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769 of 843 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Simple, Elegant, and it Works
This is what thermostats should have been all along, simple, elegant, and they do exactly what I expect.

The lowly thermostat, why in the world would anybody ever pay this price for a new thermostat? Honeywell sells perfectly programmable thermostats for a whole lot less money. In theory, they save money on the energy bill. I now have a Nest thermostat, and I'd...
Published on March 3, 2012 by Daniel G. Lebryk

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1,513 of 1,672 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another frustrating gadget I wish I did not buy
I was very excited about this product when it was announced. I frequently travel in winter and wanted to monitor my house temperature remotely via wifi to ensure my pipes do not freeze etc. Most stats that can do that require a C wire that I don't have. Nest can do without.
Like others mentioned, shipping, unboxing, installation and looks are all top notch and puts...
Published on March 28, 2012 by Amazn Shopper


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769 of 843 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Simple, Elegant, and it Works, March 3, 2012
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
This is what thermostats should have been all along, simple, elegant, and they do exactly what I expect.

The lowly thermostat, why in the world would anybody ever pay this price for a new thermostat? Honeywell sells perfectly programmable thermostats for a whole lot less money. In theory, they save money on the energy bill. I now have a Nest thermostat, and I'd never buy or want to use another thermostat ever again.

October 2, 2012 Update: Nest just announced the second generation of this thermostat and dropped the price of version 1 $20. the new version is said to be compatible with more systems and is thinner. The software is identical between the two versions (all Nests are being updated to the same software version). The case of a good evolution that does not obsolete version 1.

The construction is impressive. The main body is brushed stainless steel. The face is rounded glass that looks like a lens. The face rotates with a pleasing weight and smoothness. The whole device has a nice solid weight to it - this feels like a really well built piece of equipment, worth the price I paid. When lit up, the display center is either black, blue, or red with very sharp white letters and numbers. There is a little green leaf that shows up when the thermostat thinks the temperature is conserving energy. The whole unit is about three inches deep, and it is roughly the diameter of the old round thermostats. Touching this thermostat is a pleasure. That in harsh contrast to the $100 Honeywell programmable thermostats that all felt like cheap garbage plastic.

March 12, 2012 update: After almost two weeks the thermostat has done a great job learning our habits. I set up a program for when I wanted temperatures to do certain things on the first day I installed the thermostat. The first week the thermostat just followed my program exactly. It is now the third Monday after install, I am at home for the day, and the thermostat has now ignored the program and set the house to the normal, 68 degree, temperature. Exactly what I want the thing to do. Simple, without me messing with programs or reseting the thermostat, it just works.

My Nest arrived just before Christmas 2011. Like an idiot, I put off installing it until March of 2012. Now that I've done the work, I want to kick myself for not installing it the day it arrived. This is one of the easiest installs of any home improvement equipment I've ever done.

I've had all manner of thermostats, the simple round mercury containing simple set the temp and that's it, a really basic programmable box that required some strange switches to get to work, and the latest, a touch screen seven day programmable Honeywell. I spent about a hundred dollars on that Honeywell, and wrestled with that thing for years. I'm the only one in the house that could program the thing and it acted very strange. Out of the box the thing was a problem - I have an old hot water heat furnace and a forced air conditioning system. It took me hours to figure out how to not get the fan to blow whenever the heat was on. The initial set up was super cryptic; it required code numbers at certain points in the set up. And then, once I got the system running, it took hours to program. The darn programs were so hard to edit, simply a pain in the neck, I never changed them after that first set up.

This is how simple the Nest is to set up, kill the power to the furnace (usually an on/off switch on the furnace), remove the old thermostat face plate, tag the wires (the manual includes tags if the wires aren't' already labeled), remove the old base plate for the old thermostat, mount the base for the Nest, push the wires into spring clips (they act a lot like speaker spring clips), snap the Next thermostat onto the base, and power up the furnace. That's it, nothing more complicated than that.

