Category Archives: Nest Thermostat

My Nest Labs Thermostat – Week 1 Ends

 

 Last Saturday, I installed my new Nest Thermostat. You can read how that went   at http://bit.ly/yNhq3x .  It is billed as a “Learning Thermostat’, so I promised to let you know how the first week went.

Saturday and Sunday we just watched, as related in the previous link. On Monday night, we noticed the schedule had been filled in to some extent. The Nest was learning from our use over the weekend.

 

 

From the web interface here is the schedule the Nest thought we were following after two days of use.

Here is the schedule after I tweaked it a little. I filled in a few blanks and evened out some times.

My wife is somewhat more comfortable with the system.  She is checking it on her phone and even showing it to her friends. Last night she told me the wall unit is displaying some type of message. When I checked it today, the message said learning at home had started “Push Continue”. The next message said “Ready to Learn Away Schedule”, I pushed and the Nest will do it’s thing.  I’ll have to check regularly to see what it does next.

What have I learned so far?  The iPad or the Web Interface is the easiest for me to use to set and view the schedule. The phone is very handy to check the setting, to watch the outside temperature and to keep an eye on things.  On the smaller screen of the phone, turn from portrait to landscape view to see additional controls other than just temperature settings.  Under Settings – Technical, it will give you a reading of the interior Relative Humidity Level.

Monday through Thursday, we watched the settings change as scheduled.  The Nest was learning the settings for its ‘Away’ function.  Two times this week we have come home and found the Away setting triggered.  My wife is on my case. I need more info about exactly what that away function is.  I have the idea it should be like a vacation mode.  I am beginning to think it is more of a ‘not at home for a while’ mode. After reading a few other posts, I am wondering if it has to do with the function that turns the wall unit on, when you approach it?

Got up early Saturday morning.  I thought Tori might knock on the door selling those Wonderful Girl Scout Cookies! This is the weekend that Girl Scout Cookies can be sold! Headed out the door to see my dad and head for Woodturning Club.  Checked the Nest on the iPhone.  It is in away mode again!  So just 2 clicks and the temperature is set where I expected it.  LOML is still having a slow start Saturday.  Especially nice after her Fast Start Friday!  About 10:00 am from Turning Club, I checked the Nest and the temperature is up a degree.  LOML is up and around.

I just listened to the video on the Nest Site about the Learning Mode.  Away is when the Nest thinks the home is unoccupied.  During set up, you were asked to put in a Hi and a Lo.  So that is what is being used.

Following up on the video, I looked at the actual Nest!  The video went through doing everything from the thermostat, not from a remote device.  There are some differences in the interface, the ease of use was amazing.  You either turn the dial either way, or you push to click.  No double clicks.  The turning is not all that sensitive.  I actually under turned for a couple of tries. This is where you can change the Away Settings, not from a remote device. Right is a shot of the Nest with one click showing the menu.

 

 

One of the sub menus under Settings is Energy.  Here are two different shots of the Nest under the Energy Tab.

Sunday Morning, we were at church and the Nest went into away mode.  Nice to be able to control this on the phone.  The other blip was Sunday afternoon, the Nest lost the Wifi Connection. I ended up resetting the router. Nice to watch the Nest work as a regular non-Wifi thermostat also.

This is a thermostat that one week after installation, could be left with a parent living alone and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. In this case they could still run the ‘stat’ and see what they were doing.  You could observe from a distance, if you hooked up the wifi connection. Your parent could also control their thermostat. Here is the schedule that has been set from the tweaked schedule shown earlier. (These three images are from Laptop Screen Shots.) Also an image of the schedule on the iPhone.

 

I still like this item!  It is learning! It is easy to see the schedule on multiple interfaces.  It is not the small buttons with clumsy fingers, or a screen that is hard to read.  It is fairly intuitive.  If you do Time Share vacations, and come across one, it will not be a problem.

I have a few further thoughts on improvements, but those will wait and see if I can find some others. It also makes for another post.

And last but far from least, my neighbor Tori will get here!  I will get some Girl Scout Cookies.  Then I can show her my Nest Thermostat!

