Nest is a Next-Gen Smart Thermostat

The average home spends more than $2,200 per year on energy bills and roughly half of this amount goes towards heating and cooling, according to the Department of Energy.  When a programmable thermostat is set and used properly, a homeowner can save about $180 annually.  But the problem is, virtually everyone with a programmable thermostat doesn’t set or use it properly.  Nest Labs, a Palo Alto-based start-up, aims to solve this problem with a new thermostat that’s simple, sleek, intuitive, and smart.

Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive and founder of Nest Labs, said, “We’ve built the world’s first learning thermostat — a thermostat for the iPhone generation,” according to the New York Times.  It’s called Nest, and it’s going to be sold for $250.

Nest learns by remembering temperature adjustments entered over time.  It creates a custom schedule from adjustments or can be manually programmed for seven days with 20 set points per day.  Nest shows a leaf when you’re saving energy and displays the time it will take to arrive at a certain temperature.  Nest also has an auto-away mode and can be adjusted remotely through a laptop or mobile phone.

The next-generation thermostat is constructed with a brushed stainless steel ring, a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery, and an LCD screen with a 320 px display. Nest is RoHS compliant and free of arsenic, mercury, and PVC.

Nest has a total diameter of 3.20″ and the profile is about 1.44″ thick.  The programmable thermostat has sensors for temperature, humidity, proximity, far-field activity, near-field activity, and ambient light. This video shows a simple installation:

Nest is compatible with forced air, radiant, heat pump, oil, gas, and electric systems; one or two stage conventional heating; one stage conventional cooling; one stage heat pumps with auxiliary heat or two stage heat pumps without auxiliary heat; 24-volt systems.  Nest doesn’t support conventional two-stage cooling or heat pumps with two-stage heating and auxiliary heat.

[+] Learn more about the Nest Thermostat.

Credits: Nest Labs.

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  • dbull

    I’ve been preaching about people needing to be better educated on set back for years. Thermal mass of the home becomes an issue. You almost have to experiment on your house to get it right. Not sure if this will do that or not but it’s a start. Unless the house is very “tight” too much set back will actually use more energy. Reheating or cooling the big masses or even the air spaces in the home.

  • Green GreenJoyment

    What an interesting device. Hopefully we can see more of these energy efficiency-conscious items which will assist us in curbing wasteful habits.

    Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green)

  • Anonymous

    Thoughtfully frugal…and fabulous!

  • Mike Eliason

    so… how does setting the thermostat to 80, and then dropping it to 68 save energy, actually? i can see in a passivhaus how that would save energy (at least, keeping it to 68 anyway) – the rest, not so sold on…

  • French Doors

    Looks very impressive! – I get the iPhone reference and its does seem simplistic (time will tell…)

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  • Kevin Dickson

    As smart as it is, I don’t see a $250 thermostat getting much market share.   People want to fiddle with it only a couple times a year.   They’ll pay $200 for an iPhone, but they get to use it several times a day.

  • Green Construction

    Being able to access this thermostat while away sells me. I cant even count the number of times I’ve reset my programmable thermostat at home only to forget to reset. Over Christmas break I was home all week with the family so I set the thermostat higher. Now I’m back to work (a few days into the week even) and my house is a warm 73 degrees even though 12 hours of the day nobody is even home.

  • Robartin

    Energy saving A/C units are going to have 2-stage compressors, which this unit does  not support.  So this high-efficiency thermostat only supports low-efficiency A/C units.  Brilliant!

    • Dbull

      Nice catch! I hadn’t notice that and I have a multi-stage system myself. My concern is how I’m going to integrate my system with a good smartgrid system.

  • Rubi Tile Cutter

     Preston: Really good, You need motoring and alarming devices at home to know what yo are in to. 

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