Nest thermostats

Messages
277
Location
New Jersey
My son is anxious to install a nest tstat in my home as a gift. My wife and I are both retired. There is always someone home. We're not leaving the house at 6am and getting home at 6pm. Our schedules IMO are not compatible with a nest trying to "learn " our habits. We have none. Our house is 1600 square feet on one floor. I am against handing the operation of my hvac system over to Google. I'm a boomer with no axe to grind when it comes to technology but I think I'll take a pass on this one.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,792
Location
The Motor City
If you're good with lowering the thermostat when you'll be away at extended times, and don't mind waiting for warmup when you get back, you should be okay without the Nest. For certain families it makes sense. I don't need one. The programmable thermostats do just fine for me. I had one contractor friend who tried to convince me it would save me on heating costs. I asked him on what principle would I see savings with my schedule. He just kept saying the furnace behaves differently with the thermostat and burns less fuel.......Ookay. I have three furnaces in my big house.
 

Aredeeem

Thread starter
Messages
277
Location
New Jersey
Yes, that's my thinking. It takes very little time to bring the house back up to a comfortable temp after turning it down in our absence. I'm not the market share that they're after. That's ok.
 
Messages
24,846
Location
Upstate NY
Get a programmable thermostat and just have it setback at night. The Nest needs a "C" wire which your basic thermostat or programmable thermostat does not need so it may not be there.
 

Aredeeem

Thread starter
Messages
277
Location
New Jersey
Yes thanks Don. Not even sure if my set up is compatible. I have a plain vanilla Honeywell tstat that works just fine. It comes with a programmable feature👈👈.
 
Messages
5,894
Location
Texas Hill Country
Well, does your electric/natural fuel provider offer a rebate? My provider in San Antonio offered a $150 bill credit, if we installed one of their approved thermostats, and allowed them to make adjustments during peak electric usage times (which I could over ride at any time). We ended up with a Honeywell smart thermostat with geo location, on sale from Amazon for around $79. It does a fine job, the best feature is that it links to both cell phones. When both cell phones are outside a range of 2 miles of my house, the temp will change to save energy. In the past we have left the ac at a lower temp and went to work for 10 hours, when the temp should have been higher and we were just wasting money.
 
Messages
1,859
Location
Middle of Iowa
We have an Ecobee. It does fit our family and our schedule, but there are other benefits to having a smart thermostat like that. First, you get a trend graph as well as minute to minute detailed charts on what your system is doing. I monitor mine once every couple days to see the health of my system. Toward the end of last summer I noticed my AC was staying on longer and longer to bring our house to temp. I had a technician come out, and we were nearly out of freon. Basically I was able to have the system pro-actively looked at before my family was cooking in out house due to a failed AC system. This winter I was monitoring it again. I noticed my heater had been on nearly all day and barely maintaining temp. in the house. I decided to leave work and run home only to find out my son had left the front door open when he was leaving for school. Saved a whole half day of run-time on my heater as well as who knows what would have gotten into my house. Also this winter, I noticed my system was short-cycling...very odd. I went home again to find out my son had pointed a fan at the thermostat that was drawing air from our basement. These are just a couple of examples. You can also set alerts for temp high/low, run time errors, humidity, etc. I think even beyond the programmable features they are well worth it...I guess it all depends if you want to use the data they produce or not.
 
Messages
267
Location
Rochester, NY
I agree with you, Aredeeem. I'm a gen-xer, but not really on the bandwagon for all new tech. The basic timer on out t-stat is fine. It has a weekday schedule and a weekend schedule. Nest is nifty, but no added benefit to my family. And there is no way to hack into our home network via that non-smart t-stat. Tell your son to put that money he wants to spend on it into his Roth IRA, he'll be glad he did in 30 years!
 
Messages
2,896
Location
Chicagoland
House we bought came with one. I turned off the auto learn feature and just programmed it myself which was very easy. I also manually set it to away mode when we leave. My one gripe is it constantly loses connection according to the app and will appear offline, requiring me to reboot the Nest... I've given up on fixing that.
 
Messages
2,033
Location
Wisconsin
Doesn't sound like you need one. We have a similar sized ranch house as you. We have an Ecobee. Our schedules are irregular, so the aspect of it knowing where we are (home or away) is nice. But the sensors doesn't make a difference in this house (in a previous two story house it was a big help and savings). I am leery of Google, too. But put a Nest in my parent's cottage. Need to know if the furnace goes out so the pipes don't break (it gives a warning if temps get lower than a pre-set limit). Ecobee does not give push notifications (only emails), Nest does. So that was the deciding factor to go with Nest. Nest is also easier to use for most people who aren't great with technology interfaces. Doesn't sound like you need it. I would pass and not give my info to Google if not necessary.
 
Messages
24,846
Location
Upstate NY
I have a Trane thermostat for my retirement (soon) house in DE. Its WIFI, so I can change it to 68 when I am an hour away from getting there.
 
