Tony Fadell and the tech team that brought you Apple’s iPhone has gone out on their own to tackle what they believe to be the largest energy wasting culprit in the building, the thermostat. According to Nest’s studies, more than 50% of your energy bill is controlled by the thermostat. Not only did they improve its design with something aesthetically pleasing, they also made it much simpler. No longer will you have to pour through a technical manual to figure out how to program your thermostat to achieve energy savings. This little number learns on the fly. It has built-in intuitive intelligence that recognizes your preferred comfort patterns, along with motion and light sensors to keep track of occupancy and setback periods. According to their figures, nearly 90% of programmable thermostats are never programmed properly for energy savings because most laymen can’t figure out how and can’t understand the user guides. So Nest designed a very simple user interface with built in sensors, algorithms and memory functions that learn your likes, dislikes and lifestyle patterns within a week or two of manual adjustments. It even figures out when you have gone on vacation or a business trip and automatically sets back the temperature for energy savings. Best of all, you can control the Nest from anywhere with an iPhone or Android app.
OK, how much will this little gem set you back. How much did you pay for your iPhone? Well, it’s pretty damn close. Nest is not selling these through your local HVAC contractor, which is the route most other HVAC controls manufacturers rely on. They have gone purely retail. The thermostat itself cost $249 and can be bought directly through Nest’s website or from Best Buy online and in some local areas. Installation will cost you $119 for the first thermostat and $25 for each additional thermostat installed.
- However, make sure that the Nest is compatible with your type of HVAC system.
To do this, the consumer will actually have to take their thermostat off the wall and check the low voltage wiring terminal designations used. It is not available yet in multi-stage, so only single stage residential and light commercial systems are eligible. It is also not yet compatible with humidifiers and air cleaners, but a Nest that controls accessories and outdoor sensors is in the works.
So, will Nest change the world the way the iPhone did? Will slick design and marketing create piles of used thermostats in our nation’s landfills? I guess that all depends upon whether you buy it or not! For more on Nest, read this
- NY Times article
- visit their web site