Cyril gave me a super nifty birthday present: a Nest thermostat. It was a bit of an indulgence since my old thermostat wasn’t broken but I was entirely grateful for a new gadget. I’m a bit of a lucky duck to have central heating and cooling in my NYC apartment. If you are thinking of buying Nest, make sure you do a compatibility check first.
I’m comfortable switching out light fixtures and handling light home repair so I watched a few of their videos first and got cracking on the installation. It took about 45 minutes total. Not so bad not knowing what to expect when I took out the old thermostat.
My observations in no particular order:
- The whole user experience was solid. The packaging was beautifully designed and the manual was easy to understand. I really appreciated that in the manual, Nest had little blue stickers that allowed one to label the wires so you wouldn’t forget what wire was what. Extremely helpful.
- The Support section of website was well done. I was able to find an answer relatively quickly. I had just (1) R wire and I wasn’t sure where to put it, in RH or RC. Turns out it doesn’t matter which one. I put it in RH.
- The User Interface of the thermostat is superb – the turning and pushing interaction is simple and intuitive. I can definitely see the Apple iPod influence here.
- As a dog owner, remote access through the iPhone is smart and definitely a huge plus. This is an extremely useful feature that I’m sure I’ll use repeatedly to make sure Mac is comfy while I’m away.
Things that can be improved on:
- A minor problem in the whole installation was the inability to register with the iPhone Nest app. It repeatedly flashed an error. I was able to register through the Nest website and connected my iPhone to my thermostat.
- I routinely like to have my fan on to circulate air in my apartment. I eventually found how to turn it on by selecting the Fan option in the “Settings” area. For me, it doesn’t seem intuitive to place the Fan On/Off controls in “Settings.” My old thermostat had a simple on/off switch. That so far is the most non-intuitive UI item I’ve found in Nest.
It’s an amazing device and I’m looking forward to when it gathers enough information about my habits in order to save money.