New Thermostat Learns Your Heating and Cooling Preferences

Who knew that you could use “sexy” and “thermostat” in the same sentence? The makers of the new Nest thermostat have done just that and by all accounts, they’ve hit a home run. If you’re into technology, the Nest may make a great addition to your Boston home heating and cooling plan.

This “learning” thermostat can program itself based on your habits and boasts a design that will do Apple proud. Technically, the new Nest could be considered a distant cousin of the Cupertino clan, since it was designed by Apple’s former Chief Architect Tony Fadell. As such, you can be sure that it will work with your iPhone to help keep the temperature in your nest just the way you like it, even if that means moving the temperature several times each day to suit your preferences.

The new Nest claims to be able to save you something on the order of $175 per year, but you won’t see any savings until you get past the cool $249 price tag. And just like the iPhone, you’ll need to wait a bit to get your hands on a Nest – the company is sold out until at least February 2012 and perhaps longer. Nonetheless, the Nest video is worth a look because it gives you an idea of where energy-saving technologies are headed.

The maker, Nest Labs, promises that installing the thermostat is no more complicated than the installing a light fixture, so on the surface, it seems like a reasonable DIY project. Once installed, the thermostat programs itself over the course of a week by taking note of when you increase and decrease the temperature in your home. Once the thermostat is programmed, you can make spot changes that won’t affect the device’s understanding of your general climate control preferences, but it can also spot patterns. For example, if you’re always home on Sundays and Wednesdays, the Nest will turn your thermostat up on the days you’re home and down on the days you’re not without you having to program the thermostat.

You can also make spot adjustments to the temperature using a smart phone from just about anywhere. This is great if you’re coming home early or late and want to manage the temperature of your house accordingly. The Nest also tracks when your seasonal switchover from heating to cooling occurs and keeps the temperature in the house comfy year-round.

Better yet, the Nest will tell you when your thermostat settings are energy-saving or energy-hogging, so you can learn how best to maximize the comfort of your home and save money at the same time. The Nest can also help you determine when the temperature in your home is set too low to keep your plumbing protected.

I encourage you to watch the video that’s available on the Nest website, and if you’re interested in purchasing the Nest, visit the online store and leave your contact information. The company is not currently taking orders for additional products, but will notify you when they’re ready to take more orders.

If you purchase a Nest or would like selection and installation assistance with other energy-saving thermostats, contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911. We’ll be happy to make recommendations regarding programmable thermostats and show you how they can save you money on energy bills year-round.

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