The biggest mounting problem will probably be the old thermostat is a big rectangular box (most of those programmable thermostats are big and rectangular), and there will be ugly wall behind that box. Nest includes three accessory plates for that situation. One plate is a big rectangle that is about the size of most programmable thermostats. The other is a square plate the size of a square electrical box. And the last part is a metal adapter that fits over a standard square electrical box. In essence, Nest has included just about everything anybody could ever need to mount this thermostat. The great news, if the old thermostat is a round one, no plate is required the thermostat base will mount directly on the wall.

A few tiny tricks with mounting. If using an adapter plate, level it up perfectly on the wall, and then mark holes for mounting. Only use the horizontal holes (the rectangular plate can be mounted with the long side vertical) because the round base to the thermostat has to snap onto the base adapter and then the long screws go through both parts - the base and the adapter. The thermostat base has a level built in, and the whole thing can be adjusted a very small amount with the slotted screws. The adapter plates are a nice dull white plastic that can be painted with latex paint and no primer. The wires need to be pushed back into the wall; there is very little room around the binding clips. It's best to cut the wires back and strip off 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of insulation on each wire. The wire needs to be dead straight to go into those clips.

Once the thermostat is mounted and powered up, set up is really simple. Honestly, just follow the instructions step by step. In order to change an answer to a question, rotate the face of the thermostat left of right. To do the selection, press the face in. The face rotates very nicely, it has a certain weight and high quality feel to it. There is a little bit of a lag between turning and the display making the motion. After the third selection I was used to the delay.

Where I had all kinds of major problems with that stinking Honeywell thermostat, this was a breeze. The Nest recognized that I had two types of equipment connected, an air conditioner and a furnace. It asked me in plain English, does heating require the fan, yes or no? After I selected no, the fan never came on - exactly what I expected. The biggest problem I had was with connecting to my wireless network (if you network is secured, the WEP or WPA password is required). I have a dual band router - 20 and 40MHz. One band was set to mixed, 20 and 40MHz, the other set to strictly 20MHz. The Nest refused to connect to my router; I tried entering the password 5 times before I thought about the set up on my router. Once I set the first channel to be 40MHz only, the Nest connected immediately. This is the only wireless product I've ever had that required that change. But, honestly, that was pretty darn simple to figure out.

All the rest was completely intuitive. The Nest asks to name itself, if there are multiple Nests in the house, some settings for the type of equipment, the date and time, the location by state and zip code, and the two limit temperatures for when away from the house (one for heating and the other for cooling, defaults were 65 and 80). The thermostat will also generate a private pairing code that is good for 4 hours. This is required for the on-line account activation.

Once the Nest was set up and connected to the internet, it did a number of restarts, apparently updating the software. For about thirty minutes the thermostat acted a little weird, but once that was completed the thermostat worked perfectly. Honestly, I fully expected updates since I have roughly version 1 of the device and it was three months since it shipped.

Whenever I am standing in front of the thermostat, it wakes up and displays the current temperature, what temperature it is set to, and if it is heating the background is red, if cooling the background is blue, or if it is idle the background is black. Twist the dial left or right to lower or raise the set temperature. Exactly the way the ancient round thermostats worked. Absolutely simple and intuitive - anybody, with no instructions, can figure out how to change the temperature of the house.

I had already set up a Nest account on line (there's nothing it can do until entering that private pairing code). I immediately opened my Nest account and entered the pairing code. After about 30 seconds, I was now connected to my Nest thermostat and could change the temperature from the first screen.

Now comes the huge fun part - programming the thermostat. The program screen is a grid, Monday through Sunday on the left (each day is a row), and then time from midnight to midnight by 15 minute intervals across the bottom. Highlight a row, click the Add button on the bottom right and a red bubble shows up with a temperature in the middle. Drag that bubble to the Day and Time. Click on the up or down arrows that appear when hovering over the bubble to adjust the temperature. Done - one time and temperature event is added to that day of the week. Keep doing that until the day is filled up with all the events necessary.

