Nest Thermostat Review: Yes, we are reviewing thermostats now

By on December 16, 2013, 11:09 PM

Like many of you, I never really gave much thought to something as basic as my thermostat. So long as it kicked on the heater or air conditioner when I needed it to, I was happy. Nonetheless I’ll admit I was a bit intrigued when I read about the Nest Learning Thermostat when it was announced back in October 2011 but even then, the thought of purchasing one never really crossed my mind.

I followed Nest and the success they were having with their connected thermostat over the course of the past two years and after making the decision to replace all incandescent light bulbs in my apartment with energy efficient LED units, I also decided it would be as good a time as any to see exactly what the Nest was all about.

Read the complete review.

User Comments: 21

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cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yes, we are reviewing thermostats now


Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

If these things prove popular I'd rather wait to see what the competition offers at a far more palatable price. $250 for a household thermostat is just plain stupid, you can't recoup that outlay over years even if this thing saves you a shekel or two per month, but if it could, you'd spend that money and more on the use your cellphone because you're too lazy to climb off your ass. Using LED lamps over incandescent lamps makes sense and is the way to go but this thing?... Bah!

That said, this article made for a bit of interesting, if not time wasting reading.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

It's just a digital "power saving" thermostat you can buy anyday of the week and does nothing to help cut costs. The remote connectivity is not new either. Cool little gadget though.

Bubbajim Bubbajim said:

Nice review, actually makes me tempted to buy it!

But, more importantly, where did you get that picture from that's in your living room? It's awesome! I want one of those more than the thermostat...

1 person liked this | EClyde EClyde said:

It's nice, but a chunk of oak tossed in my woodstove when my internal thermostat say it time is much better. Too bad everyone can't enjoy the benefits of wood heat

Guest said:

That bedroom picture made me post this, first post ever here in Techspot.

Where did you get it?

What is it called?

Also, the review was brilliant. It answered pretty much every question I had in mind but did not make an active effort to answer it.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You guys could make your own painting, with half the image inverted.

[Attachment: click here to see]

Guest said:

Installed one of these at the in-laws house over the weekend. Hard to believe a thermostat can be this sexy. Jealous, but not enough to drop 250 on it.

Guest said:

Still not available in the UK :(

pmcardle said:

I purchased the original Nest when they first came out. My previous thermostat was programmable but only if you were a rocket scientist, it cost $100. Every change in season I would have to reprogram it and it wasn't user friendly at all. The Nest is the easiest thing ever to program via the device, smart phone or Webpage and because it's connected to my home network I can check (or set) the temp from anywhere in the world. I use that feature mostly when I'm leaving work early and I want the house cooled down by time I get there. Or if I go on a trip and I forget to turn off the system I can do that too. It may seem expensive (and it is) but it's one of those gadgets that you won't regret buying.

Guest said:

I am interested which LED bulbs the author bought. I am looking for descent ones that are bright enough and don't cost $40 each! ;)

Guest said:

I picked a Honeywell M-F/SS programmable thermostat for $40 this year and have been pleased. It's setup to lower energy usage when we are scheduled to be away, and its easy to temporary set it to whatever temperature you need. The investment was worthwhile as my energy usage did go down about 5-10%. (Sucks that energy PRICES went up 5-10% so I broke even with last year, lol).

I think the appeal of Nest is more aesthetic than functionality. It is a really nice eye-popping device, no doubt. But I'm with you in the "not worth $250" boat.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I am assuming everyone in USA has central heating and air-conditioning that is controlled by a master thermostat ...?

Definitely not much of a market for Nest here in Australia or New Zealand.

Guest said:

The Nest has one big problem though. It tends to stop working, after a while, without a common wire. I notice there is a blue wire behind your sub base not hooked up that can be used for that. At your furnace where the thermostat wires hook in, wire the blue wire to the "C" terminal and at the Nest sub base hook that same blue wire to "C" terminal.

That way the batteries will charge much better. You can go to a Nest forum to see what I am talking about here.

Good luck

Guest said:

Yes we do mostly all have central heating and air in the USA

Guest said:

What a huge waste of money. I laughed when they announced all their initial "advanced" features that were also in my 20 some year old Honeywell Chronotherm III. It's basically a $99 thermostat they throw a lot of marketing behind and convince you it's worth $250. I laughed even harder when I saw that joke of an overpriced smoke detector.

Guest said:

What a huge waste of money. I laughed when they announced all their initial "advanced" features that were also in my 20 some year old Honeywell Chronotherm III. It's basically a $99 thermostat they throw a lot of marketing behind and convince you it's worth $250. I laughed even harder when I saw that joke of an overpriced smoke detector.

I'm sorry, but the advanced technology found in the Nest was not also in your 20 year old Honeywell. I know for a fact that the Chronotherm can't even detect what type of system it's plugged into, or tell me what wire I'm not getting 24 volts on because of a short.

I know that something being overpriced is subjective, and I agree that when the Nest first came out it was a bit steep, but after seeing the competition I think the $250 is pretty competitive. I mean, for only $100 less you can get a somewhat comparable thermostat, but it comes with a monochrome third-class touchscreen.

