With the advent of wireless networks widespread in homes across the United States comes the innovation of a plethora of new home automation devices. Of the numerous devices out there, we want to highlight the Nest Thermostat.
Programmable thermostats have been around for a while now. These thermostats help you save money by turning your furnace off when you’re not using it. Energy.gov states that, “By turning your thermostat back 10 deg to 15 deg for 8 hours, you can save 5 percent to 15 percent a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1 percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.” For example, saving 5 percent to 15 percent on an energy bill averaging $200/mo means an energy savings of $120 to $360 per year. However, there is a slight downside; the thermostat actually needs to be programmed to work.
Tony Fadell, chief executive office at Nest says, “There are some 250 million thermostats, of which only 40 percent are programmable. And of those, only 10 percent have been programmed to save energy.”
This means that of the 100 million that are programmable, only 10 million are actually programmed to save energy; about 10 percent.
Enter the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Thermostat is a relatively new innovation in home automation and green living. It is a thermostat that automatically programs itself using sensors that learn when you’re home and active; that is, the times you want your house to be at an adequate temperature. Nest states that a correctly programmed thermostat can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling bill. It will even remind you to change your furnace filters which results in reducing the energy waste from pushing air through dirty filters and supplies your home with cleaner air.
Although the Nest has much going for it, there is one drawback. It can take while to “learn” when to turn your HVAC system on and off. If you want to take the time to tweak the settings in order to help Nest learn faster, you’ll reap these savings sooner.
Thinking about getting a Nest? If you are, the first step is to determine if the Nest will work with your HVAC system, you can order one for around $250 (dec 2013) and install it yourself. The Nest is accessible from iOS and android devices. The Nest Thermostat can be a wonderful and unexpected gift for anyone this holiday season.