolearn is a great feature. Once the Nest is installed, the user simply goes on with their life. The Nest essentially develops a "macro" to follow their lives and repeat their thermostat adjustments.

For me, Autolearn was overkill. My family got our first personal computer in 1979, when I was 8 (Apple ][+). I've been capable of programming things ever since (I took 4 courses in different programming languages in college, and my BS degree is actually in Surveying and Mapping). I'm presently employed to design show control/automation systems for theme parks using devices like Medialon Show Master Pro Mk2's and Alcorn McBride V16 Pro's.

My most complicated thermostat program day presently has 7 different set points. My least complicated day has 4 set points. In looking over my present Nest A/C program, it was all "set by Nest Web" which is to say "Autolearn" didn't program any of it.

Servicetech 11-10-13 08:00 AM

Your findings are consistent with other Nest users I talk to. Anybody willing to spend $250 on a internet controlled thermostat most likely is tech savvy enough to program it manually (it's not rocket science). Autolearn is a farce IMHO, I haven't heard of anybody with Nest who actually uses the schedule it auto sets. At that point it's not much different than other web enabled thermostats except it's pretty and has the Apple name.

RobbMeeX 11-17-13 09:46 AM

I just wanted to add that we just got our $100 rebate from GA power for purchasing a nest.

RobbMeeX 11-28-13 12:27 PM

I just went on a trip when there was a chance in the whole house freezing. I was able to keep constant watch on the house like an overbearing mother. It stayed above 55 where the safety is set at 40.
I do hope they develop more software for it. I'd like a home screen widget to let me keep informed.

Servicetech 11-28-13 03:25 PM

If you want the best freeze protection consider a "freeze stat" which is basically a single tempature non-adjustable tempature switch. If will make the R-W connection below a certian tempature, no complex electronics involved.

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