Heating and cooling your home efficiently can be a PITA. I just suck at remembering to do it, OK? Right now I am on the waiting list to receive a new product called Nest–it’s the smartest thermostat you’ll ever own. And at $250, it’s actually not *that* crazily priced compare to its competitors (WiFi enabled thermostats range from $100-$200 depending on quality & features).
Nest is a learning thermostat. You can set basic programmability, but unlike most programmable thermostats, you don’t have to determine your schedule and tell the thermostat what to do in the morning and evening. Instead, Nest uses light and movement sensors, along with user input (i.e. when you turn it thermostat up or down) to determine the habits and needs of your family to help you become more energy efficient. Nest will learn when your family goes to bed (when the lights are all off and there isn’t any movement), when you are awake, away at work, etc.–and it will raise and lower the temperature accordingly.
Not only that, but Nest pushes you to be more energy efficient. Nest will programmatically lower/raise the thermostat by small degrees (like, half a degree!) and see if it receives any response, i.e. whether you change the temperature. If you don’t, Nest learns that half a degree doesn’t matter, and will set that as the new temperature for that period in the schedule. After a while, Nest is able to determine the most energy-efficient temperature settings for your home.
Nest also has “Away” modes for vacation periods, and there’s even a little leaf icon (see image) that tells you when you’re saving energy. Within eight days, Nest has figured out your schedule and has already learned about your family and started determining the best heating/cooling schedule for you. Plus, iPhone, Android & web apps make it easy to access Nest on the go–like if you forgot to turn on the Away mode for a vacation, or you want to turn up the heat a little early when you skip out of work (slacker).
This post was not sponsored by Nest. I just love it that much.