Tag Archives: DIY

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.