Author Topic: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?  (Read 6155 times)

CmFtns

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Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« on: September 08, 2015, 11:47:52 AM »
Recently I have found myself reading about more fancy thermostats because the one I have right now has zero features besides changing the temperature. Is it crazy to justify buying something this expensive for convenience and cool factor? As a software engineer and tech addict I find myself wanting to grab a NEST and play with all it's cool features.

These are thermostats I've been reading about:
-Nest (Gen 3 just came out) ($200-250)
-Ecobee3 ($200-250)
-Honeywell Lyric (~$170)
-Small Range of normal Honeywell Programable Wifi thermostats ($100-200)

I have basically 4 temperatures I manually set right now:
Daytime when Home = (Low/mid 80s)
Nighttime when Home = (80)
Day/Night when Gone = (OFF)
Friends/Guests Over = (non-mustacian temp)


What I Want:
What I really want is for the thermostat to respond to my smartphone's location and switch temperature settings. This is possible through the Lyric's geofencing feature or through Nest integrated with life360, IFTTT, etc.

What I am worried about is the future of these online features requiring server support on the company's side. I want to be able to use the thermostat and the features flawlessly for years to come. To me it seems like NEST/Google would be the most likely to keep active support/development. For example I attempted to make an account with Honeywell Lyric app and it has given me errors for days saying it can't create an account right now which doesn't make me very confident that their servers/services will be running uninterrupted for years to come.

NEST also has an API available for third party software so there are many possibilities for future features.

Questions:
Do you think NEST and it's features is an investment that will work for 10+ years?
Does anyone have one and like it, any problems?
Has Anyone use GPS geofencing with NEST through integration with LIFE360, IFTTT, or other third party app?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 11:50:30 AM by comfyfutons »

I'm a red panda

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2015, 11:54:33 AM »
We have a Nest because it came with the house.  I don't think I could ever justify actually paying for it, if the money was itemized knowing that is what I paid for.   Especially since the electric company will give you a programmable for free if you agree to override (which at our last house we found happened once, for 15 minutes, in a 5-year span.)

First- I find the learning feature to be completely silly.  We just programmed ours like a normal programmable thermostat (though the programming interface is easier to use, and you can set a whole lot more change points.) I've heard most people with programmables never use them though, so I can see why the learning feature would be good.

I DO really like that I can change it with my smart phone. However, 80% of when I do that could also be combated with a simple "get your ass off the couch".  There are times, especially since I got pregnant, however, when I am very sick, and it is nice to be able to make the A/C stop blowing while in the restroom...  Not sure that ability is worth the cost though.

As for setting it when I'm at work- well, since we have it well programmed, I've found that I pretty much never do that.  I guess if my schedule changed I could keep it from turning on, but otherwise it isn't necessary.  The auto-away feature takes care of that a bit too; it will ignore your schedule if it hasn't detected any movement within a specific time frame.

It does look really cool, and have a very useable interface. Easier than a typical thermostat to both read and set.

We've had ours for three years.

CmFtns

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 12:22:16 PM »
We have a Nest because it came with the house.  I don't think I could ever justify actually paying for it, if the money was itemized knowing that is what I paid for.   Especially since the electric company will give you a programmable for free if you agree to override (which at our last house we found happened once, for 15 minutes, in a 5-year span.)

First- I find the learning feature to be completely silly.  We just programmed ours like a normal programmable thermostat (though the programming interface is easier to use, and you can set a whole lot more change points.) I've heard most people with programmables never use them though, so I can see why the learning feature would be good.

I DO really like that I can change it with my smart phone. However, 80% of when I do that could also be combated with a simple "get your ass off the couch".  There are times, especially since I got pregnant, however, when I am very sick, and it is nice to be able to make the A/C stop blowing while in the restroom...  Not sure that ability is worth the cost though.

As for setting it when I'm at work- well, since we have it well programmed, I've found that I pretty much never do that.  I guess if my schedule changed I could keep it from turning on, but otherwise it isn't necessary.  The auto-away feature takes care of that a bit too; it will ignore your schedule if it hasn't detected any movement within a specific time frame.

