We pass by that boring rectangular shape box mounted on our walls every day and don’t even realize not only how dreary your thermostat looks, but that it’s controlling 50% of our home energy bills. A little over a year ago Founders of Nest Labs, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers who both worked at Apple on the iPod decided to do something about it and make something as uninteresting as a thermostat fun and cool. Nest Labs released the first generation of the Nest Thermostat and overnight changed the way we look at heating and air conditioning. The Nest Learning Thermostat learns what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you’re away and can be controlled from anywhere over Wi-Fi. By programming itself, the Nest thermostat can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling bill. You just have to teach it well. Amazing reviews, request and feedback came pouring in and within the year Nest released the 2nd generation of Nest thermostat. They also kept their promise to all the owners of the 1st generation with a Wi-Fi connected Nest that they’ll have the same 3.0 software update as the newer model.
So what’s new in the 2nd generation?
The first thing you’ll notice about the 2nd generation Nest thermostat is that its new refined design with being 20% thinner than the original. It’s now encased by a premium solid stainless steel ring that clearly reflects the wall colors around it. The sensor grille on the bottom is even more streamlined and has been replaced by a smooth lens.
Nest also upgraded there east-to-use press connectors to make inserting the heating and cooling wires even faster, then moved the screw holes to the top and bottom to make the installation simpler.
The 2nd generation Nest Learning Thermostat is now compatible with 95% of low voltage heating and cooling systems which also include 2nd stage cooling, 3rd stage heating, dual fuel, emergency heat, and whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
Homes with humidifiers, dehumidifiers or dual fuel systems have a more complicated installation process, so we recommend a heating and air conditioning professional installer to install Nest for these systems.
To see if your heating or cooling system works with Nest check the Compatibility Check tool.
3.0 software update
Nest also wanted to fulfill their promise to their customers to keep improving their Nest, so every Wi-Fi connected new and existing Nest thermostat will get 3.0 software too. That includes enhanced Auto-Away, more languages, Auto-Schedule in Heat • Cool mode and Android tablet apps. The 3.0 software will also feature exclusive new System Match technology that automatically activates specific features like True Radiant, Heat Pump Balance, Early-On and Filter Reminders depending on the system you have.
System Match – Most thermostats are designed exclusively for conventional forced air systems (systems that blow air out of vents). The trouble is not everyone has a conventional system. With System Match, Nest uses different algorithms and activates custom features depending on your system. And it won’t just give you controls that are better tailored for your home; System Match will make your entire heating and cooling system work better.
True Radiant – You have an energy-efficient radiant system, now get the right control for it. True Radiant is a Nest exclusive that gives you a predictable schedule and even heat. No more frustrating guessing about what temperature to set when. If you already have radiant heat, System Match will automatically activate True Radiant. No more turning on the heat at 4am so you’ll be warm by 7am, no more going beyond the temperature you wanted. This is how your radiant system should have worked all along.
Heat Pump Balance – Make sure your energy-efficient heat pump is actually saving you money. Heat Pump Balance is a Nest exclusive that optimizes how often you use expensive auxiliary heat. Just choose whether you want more comfort or more savings, and Heat Pump Balance will automatically adjust when AUX comes on. Nest will automatically activate Heat Pump Balance in the Max Comfort setting if you have a heat pump with auxiliary heat.
Early-On – Get the temperature you want when you want it. If your schedule says 72ºF at 6:00am, Early-On will start heating or cooling early so it’ll be 72ºF at 6:00am.
Filter Reminders – Filters are incredibly important for systems that blow air out of vents. A clogged filter can increase your bill by 5%. Nest’s Filter Reminders are based on how many hours you’ve used heat or AC. That means they’ll only show up when you actually need them.
Enhanced Auto-Away – Now Auto-Away is even better at understanding if you’re home or not. When it’s sure you’re gone, Auto-Away can now turn on as quickly as a half hour after you leave the house. And if Nest doesn’t detect any activity for a while but knows you’re usually home at this time, it’ll wait longer before activating Auto-Away.
Auto-Schedule in Heat • Cool mode – Homes with both heating and cooling can automatically switch between the two in a mode Nest calls Heat • Cool (previously known as Range). Now Nest can use Auto-Schedule to learn what temperatures you like when you’re in Heat • Cool, just as it would if you were only heating or only cooling your home.
New languages – The Nest thermostat, Web app and Mobile app now speak Spanish and French. And, as always, you can switch Nest to Celsius in Settings as well.
Android tablet compatibility and improved apps for everyone – The Nest Mobile app now works on all Android tablets, including Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. The Web and Mobile apps have also improved for everyone: Energy History has more detailed info about how and where temperatures were set, the At a Glance screen has been upgraded, you can now lock Nest remotely and switch the apps between English, Spanish or French.
The new software combined with Nest streamlined 2nd generation hardware makes for an incredibly and complete experience. We can’t stop looking at the new Nest, spinning the solid steel ring and scrolling through the new features. For the first time, a thermostat can understand what you and your home need to save energy and stay comfortable, then automatically adapt to make it happen. And for the second time, it’s absolutely beautiful.
If you would like more information on either the Nest thermostat or to purchase and have professionally installed, please visit DunRite Heating & Air Inc. website.