"Wire it to your gas log fireplace"5.0 starson by Thomas-K-Peltier
Pros: + Very easy setup
+ Gorgeous design. Sleek, modern, low profile, simple interface
+ iPad, IPhone control - account setup was a snap, with immediate recognition of the thermostat I installed.
+ Moisture reading - ability to see % humidity
Cons: - Lack of recirculate seems like a basic comfort feature that is missing and causing a net greater consumption of energy
Summary: I know most people see the price tag and its sticker shock for them. What I don't understand is how they don't have the same sticker shock when they get the heating bill in winter or cooling bill in the summer depending on their climate. If you are a savvy person and have no trouble burning through the scheduling on a limited button unit, you are ahead of probably most households.Edit:
The one thing they have nailed with this thermostat is the ease and access to setting the schedule. Probably the single most important feature of any thermostat. If you have people at home during the day, the learning feature may work better for you. But for folks with set working schedules likes myself, the pure ease of setting the schedule vs learning the programming method of traditional thermostats can be time consuming and a turnoff for most people.
The reality is you will need to tweak the schedule continuously for the first few months, especially after you realize how finite you can dial your schedule into what you can find comfortably acceptable while reducing your energy costs at home. The constant schedule tweaking would be a pain in the rear on most traditional thermostats vs copy/pasting your weekday and weekend schedules across the rest of the schedule with the Nest. I bought one for the gas furnace in a home I recently purchased, and had no history to figure out how long it took to heat the house and how efficient the home was at retaining temperature. The history gives you the ability to view how often the furnace cycles on and off allowing you to fine tune your schedule.
The unit is flexible as well. Unfortunately my original control unit was placed in a part of the home where not a lot of traffic traveled next to the unit. Therefore the motion detecting Passive Infrared (PIR) was really not working well to determine when to set my auto away. This could have been remedied by running a new 4 pair wire to another higher traffic part of the home, but I ended up killing two birds with one stone. I had a gas log fireplace in a high traffic area without a remote control or wall switch, so using a honeywell fan control center I was able to wire the low voltage Nest to the adjoining wall of the fireplace to control it as well as its line voltage 110v blower fan, giving me control over two heat sources in the home and allowing me to turn on my fireplace with my phone/tablet/computer.
So the second Nest thermostat coordinates my auto away with the first nest thermostat. Could I have hooked up another type of thermostat to do the same thing? On and off functionality, yes. Integration of motion detectors in one system, no. I've even considered buying a 3rd unit with a separate transformer to operate a line voltage electric wall heater I have in the basement. My only gripe is the motion detector seems to detect around 1-2 feet away. In a hallway this probably would be sufficient, but in a more open area this is more limited.
Supposedly the 1st gen either had a better motion detecting sensor or the threshold was set to detect further away. I do wish Nest would give access to users for viewing a longer scope of the historical data, but obviously that would entail they grow their server farm to support it. Not a deal breaker, but for what the the Nest provides over traditional thermostats this should be improved as an offering.
New Features in future revisions: Weather forecast with outside ambient temp, since Nest is pulling zip code information. Have a 7 day forecast using icons depicting weather types in a circular clockwise pattern replace the dial until you actually click the dial to change the heating/cooling source temp. It's possible this is a limitation of limited power stealing some setups require, but would be nice to see.
Overall this thermostat is a nice offering to the home automation folks and getting everyday people comfortable with changing a few wires and installing it themselves. They've turned a product that is perceptibly known as a device requiring an HVAC professionals assistance to install into a task everyday people can figure out which is probably what is most appealing to the iKoolaid folks of this world. Honeywell will wake up one of these days and realize that their competitors are bypassing their dealer networks to do simple installs.
They will lose market share until they can come up with a product that doesn't require the same installer based support with its associated costs to install these devices with additional features. Can you do more with a complete Honeywell system? No doubt about it. But people know they are looking at thousands to get into these types of systems, mostly in labor to integrate it all together.
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I hope it helps.
Updated on Dec 20, 2013
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