It does look really cool, and have a very useable interface. Easier than a typical thermostat to both read and set.

We've had ours for three years.

One of the main reasons is because I work a schedule where I have every 2nd friday off and my girlfriend works as a nurse in a completely and utterly random schedule which is impossible to program. My main interest is being able to have it turn to away mode whenever both of our smartphones are no longer located at home.

I don't plan on using the auto-away or the learning features of it but rather the third party app integration that allows for location services to control the status. I know I "shouldn't" buy one (especially since I already get off my lazy butt and change it all the time) Maybe I'll see if my family will buy me one for Christmas or something lol.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 12:25:05 PM by comfyfutons »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 12:34:40 PM »
Personally, I'm doing my best to "degadget" my life.  Sure it might be cool to micromanage your climate control, and you might even eek out some savings (sounds like you are already pretty mustachian on your temps), but in my experience, the more complicated something gets, the higher the probability of problems.  KISS is my motto.  From an investment standpoint, you money is probably better spent on weather stripping, caulk, and insulation. 

I'm a red panda

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 12:47:04 PM »

One of the main reasons is because I work a schedule where I have every 2nd friday off and my girlfriend works as a nurse in a completely and utterly random schedule which is impossible to program. My main interest is being able to have it turn to away mode whenever both of our smartphones are no longer located at home.

I don't plan on using the auto-away or the learning features of it but rather the third party app integration that allows for location services to control the status. I know I "shouldn't" buy one (especially since I already get off my lazy butt and change it all the time) Maybe I'll see if my family will buy me one for Christmas or something lol.

Can't help you there- never used a third party app.  Good luck!

TrMama

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 12:52:01 PM »
My answer is no, you shouldn't buy one.  Part of the whole premise of MMM is to become more badass. Getting a fancy thermostat that adapts to you is the complete opposite of this. Get a regular programmable thermostat and program it to whatever temp is somewhat uncomfortable for you. Then adapt to that temp. Congrats, you've just saved yourself on heating/cooling costs for life, without spending $200.

Since your schedule is regular, base the thermostats program on that. Your GF can just override the current setpoint when she gets home if the temperature isn't to her liking.

CmFtns

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2015, 12:55:32 PM »
UGHhhh... fine i'll stick with my old thermostat

Thank you all for dragging me back to reality. Maybe this is one of those things you do after you already have ALL the money

Fishindude

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2015, 12:59:24 PM »
Yep, just another expensive gadget you will never see payback on.
If you're leaving for an extended period, dial back the thermostat to reduce fuel consumption, then just turn it back to where you like it when you get home.

Adding insulation, weatherstrips or repairing / replacing windows would go a lot further towards energy savings.

Greg

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2015, 01:11:14 PM »
I would recommend a regular 5/2 programmable thermostat and program it for your most likely schedule.  You can always override the schedule settings when needed.  Mine is a cheap honeywell one that works fine.  If I want it warmer than the current setting, I can bump it up and then at the next schedule change it will revert to the program.  We have it set to heat in the morning and in the evening, for short periods.  The rest of the time it does nothing but tell time.

MsPeacock

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 05:01:46 AM »
My house came w/ an extremely complicated and confusing thermostat (programed to the former owners needs). It took me quite sometime to figure out how to turn the programing OFF. I just adjust it manually - I forget maybe 2-3 times per year and accidently heat or cool the house for a day when no one is there. Occasionally a guest messes with it and turns on the programing or some other feature by randomly stabbing at the 20 or so buttons on the dang thing. My schedule is variable and having  "home" "work" "vacation" "weekend" "other days" etc. etc. setting is just way too much. I can do it manually just fine. I have taped a sign that says "NO!" over the buttons that do anything other than adjust heat up or down in order to prevent others from messing with it.

So, for me, programmable thermostats suck and if I could get a simpler one w/o an outlay of cash, I'd do it. (I had the HVAC guy out and he looked at it and said "Oh... yeah, that is all wired in, really complicated to replace.")  The whole house was over-gadgetized when I bought it. Fancy swanky light switches (which all blew at once) and some sort of home monitoring thing for the smoke detectors that called the former owner's cell phone every time I made pizza. Even when he was all the way in India - because I had absolutely no idea how to program the whole system.

