Boston Standard Plumbing Certified Nest Installer

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the Nest Thermostat, a new programmable thermostat that “learns” about your heating and cooling needs as you use it. Our good news is that Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating is now a certified Nest installer. That’s good news for us, but it’s also good news for Boston homeowners who want to have a Nest installed in their homes.

Nest thermostats work on just about all types of residential heating and cooling equipment, so most homeowners can take advantage of the benefits the Nest thermostat has to offer. Once installed, the Nest begins to learn about your “home and away” habits. After about a week, the Nest will have learned your basic routine. You can still make temporary changes to the Nest without throwing the programming off.

Better still, the Nest can help you save money. Using a smartphone or even your home network, you can contact the Nest to make changes to your thermostat settings, either while you’re at home or away. According to the maker, the Nest can help you reduce your home heating and cooling bills by an average of $175 per year.

The programmable thermostat differs from most typical thermostats because you can get very precise control over your utility usage. While most programmable thermostats allow you to control a couple of large time blocks on weekdays and weekends, the Nest allows you to make as many changes as needed during each day of the week.

The manufacturer has not yet started releasing this product directly to residential customers, but initial demand for the Nest has been high. As a certified installer, Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating can acquire and install a Nest thermostat in your home. If you’re interested in having a Nest thermostat installed, or would like more information about the Nest or other programmable thermostat options for your home, contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911 to set up an appointment.

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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Setback Thermostats: Are They Worth It?

Setback thermostats, also known as programmable thermostats, are worth their weight in gold. According to the Department of Energy, homeowners spend an average of $2,200 annually on energy bills, including heating and cooling. Aside from the mortgage and taxes, heating and cooling costs are likely to be the largest expenses associated with the home. Homeowners can save about 8% per year (about $180) by using a programmable thermostat to control the heating and cooling appliances in the home.
On winter mornings, the programmable thermostat can raise the temperature of the home before you wake, making the prospect of getting out of bed more agreeable. You can set the temperature to be anything you like, but you’ll each degree will increase (or decrease) your heating bill by about 3%.
68°F was a standard that was set in the mid-1970’s as being the norm for indoor temperatures in the winter, but some homeowners keep their thermostats set lower – to 65°F or 66°F for the little time they’ll be active before they leave the home on winter mornings. In the summer, consider setting the A/C to 78°F.
How far should you allow the temperature to fall (or rise) in your home while you’re at work? That’s a subject that’s up for much debate. The Department of Energy recommends that you allow the temperature to fall at least 8°F in the winter (or rise at least 7°F in the summer) while you’re away. If you stick with the normal temperatures of 68°F in the winter and 78°F in the summer, you’ll set your thermostat to fall to 60°F in the winter and rise to 85°F in the summer. Allowing the temperature to vary beyond that could save you money, but your heating and cooling plants will work harder to return your home to a comfortable temperature.
The programmable thermostat will enable you to set the system to prepare for your return, and will also enable you to drop (or raise) the temperatures at night. The Department of Energy recommends that you allow the overnight temperature to drop by at least 8°F in the winter and raise by at least 4° in the summer.
Generally, you can find programmable thermostats that will allow you to maintain a separate program for each day of the week. Lower-cost models allow you to program one schedule for the workweek and a separate schedule for the weekend. Finally, some thermostats allow you to program for the workweek and operate separate schedules on Saturdays and Sundays.
Boston Standard Plumbing can help you determine which programmable thermostats will work best for your heating and cooling systems.