Is the Nest Right For Your Home?
If you’re looking for ways to save money on heating and cooling costs, you’ve probably considered the Nest. The first smart thermostat to hit the market, the Nest is referred to as a “learning” thermostat, meaning that it intuitively sets temperatures in your home based on your daily schedule and preferences. The app links to your phone, so it knows when you leave for work, when you go to bed, that you’ve got wine club on Tuesday nights, and spin class on Thursday mornings. When you are home, it understands how warm or cool you want your environment based on the time of day. It uses all this information to bring your home to the perfect temperature without you having to lift a finger. And in the process, it saves you money, since your system is running as efficiently as possible.
Nest thermostats offer users a number of benefits, but there are still some potential drawbacks that you should consider.
Advantages & Disadvantages of the Nest Thermostat
1. Money Matters
One of the biggest drawbacks to the Nest is the initial investment — at $250, they’re around $100 more expensive than other smart thermostats currently available. But the energy savings add up fast.
Research shows the Nest saves the average user somewhere around $130-145 each year, meaning it pays for itself in two years’ time. Many cities also offer a rebate (Austin Energy currently offers $85), so your upfront costs might not be as steep as you think.
The Nest also tracks your energy usage and shows you daily and monthly reports, allowing you to see when you’re using the most energy and how you might be able to make better choices.
2. Control Issues
Your smartphone allows you complete control over your home’s temperature, even when you’re miles away.
Coming back from vacation and want your home to be nice and cool the moment you walk in the door? A few clicks on your phone, and you’re all set.
Even better, the Nest knows how efficient your system is (i.e., how long it will take to cool your home from its current temperature), so it starts the process at the optimal time.
On the other hand, what you set isn’t always what you get.
The Nest has a three degree temperature swing. So if you set it to 70, it might end up anywhere between 67 to 73. This is all part of helping you save money by working efficiently, but if you’re a stickler for temperatures that are “just right”, the Nest might not be for you.
3. Master Monitor
As well as learning about your habits and your home’s efficiency, the Nest is also connected to the outside world.
If Austin temperatures drop unexpectedly in the middle of a blazing summer (one can only hope!), the Nest will adjust your thermostat accordingly and give your AC a much-needed break.
It will also send you an alert if it notices something wrong with your unit or to warn you about upcoming weather conditions that might affect the unit’s performance.
What’s the Verdict? Do the Benefits of Nest Thermostats Outweigh the Cons?
Although there are many benefits to installing a Nest thermostat, the Nest does have some drawbacks- the price-tag is high, the temperature isn’t precise, and it takes some time to teach it your ways.
Additionally, not all homes are equipped to power the Nest’s internal rechargeable battery and may require a C-wire installation (check Nest’s website for more info on this).
However, HVAC specialists agree its overall efficiency, integration into your daily life, and savings can’t be beat. If you’re looking for a smart way to cut cooling costs, this smart thermostat is a great choice.