A Knock on the Door, Early Saturday Morning

 

I was just getting around, 8:03 AM.  Who could be at the door?  It’s January, Tori might be selling Girl Scout Cookies. That would be good!

No!  It is the FedEx guy.  On a Saturday!  He has my Nest Labs Thermostat!  Yes!!!  Arm Pull!!!  I know what I’m doing today.

First Cup of Joe!  Open the packing box. Look at the box, just what you would expect from a guy that helped develop the iPad.  Exquisite packaging.

Working my way down the first cup of coffee, into the package I go. The first Look at my Nest.

And take that out, the second layer.  Interesting! Again, just what you would expect from a guy that helped develop the iPad.

Ok!  Breakfast!  Check! 2nd Cuppa Joe! Check! Time to start! Here is the 20 year old programmable thermostat. It has small buttons and sliders and I’ve never been able to get it to program.  I can text on my phone, I build FileMaker Databases for my own use, and I have even written a number of Shell Scripts in Unix over the years!  Technologically challenged?  No!  It is just those small buttons and not liking to be controlled by that small white box on the wall.

It is off the wall and the base plate is mounted.  Not bad!  About 15 minutes.  Less if I had gathered all my tools first.  Just a pair of plyers, and a small punch.  Notice I will need to paint, but that can wait!  Also notice there are no screws to wrap the wires around and tighten down.  Eight wire holders. Push one down and push the wire in, let up.  That is why I needed the plyers, to straighten the wire.  Yes, that is a small bubble level at the top. Built in.

Now, Plug in the Nest ,to the base plate!  Oops! Error says no power.  Help on the Nest says RH wire is not connected.  Pull off the Nest – yes it is!  Must not be making contact! So, I pushed it in a little more.  Yes!  Arm Pull!  Nest is now asking to be hooked up to the Wifi Network.  Easy, just twist the dial and push to select.  No double clicking!  Done!

Nest Updating software! This finishes while I am setting up a Nest Account and getting it on both phones and the tablet. Then I run through the remaining set up steps. Max and Min temperatures, and a few others. All easy and common sense!

It works.  Shows the temperature setting in large numbers! Won’t need my glasses! Also shows the house temperature at 72.  That is the ‘free heat’ because I have a picture window on the south side of the room, single pane; very high Solar Heat Gain Coefficient!

Back on the 3rd picture what was there beside the base plate?  Oh!  A neat little Nest Screwdriver. Interesting!

Well, how does it work? The thermostat, not the screwdriver!  My wife posted on FB, that I got a new gadget and we will see how it works! Oh, Ye of little faith!

All day Saturday, I kept watch via the Nest App on my phone.  I could see the current temperature setting, the room temperature, and the outside temperature.  The high was 49° F.  The house stayed at 72° F until the sun went down and then started down. The thermostat did not call for heat.  About 8:00 pm, The room was down to 68° F.  Started turning the setting down 1° at a time.  Down to 65 at 11:00 and bed time.  We turn it down at night.  Usually 66° F.  Now, from the phone, I can turn it up in morning without going down stairs, so perhaps a little lower would be OK.

Sunday, I kicked it up to 69° F about an hour before the alarm.  Nice when we started getting around for church.  Oops!  In the the car heading for church. Forgot to set the thermostat back.  There is an app for that.  Done, set on 67° F.

I continued watching and saw the temperature in the house dropping much faster than yesterday.  By noon, I had dropped the setting to 66° F and the outside temperature is at 50° F.  Higher than yesterday.  Why the difference?  Windy today! That mean I need to do some more Air Sealing! I moved the setting up to 69° F about 15 minutes before we got home, and it was nice to walk into the house.  Set to 70° F now.  Outside is 63° F.  Windy!

The information on the website says, the Nest Learning Thermostat will spend the first week learning, your home, your habits.  So, I am going down this road.  Look for an update next week! This last image is the app on the table.

And what about Tori? After 2 cups of coffee I remember, Girl Scout Cookie Sales start closer to the end of January. So I will expect another Saturday knock on the door in a couple of weeks.