Author Topic: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System  (Read 3389 times)

RunHappy

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The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« on: October 13, 2015, 06:51:57 AM »
I was originally  looking for a wireless zoning system because we have 4 thermostat controls in our home.  Right now we are manually changing temps, I am looking to replace our old manual, dial thermostats to something I can program and zone.

In my search I found the Nest:  https://nest.com/thermostat/meet-nest-thermostat/

It seems it has auto-learn features which is cool.  It looks more to those homes that have one central thermostat.  What I really like is that there is an app to monitor usage, control the temps when away from home, and also there is an away from home feature.

Has anyone used these? Any thoughts?  Can these be used to set up different zones in the home?

Killerbrandt

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 07:48:36 AM »
I have the Nest and it has honestly saved me about 30 percent on my electric bill. Also it helps that my local energy company gives us credit each year for having it. I highly recommend it!

Paul | pdgessler

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2015, 08:06:41 AM »
I have one too, but I just installed it a few weeks ago and we haven't run heating or cooling since. :-)

I like it because of the auto-away feature (along with the ability to override that from anywhere I have internet access): I work normal business hours and my wife works a mix of nights/days, so a standard programmable thermostat doesn't really have enough flexibility for us. Once we get into the heating season, I'm curious to see how much of a difference it makes. My wife and I are already pretty conservative with our thermostat settings.

Regarding multi-zone systems, it does support them, but depending on how your system is set up, it may require extra wiring to power the thermostat. See https://nest.com/support/article/Does-Nest-work-with-zoned-systems for more details.

I'm curious to hear how it works out if you try it!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2015, 08:30:47 AM »
In my case the Nest is good because it learns how much my steam radiators will heat up the house after the boiler stops. So it reduces usage and improves comfort. Installing four of them sounds very expensive.

WDR

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 10:36:49 AM »
Check out the Ecobee 3 Thermostat.  Similar to the Nest, but rather then learn your habits it has a motion sensor.  I live in a smaller 3 story row house so the base package comes with a base (which is a sensor) and one additional sensor for the base price of 225 or so.  You can buy up to 30 of little sensors (which is overkill).  The sensor are expensive so if you are in a larger house this may not be the way to go (Think $75 for two)

The way it works is that you set the temperature you want it to be and it will either:

1) Follow you so rooms you are in it uses the temperature of those rooms only (avg) or if just one room/floor just that sensor OR
2) Constantly averages the temperature between the two sensors regardless of movement.

Now this doesn't fundamentally change the issue of airflow/ducts/etc, but at least if you want to set the 2nd story bedroom sensor to be 72 degrees from 11 PM to 7 AM it will make sure it is that temperature.  It could be considerably warmer or colder on the first floor.

I haven't used or seen the nest, but the app is free and pretty useful.  It learns in the sense that if you want it to be X degrees at 6 AM then it sees how long it takes to reach that time and will turn on prior and not at 6 AM.  I believe it takes into account the outside temperature.

It also tapers the temperatures if you average so just because you haven't been in an area where the sensor is doesn't mean that 30 minutes later that sensor isn't taken into consideration.  I didn't get a direct answer on the tapering times from support.

In the end it helps to serve our purpose, but clearly you need to be strategic where you mount the base unit.  The sensors are tiny like 2 by 2 so they are portable, but again placed in the wrong spot with kids running around and it may not be the best.  You could buy more sensors to offset that, but then you are adding some serious cost.

Also check your logical utility company many have rebates for thermostat purposes as well I know we had one.

NorCal

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 12:24:27 PM »
I got the Nest as a gift, and it works fine.  As a disclaimer, I live in CA and run the heater about 4 months a year, and don't even have AC.  I doubt I get a lot of financial benefit from it in this climate.

I can absolutely see the value in a more extreme climate.  The app is intuitive, and it's easy to set.  Being able to control it while you're away is also a nice feature if you forget to turn off the furnace while you're out.

Installing it was a super simple DIY job, although your 4-zone system would probably need to be wired to a central point (I'm not an expert on these things).

I think some of the competitors do similar things at a lower price, but I don't know the details.

maco

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 05:22:20 PM »
I have one, and I like it, but keep in mind for 4 zones, you're talking about replacing 4 existing thermostats, right? So 4 Nests = $1000!

maco

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 05:23:20 PM »
Check out the Ecobee 3 Thermostat.  Similar to the Nest, but rather then learn your habits it has a motion sensor.

Shouldn't that be "but it only has a motion sensor and doesn't learn your habits" since the Nest has both?

jwbof

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 02:43:44 PM »
My understanding is that you have to adjust the thermostat on the Nest up and down whenever you feel like it (on a daily basis), and that is the way it "learns."

Am thinking about getting ecobee 3's, but I am not sure I am going to save money as they are $250 x 2 = $500, and I might need a motion sensor. My current thermostat is programmed based on the time, and the schedule is reasonably good. Maybe will wait till the price of these comes down.

the_fixer

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Re: The Nest Programmable Thermostat vs a Wireless Zoning System
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2016, 08:21:08 AM »
I installed the ecobee 3 about 2 weeks ago and it works really well no idea on how much we will save since we just moved in but our old one was not programmable and we would forget to turn it down at night and when away so I am sure it will save for us.

$199 @ home depot for the ecobee3 with 1 extra sensor.
Only thing I purchased that was on a blackfriday sale.