I love technology that ‘just works’ and the Nest Thermostat firmly falls into that category. I don’t think I have adjusted it for well over a month now! The house is always pleasantly warm and not had to open lots of doors & windows, because the heating has been too hot, particularly weekends where the house is more occupied.
I live in a modern, well-insulated house which should in theory cost less to heat. Without feedback on your energy usage, its difficult to make adjustments to living habits, to benefit from energy saving. The Nest Thermostat provides a clear over-view of energy usage over previous days, with the ability to drill-into the detail to see why you used more or less energy.
Nest provides an insight as to the reason for a particular energy usage, on any given day. Nest encourages you to be energy-efficient by turning down your heating until you get a ‘Nest Leaf’ symbol on the thermostat. I have to confess I like my house warm ( 23°C ) so I haven’t earned as may ‘Leafs’ as I could do! I may experiment by turning the heating down a degree or two & see how my energy usage compares. Thats only possible because of this instant energy feed-back.
Once a month Nest send you a personalised Nest Home Report email. This provides a comparison with your home to other similar sized ones.
The email contains not only easy-to-understand graphs and charts, but useful energy saving tips, to help your improve.
The Nest Thermostat automatically detects whether the House is unoccupied, and lowers the temperature to a pre-set ‘Eco’ temperature. I have set mine to 18°C. If you are going away on holiday, you can turn off the Heating and Hot Water via the App. The Nest Thermostat will then ensure that the House never falls below the ‘Safety’ Temperature ( mine is set to 9°C ) so pipes etc. aren’t damaged by frost. The hot water is also kept ticking over, by occasionally heating it. When on your way home, you can turn the Heating & hot water back on, so the house is nice and warm as you open the front door & hot water is available for a shower/bath, which is always welcome after a long journey.
One feature the Nest Thermostat is lacking is ‘Geofencing’. i.e. knowing precisely where you are and correspondingly turning the heating on/off. The is a rather nifty App call ‘Skylark‘ This provides the ‘missing’ functionality for Nest, so that your Thermostat is automatically turned off/on as you leave the house and then return.
The App is very simple to setup: Simply define an area for ‘Leaving’ i.e. when you exit this area, Skylark turns your Nest Thermostat to ‘Eco’/away mode. Similarly there is another area you can define for ‘Arriving’. The App is free to use for 7 days (as a trial) and then to continue with the service there is a £9.99 one-off fee.
I will try out various energy saving strategies based on feedback from the Nest Thermostat – stay tuned for the findings…