Nest thermostat opinions, please

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SWD, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. SWD macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #1
    We are in the market for a new furnace and A/C, and are currently getting a fair number of estimates. 2 so far, 4 more scheduled in a week. Of the 2 I've talked to so far 1 poo-pooed it, saying they've gotten notices from distributers that units need to be rest manually (take off, put back on) often. The other said it's OK, but they do a lot of Honeywell wifi ones work great with their units, implying the Nest won't be able to take advantage like the Honeywell will.

    Does anybody have experience with the Nest, one way or the other?
     
  2. FoxFifth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #2
  3. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    I'm rarely in the same room as the thermostat so the occupation sensor was of little use to me. So I bought a Radio Thermostat (Filtrete 3M-50) for about $100 and it works like a charm. You do need the extra wire though.
     
  4. SandPebble macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #4
    We have a second generation Nest controlling an 8 year old Bryant HVAC system. Have had it about a year and are very pleased with it. Very simple to set up and use. From the monthly usage reports we receive from Nest, it is saving us money.
     
  5. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #5
    I love mine, was pissed when Google bought them lol
    If the terms and conditions changing in the future don't bother you, go ahead.

    Stay far far away from the Nest Protect though.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Give this thread a read. If you are getting a high end system, there is a good chance the NEST cannot handle all the features.
     
  7. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #7
    I have a Honeywell wifi thermostat. I can check and set it over the network but it doesn't do any of the logging that Nest does. It also cost a LOT less. I may someday get a Nest but the thermostat sits behind a grandfather clock in a formal living room that nobody goes in most of the time. I doubt the sensor would work very well but I have heard it's possible to "train" the Nest even if the sensor doesn't have a clear "view" of an occupied room. There is also some sort of audio sensor but I don't know how well that would work either.

    One thing to consider is power failures. You don't want to be out of town on vacation and have a power failure wipe your thermostat's memory and get home to find your pipes frozen. This was a common complaint with first generation Nests but I've heard a software update resolved the issue.

    I've tried programmable thermostats over the years but they all failed in some way to meet my expectations. Some were overly complicated. Some seemed to get all flummoxed during the "change of seasons" and alternate between heat and A/C several times an hour. This has not happened with the Honeywell because it is simplistic. I have to switch it from heat to AC mode. It is not automatic. Of course I can switch it from my iPhone so it's as good as automatic. I can check the temperature from my desk at work and have the AC running within seconds if I want to. To me this is better than an overly "smart" unit that tries to figure out too much on its own. I value the ability to monitor and change things on demand more than I want to trust in somebody's software to figure this out. I would expect that at $250, the Nest would work better than the others I've tried, but for a modest priced unit, simpler with fewer features is more likely to work well over the long run.

    Our heat is an ancient 20+ year old 80% system. Our AC is about 10 years old. Both are simple. I would rather not have variable speed multistage furnace because there are more things to break and it would be more expensive to service. When I get a new system, I will shoot for 85 to 95 percent efficient but still simple to control.
     
  8. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    #8
    I want one, and a few of the protects too. However the protects were pulled off the market due to a possibility of diactiviting an alarm inadvertently.

    Waiting till the re-release things to see if I go that route.
     
  9. SWD thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #9
    We're not looking at high end furnace. Just a 2 stage variable speed (think mid-tier). 3rd company also poo-pooed it. I have to wonder though, if they are really sincere in not recommending the product because of issues, or if it's because they make more $ by selling what they carry.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    Your best bet is to contact Nest's support and ask if its compatible with the furnace that you're looking to buy.
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    It would not work with out system as the control leads for our system only had 4 wires and not a constant control voltage lead from which to power the Nest. If you read the boxes on the Honeywell wifi units they more clearly warn you that you have to have a constant voltage wire at the thermostat to power the thermostat.
     
  12. SWD thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #12
    The Nest is also rated highly on Consumer Reports. I wouldn't trust it learning when we're home though. A) someone is almost always home (wife and I have opposite schedules) and B) thermostat is in dining room which is not a high traffic area.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Agreed, its a great product that really works well. I have two thermostats, so its hard to justify the price since I have to buy 2 of them. I'd love to get them but I just don't have the $$
     
  14. i1100 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    #14
    I have 3 (2nd gen) nest thermostats and 3 nest protects. I've had them for a few months now and in general i'd say i like them, but they are not worth the price. If you are approaching these devices with the intention of saving money, these are not for you. While some may save money by utilizing the features provided, it really relies on your home being laid out in a particular way with the devices in common paths of traffic. While nest sends out monthly reports claiming that you've "saved" hours of energy, its comparing only to if your HVAC was on constantly and you didn't have any type of thermostat before, which i find rather silly. I love being able to monitor the temperature remotely, and adjust as needed, but i find myself turning off most of the nest's unique features like auto-away as they tend to activate at the wrong time more than right.
    The nest protects, well the 3 of them, have been fine for the time i've had them. I did have a 4th which was replaced twice for false alarms. Again, not much benefit over conventional alarms, but i'm a sucker for data and i love being able to comfort myself by checking on everything remotely. Although, receiving an alarm on your phone from the nest protect which tells you there is excessive smoke in your house is not quite as cool as it seems when you are at work an hour away from home. However, in my case, i can thank my dropcams for putting me at ease and showing that it was a false alarm.
    Overall, if you have a thing for gadgets and data, and have the money, go for it. Some may call it a waste, but those are the same people who should be riding their horses on the highway.
     
  15. SantaRosa2.2 macrumors regular

    SantaRosa2.2

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere in Florida
    #15
  16. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #16
    Nest thermostat opinions, please

    I like them. I've installed a few as thermostats coincide with my line of work.

    However I would only get one if it's a relatively basic HVAC system.

    Higher end models will generally have a proprietary control system of some sort with much more advanced features that the nest thermostat will not be able to control. Things such as adjusting blower speeds, DEhumidification, system fault detection, actual outdoor weather conditions, etc.

    ----------


    Just noticed this. Nest stat will work fine with a non communicating system. However you'll need the appropriate amount of conductors in the thermostat wire. 2 stage gas w/ AC will need 6 wires, 7 if it's two stage AC, 8 if it's a dual fuel setup (gas and heat pump). Pulling a new wire isn't out of the question for any quality hvac company.

    A lot of companies will poo poo as you say on stuff they don't know.
     
  17. Daysight macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    #17
    We switched to Nests at home. Rough patch early last winter when a firmware release kept dropping them offline but they continued to function as programmable thermostats through that and the firmware bug has since been fixed. We like being able to monitor and control them remotely with our iPhones. Also like the more in-depth understanding about how our house heats. We turned off the fancy settings like learning when we are home (pets). They look cool on the wall.
     
  18. SWD thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #18
    Thanks.

    What we're looking at is a 2 stage-variable speed furnace and a 1 stage AC. Currently we have only 4 wires (no 'C' wire). Nothing too complex, but a step up from our single stage system.

    What I like about the Nest is the simple solid design, wi-fi control, software upgradability, and data presentation. I don't think we would use any of the features that involve it sensing us being there, or learning what we like by turning it up and down (thermostat is located in low traffic area, people are home mostly anyways). I'd be happy setting a schedule and telling it we're away.

    It sounds like it kind of works with a 2 stage but it's not great. I'd be happy with it being a dumb thermostat and letting the furnace do it's thing. Our current lowest estimate has the Lennox wifi-stat at only $25 more than the next anyways. As much as I loathe having a 7" tablet on the wall, it may work the best with the system. At least it will do a pic screen saver.
     

Share This Page