Where can you find a thermostat that not only acknowledges your presence by turning itself on, but continues to do its work of controlling heating and cooling even when you are gone? Nest, of course, a home thermostat we introduced you to last year. And to make the versatile Nest even more useful, the company is offering a 2.0 software upgrade for Nest Learning Thermostats.
The upgrade includes an expanded energy history view—this time a full 10 days—available as a Web application and via both Android and iPhone smartphones. Nesters will also have access to Airwave, a new and exclusive energy-saving feature which sucks every last breath of cold air from your air conditioning system by shutting off the compressor prematurely but letting the fan continue running.
Most important to non-techies, the Nest will update itself if connected to Wi-Fi. All you have to do is update the Nest mobile app on your smartphone or iPad. Nest, the first learning thermostat on the market, takes cues from your actions beginning on day one, by noting and recording how warm (or cool) you want your home to be at specific times of day. No other “smart meter” or programmable thermostat does that.
Spendy, at $250, but well worth it, the Nest also monitors room occupancy. For example, if you have zoned heating, or even if you go away for a day or two without programming desirable room temperatures, clever Nest sets the ambient temperature slightly higher (for air-conditioning) or lower (during heating season) to conserve energy, and does so without a single prompt. And, as Nest’s makers point out, cutting back as little as 100 kilowatt-hours a month will recoup Nest’s cost in two years. Now, if only the company can find a way to resolve the patent infringement suit brought by Honeywell in February.