SnackDog

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 05:09:25 AM »
When Smart Houses become so commonplace that all the new ones come fully automated and require no thinking by on our part, then it might be a good time to go with the flow. But to try and retrofit your house with a whole slew of half-baked gadgets might be fun for a programmer, but it is not frugal and will lead to many headaches.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2015, 06:23:35 AM »
I would never buy one, but I'm asking for one for Christmas from the family. If I get it great, if not, no problem.

Gumbo1978

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2015, 06:44:14 AM »
I used some Christmas money a couple of years ago to get one along with some materials to make an attic tent and a LED bulbs for all my lights.  I like the simplicity of the the Nest.  The app works well and it is easy to program.  I like the monthly reports we get showing our HVAC use and comparing us to others.  I like cutting my system back on when I'm traveling home from vacation at night so I don't come home to a hot/cold/musty house.  It has helped shape our HVAC consumption.

You could certainly pay less for a programmable thermostat, learn to use it, and come out just fine.  I would also agree the Nest is overpriced.  I think our family just needed the extra stuff (ease of use, reports) to be successful so in the end, I think we got value out of it.

boarder42

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2015, 07:16:20 AM »
i like them .. it was purchased pre mustachian days for me.  would i buy it again now... maybe.  but it really doesnt do any more than a typical programmable.  except it allows you to be lazy and forget to turn your Tstat off when you leave for a trip or something.  the auto away feature is very nice though... if things change last minute it will automatically turn off for you.. . ie staying late at work ... or going to a friends dinner party.  or last minute trip out of town.  all very helpful and i'd bet it pays for itself over a traditional prog. tstat in about 5 years with those features alone.

georgialiving

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2015, 07:22:12 AM »
Check with your power company. We got a free one by signing up for a certain program


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Cadman

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2015, 07:28:35 AM »
It guess it really boils down to your situation. I bought Nest 2 right after they came out and absolutely love it.

It's really the only thermostat that doesn't require constant fiddling, has no confusing interface, and just works. I have a separate building I heat during the winter that I maintain just above freezing, but some days when I leave work on a cold snowy late afternoon and the sun is setting, I might want to spend a couple hours out there, or I have a project planned for a Saturday, but not a Sunday. Not only can I get the building up to a reasonable temp right before I leave work, but when it's -10F and people are complaining about burst pipes, I can check interior temp in real time on my phone to see if there's an issue.

The monthly reports are nice, and I can see exactly how many minutes that month the furnace ran and draw correlation to LP usage. But the interface is the big deal. A regular programmable is nice if YOU are available for the schedule you set up, but no sense heating a building if things suddenly change on the fly.




Syonyk

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2015, 11:16:09 PM »
Do you think NEST and it's features is an investment that will work for 10+ years?

Work for 10+ years?  Yes.  Good investment?  It really depends on your environment.  Probably not, though.

Quote
Does anyone have one and like it, any problems?

Be aware that it has incompatibilities with some furnaces.  If the furnace is not providing power to the thermostat, pulling "phantom power" off one of the lines can cause problems with the furnace controller, and eventually require a board replacement on said furnace.  I asked a furnace tech about it with my current (rental house) furnace, and he said that with the 2 wire setup we have, he wouldn't recommend it - he's replaced a lot of boards burned out due to "smart thermostats."  YMMV.

jengod

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2015, 11:45:18 AM »
Love our Nest. Very well-designed UI (important to me), and I use the app on my phone all the time to either turn off the air if I forget to do it before I leave home, or to turn it on ahead of our return if we've been away.

DH uses the web interface to change the temp from his home office without getting out of his chair. :)

JLee

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Re: Nest Thermostat Reasonable Purchase?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2015, 11:59:07 AM »
UGHhhh... fine i'll stick with my old thermostat

Thank you all for dragging me back to reality. Maybe this is one of those things you do after you already have ALL the money

I have a regular programmable thermostat. Combined with a variable speed pool pump (vs an old inefficient single speed), my peak summer electric use was just about cut in half. If you want a wifi one, maybe keep an eye out for a deal like this?