Messages
4,246
Location
South Carolina
Originally Posted by Aredeeem
My son is anxious to install a nest tstat in my home as a gift. My wife and I are both retired. There is always someone home. We're not leaving the house at 6am and getting home at 6pm. Our schedules IMO are not compatible with a nest trying to "learn " our habits. We have none. Our house is 1600 square feet on one floor. I am against handing the operation of my hvac system over to Google. I'm a boomer with no axe to grind when it comes to technology but I think I'll take a pass on this one.
Yup ^^^ I am willing to bet many people do not save as much money using a Nest vs using a static programmable thermostat. We have two HVAC systems in our home with programable thermostats, one on each floor, they are not WIF, not self learning. We set them on a schedule and we live by the schedule, this stops the temptation of everyone in the house adjusting the temperature to their liking. In addition standard programable thermostats are programmed around the peak usage electric cost times for the best savings and are the most reliable. It would take YEARS for a Nest thermostat to make up for its cost, assuming the thing doesnt malfunction and need to be replaced before you see any savings. Standard programable thermostats does what it needs to do when we wake up in the morning, then during the afternoon, then evening, then sleeping, no messing around with it all at. They cost (and more reliable) way less then a Nest. Add to that the privacy thing regarding google or any wifi device, well known in this forum by my posts. I can only see a couple benefits of Wifi thermostats and that is in vacation homes that are not occupied or some less common issues where you need to be alerted right away should the system malfunction.
 
Last edited:
Messages
8,964
Location
MA
They're actually pretty cheap from your local utility. They had the Nest E which is the more basic model for $39 at one point. Even if you don't need the learning function, you can be lazy and set the temperature from your phone so you don't have to get up.
 
Messages
396
Location
Tampa, Florida
Our Nest is linked to our phones. So it knows when we are away from home and sets the temperature to a more economical setting. When we return, it changes it back. We can also remotely check, or change, the temperature when we are online. Even though we are oldies, we found the Nest very easy to set up and use. I think it is more than just a programable thermostat.
 
Messages
4,109
Location
SW Ohio
Originally Posted by Aredeeem
My wife and I are both retired. There is always someone home. We're not leaving the house at 6am and getting home at 6pm. Our schedules IMO are not compatible with a nest....
I agree that in your situation, a "smart" thermostat, even a regular old programmable one, doesn't make a lot of sense. If you turn your heat down at bedtime, at least you can automate it but you don't need a smart unit to do this, just a programmable one. One nice thing is if you're already in bed and "it's too hot" or "it's too cold", you can adjust it from your smartphone (presuming you have one !!).
Originally Posted by Aredeeem
Not even sure if my set up is compatible. I have a plain vanilla Honeywell tstat that works just fine. It comes with a programmable feature.
1) Units like ecobee include an 'adapter' that provides the necessary power and 2) if your house is less than 30 years old, I'd suspect your thermostat wire is multi-conductor (up to 7) so you just need to connect the wire in the cable that's already run.
 

Aredeeem

Thread starter
Messages
277
Location
New Jersey
Thanks fellow members. I'm actually turning down a freebie. My son(who is 40)sold his house. Prior to showing it he pulled his nest and replaced it with a cheapo. His new house came with a nest as standard. So he was left with an extra. I suppose I could take it off his hands and sell it but his next visit would be a bit awkward.
 
Messages
1,029
Location
Iron Asylum
Originally Posted by DriveHard
We have an Ecobee. It does fit our family and our schedule, but there are other benefits to having a smart thermostat like that. First, you get a trend graph as well as minute to minute detailed charts on what your system is doing. I monitor mine once every couple days to see the health of my system. Toward the end of last summer I noticed my AC was staying on longer and longer to bring our house to temp. I had a technician come out, and we were nearly out of freon. Basically I was able to have the system pro-actively looked at before my family was cooking in out house due to a failed AC system. This winter I was monitoring it again. I noticed my heater had been on nearly all day and barely maintaining temp. in the house. I decided to leave work and run home only to find out my son had left the front door open when he was leaving for school. Saved a whole half day of run-time on my heater as well as who knows what would have gotten into my house. Also this winter, I noticed my system was short-cycling...very odd. I went home again to find out my son had pointed a fan at the thermostat that was drawing air from our basement. These are just a couple of examples. You can also set alerts for temp high/low, run time errors, humidity, etc. I think even beyond the programmable features they are well worth it...I guess it all depends if you want to use the data they produce or not.
Good information, thanks!
 

Bud

Messages
2,801
Location
Texas
I am like the op, am retired. My thermostat is programmable, but I don't use that. Summer it stays on 74 and cold weather 68.
 
We have a programable touch screen Honeywell that has the four segments: wake, leave, return and sleep. It's set to drop to 64 F at night and the furnace typically stays off all night while the temp drops. It is then programmed to heat the house to 70 F by 5:50 AM. The Smart feature decides when to start heating to hit the target temp by 5:50. It's about as fancy as I need. smile
 
Top