Developer: Nest Labs, Inc
Price: free Download on the App Store
The thermostat … it's that white, clunky device we pass by several times a day without giving it any thought, unless it's a bit too hot or cold and then there's the usual off or on switch flicked. Then because we didn't realize we upped the heat to 80 degrees, we turn the AC on. It's a vicious cycle, but it doesn't have to be. Nest, a smart, beautifully designed thermostat, is ready to take care of all our heating and cooling needs whilst learning and predicting what those needs might be. Better yet, it'll even save energy.
With over 250 million thermostats throughout the United States, Nest could help revolutionize the thermostat industry and I hope it does as I'm already reaping the benefits from integrating it into my home.
First off, the Nest device just looks like something you want on your wall. In fact, I find myself looking at it every time I pass by, unlike its ugly predecessor. Priced at $250, the device reminds me of something Apple would design, which is spot on since it was designed by Tony Fadell, the same person who helped design the iPod. It's sleek, simple and sexy … a trifecta of goodness.
As for function, the screen looks and feels like a beautifully designed utility app and changes red when heating and blue when cooling as well as lights up when you come near it. Even interacting with the device via its push button control and dial left to right is smooth and effortless.
Even better, Nest is connected, i.e. built-in Wi-Fi allows you to control it from an online account or, my favorite, your iPhone or Android device. I find myself showing off to my friends when I'm out and about that I just turned down the temperature for the dog who's at home. You're welcome, Fido.
One of the most interesting aspects of Nest is its ability to learn. Every time you turn the dial when you go to bed or switch on the AC from your phone, Nest learns your patterns and preferences and then sets a schedule based on those mannerisms. This has been greatly appreciated as I'm sure I'm racking up valuable savings without even trying.
But just how much is the $250 device saving you? I mean, when I moved into my house it already had a thermostat so why would I buy a new one? Well, according to Nest, you'll recoup that cost in energy savings in less than two years. So yes, it pays for itself.
As for installation, I'm not a professional contractor and it was almost effortless to install. All you have to do is turn off the power, open the old device, disconnect it from a few wires in the wall and then connect the wires to Nest. The install kit even includes little stickers to ensure you're placing the wires in the proper slot. No drilling, construction or degree required.
If you own a home and are into saving money or just want a piece of art on your wall, Nest is for you. Simple, beautiful and worth every penny, with Nest, saving energy and money never looked so good.
Nest on YouTube