Nest Learning Thermostat

Living in an older house, finding a comfortable temperature isn’t always easy. Constantly changing the temperature was a pain. Just when I’d get comfortable, my wife would be cold. Let me walk over to the thermostat and adjust it. Before you know it, it’s too hot, so back to the thermostat. There must be a better way.

I’ve had a Nest thermostat for four months. This is no ordinary thermostat. It does all the heavy lifting for me and it saves money on heating and cooling costs*. It’s pretty hard to imagine getting excited about a thermostat but when you’ve used one for even a few days, you’ll know why I would never go back.

My wife and I bought our first home in August. One of our first additions was to install a Nest thermostat. I had it installed in about 15 minutes. After another 10 minutes, the Nest was connected to my WiFi and began controlling the air conditioning. That was the last time I more than glanced at the Nest on the wall. Now I walk by and see the temperature but everything else is automated for me.

The Nest thermostat learned my patterns and built a schedule based on those patterns. The only action I am required to take is to turn the temperature up or down to suit my comfort level. From there, the Nest schedules how and when to heat and cool the house.

In addition to learning my habits, the Nest thermostat saves energy with “auto-away”. Auto-away uses a motion sensor to determine if anyone is home. If nobody trips the motion sensor for a period of time, the Nest turns the temperature down or up- seasonally- so that I’m not paying to heat or cool the house when nobody is actually there. The auto-away temperature ranges are adjustable depending on your needs. My Nest thermostat is in a fairly heavy trafficked area and so it usually does not trigger auto-away when I’m home, but I could see it being a nuisance if it weren’t in its current location.

I rarely walk up to the Nest anymore. Everything I need to control the heating and cooling is available on my smartphone, tablet, or laptop. I can adjust the settings for Nest at any time, from anywhere I have an internet connection. Within seconds, Nest adjusts my settings as requested.

I don’t know what’s next for Nest but I do know that my thermostat will update and expand its feature set. Updates to the mobile apps and the web based controls have been frequent and mostly stable. Soon, my Nest will be even more capable of evenly heating and cooling my house. I recently installed my new Nest Protect smoke detector, which will communicate the upstairs conditions back to the Nest thermostat. Who’s to say what the future will hold for Nest and their line of smart-home products, but I can say that I won’t be going back to frequent trips to the thermostat.

Simplifying something so fundamental to the homeownership experience is truly revelatory. You simply cannot beat the ease of use and hands-off functionality. Consider also that in order to achieve the energy savings that many Nest users have, you’d likely need to spend thousands of dollars on new windows or insulation. If you’re a REALTOR®, consider buying a Nest for your clients as a closing gift and buy yourself one while you’re at it.

Don’t take my word for it, everyone else raves about Nest too:

*For more information about how the Nest saves costs on heating and cooling check out these documents:

Nest Energy History Guide

Nest Efficiency White Paper

Greg Stinton

Lead Web Software Developer
Center for REALTOR® Technology
National Association of REALTORS®

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  1. We love our Nest! It was easy to install and they do a great job with both documentation and help.

    We plan to add the carbon monoxide monitors soon.

    It has reduced our heating and cooling bills and it is fun to watch it “learn” and adjust itself.