I've spoken to a few representatives from different manufacturers, and they all agree that the Nest was a wake up call. Some have spent the past two years coming up with their answer to the Nest, and they're still not ready to announce what it is. All they can say is that their thermostat is not round.

You also have other manufacturers that have rushed their answer to the market, and it's still not up to snuff. Honeywell's answer to the Nest is priced the same, but has a build quality that I find similar to a knock-off. The touchscreen is comparable to the one found in a Nintendo DS, the casing it comes in is cheap plastic, and the UI is lacking. But I can pick that background color to match my favorite sports team! If you throw in another $100, you can get the same model that has voice control, but I don't know anyone who wants to yell at their furnace from across the house.

1 person liked this | tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I don't own one but like with the LUX X9000TS model I've saved a lot of money from this $43 thermostat with Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat Touchscreen Interface


7 Day Programming - 4 Periods Per Day

Vacation Hold

Smart Recovery

Lighted Display

Touch Screen Lockout Code

2 or 5 Minute Delay

Temporary Temperature Override

Fahrenheit or Celsius Temperature Display

12/24 Hour Clock

Filter Monitor

Energy Usage Monitor

I had new Carrier Central AC unit installed in end of the summer of 2011. That already is Energy Star. Save a lot with it. But the thermostat I got wasn't fancy it had LCD but that was it for Honeywell.

Buying the LUX TX9000TS model saving much more. But the only feature this doesn't have is WiFi to pull in off the internet the current temp outside. So you would save more with a thermostat like that, than one without it. Since the one without has to go by what the current temp is in the house.

Could be like 80 F indoors where outside them was 75 F. The LUX would run the AC to bring it down to say 77 F is what I've set mine to be. I find if I set the it 76 F I have to pay extra $30 a month. Just to reduce too 77 F and save $30 a month.

Nest and LUX would work about the same both would give me more information about system and how and when to change the AC indoor handler air filter. This is very important as a clogged filter would use more energy.

Nest would win with its fancy high tech looks and WiFi internet current outdoor temp features as the LUX Smart Thermostat doesn't offer such features.

Nest extra $207 cost just to have WiFi Internet and high tech looks, still pricey to me. Even the top-of-the-line LUX with Wireless Remote still doesn't have all the features. I need a large display Amber Blue LCD, Nest has Multi-Color LED display uses less wall space. LUX 9600TS has much larger display than my LUX 9000TS but mine is large as well easy to see the feature controls.

When the LUX is running it greets you with a message MORNING as some extra graphics in LCD dark contrast fashion To let you know AC Cool is running. SYSTEM ON or SYSTEM OFF. Shows the day of the week, time and large temp readings for the current ROOM. Can be set to a calibration to zero. My old Honeywell didn't have that feature.

To me right now LUX will be the only thermostat I'll be using for now. NEST needs to drop their price down to $100 or $150 bucks. $250 is a lot for a thermostat. How much would it save me about the same $30 or maybe $40 with outside temp readings. Right now most non-WiFi units would use a wire that would be attached to the AC unit fan compressor outside at additional cost.

Review here on Techspot well done for the NEST, the prices of the NEST is the only reason why I wouldn't jump into it as the LUX does the same for $207 less except without multi-color display and WiFi internet temp.

bacondreamer bacondreamer said:

One of the biggest feature that was omitted in this review that I have not seen in other "smart" thermostats is the Sunblock. My Nest sits in a way that during certain time of the day, sunlight blast on it, causing artificial temperature gain during the summer. Nest learns this and proactively prevents the AC kicking on when the room is already at the set temp.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Wow that's pretty bad if the NEST is doing that. Mine is direct view of the raising sun rays though the front door 1/2 moon window which is up to code for 2011 so the room doesn't heat up. LUX get hit with the sun every morning. But it doesn't do what your NEST is doing. LUX is programmed to keep the ROOM also the entire house cooled at 77 F. I also use outdoor temp sensors here to check for temp and use it as aid here.

The reading I am getting from the wireless sensors are:

79.1F - outside / 59% Humidity

78.8F inside / 43% Humidity

Right now I have turned off my SYSTEM OFF it got cooler here doors open.

My range is from 77 to 78F. Some people like their houses at 64F that's really cold

their energy bill reflects it as well.

Guest said:

The NEST may have a nice sexy interface & appearance but it's nowhere what some of the honeywells & Trane ComfotLink2 T-Stat can do such as:

1) Zoning - Controlling each of your ventilation areas individually with one remote

2) Communicating to both your air handler & AC/Heating unit

3) Aggressive & intelligent recoverys

4) Easy to work on for HVAC pros

Benefits are for:

1) You don't need a $250 Nest for each zone or HVAC unit that you have

2) As your HVAC get more 'skills', they too will need to be 'talked' to & require a t-stat that constantly optimizes their settings 24/7

3) Ramps up your settings to customized comfort levels immediately or gradually for savings

4) Homeowners don't know how to set up their system as well as a qualified Pro can

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