A day of programming for our house was 4:30AM, set the temperature to 68 degrees (we wake up very early). By 9AM everybody has left the house normally, so now I set the next event to be 64 degrees at 9AM. The first person home is usually there at 2:30 in the afternoon, so I set 68 degrees at 2:30. We all go to sleep around 10PM, so I set 64 degrees at 10PM. One day cycle done. Now Monday through Friday is normally the same, so I clicked on Copy. Then I highlighted Tuesday and click Paste - as expected, the exact same events copied over to Tuesday. I repeated this all the way down to Friday. Then on Saturday and Sunday, we wake up later and don't leave during the day. So I copied Monday to Saturday, removed two events and then drug the remaining two to 8AM (68 degrees) and 10PM (64 degrees). Then I clicked copy and pasted that to Sunday.

Now I have a beautiful table with little red bubbles with all the temperature events for the week. It's super simple to visualize and edit. After I finished this programming, the thermostat immediately followed the program.

If this was all the thermostat did, I'd expect to pay about the same as a Honeywell programmable thermostat; this beautiful device wouldn't add much more value than that. But oh no it gets way better and this set up is the tip of the iceberg.

Nest can sense when there is a person in the house, or near the thermostat. It starts to learn when the house is empty and it begins to adjust the program steps to reflect when people are really around. During the first week it sticks to the program steps until it learns something different and starts adjusting.

It connects to a weather site to get the current and predicted temperature in the zip code entered for the thermostat. It uses this information to help anticipate heating or cooling needs. My house takes a lot longer to warm up if the temperature outside is -20 versus 50. If it has a target time to get the house from 64 to 68 degrees, it will start heating earlier if it is cold outside.

Then there is the internet connectivity. This is probably the single coolest feature of this thermostat. I have two iPhones (3 and 4), an iPad, and several computers from laptop to desktop. In a few weeks I will have an Android phone at home, so I will be able to test the Android App. From any computer connected to the internet anywhere in the world, I go to the Nest website, log in, and I can see my thermostat - what temperature it is currently in my house, what the thermostat is set to, and if it is heating, cooling, or idle (red, blue, or black background). I can click on the up or down arrow around the temperature and the temperature at home is immediately updated.

Once I've selected the Nest, I can then look at the program settings and edit those if need be; view the settings - set temp, current temp, relative humidity, and lock/unlock the temperature control; and adjust the learning and away temperature settings. The whole webpage is clean, simple, and intuitive.

The next level of power is the apps. All of the above functionality is available on an Apple device by downloading the Nest app. If we are sitting in the living room, the thermostat is in the family room, and the house is too cold, I can pull out my iPhone (which I pretty much carry all the time) and adjust the temperature. Yes, it sounds like the ultimate in laziness, but the truth is, there is nothing more convenient than being able to make that adjustment from anywhere in the house. The moment I make the change on the phone, the thermostat does exactly what I asked.

This is the way a thermostat should work. Everything about it is simple and intuitive. It uses technology in a way that makes things simple. And then it uses this powerful software to help me manage the heating and cooling energy in my house, without ever bragging that it is doing that job, or bothering me with the details.

This thermostat looks stunning on the wall. Yeah, that might sound like unbridled enthusiasm, but it really does look cool. I think it fits with any style of decorating because it has a kind of retro modern look. I feel really good about investing in this thermostat, it feels like a piece of hardware that is worth the price I paid.

I consider myself really lucky to have gotten one of these thermostats this early in the shipping process. I did pay only $250. Right now, it appears to be on backorder from Nest directly. I'm not sure I would pay a premium to get this thermostat quicker. Nest has mentioned Best Buy as one of their outlets, I've never seen nor heard of anybody buying one there.

This is an early adopter product. From what I can see, this is a very well tested fully functional product; it doesn't appear to have any of those crazy beta product issues. It is incredibly well thought out. Only time will tell if this catches on and Nest makes these for a lot less money. If you were on the fence over this thermostat, take the plunge and install it immediately on arrival. I wish I had installed it three months ago.

July 12, 2012 Update: There are some comments I've read that this thermostat can't adjust the temperature to finer than 1 degree F. On line to set the program, that is absolutely correct, yes it can only be programmed to a 1 degree tolerance. When turning the physical dial on the thermostat, it can be adjusted to about 1/4 or 1/3 of a degree. The whole number is displayed, but there are markers or segments between each whole number. The thermostat is much more precise than 1 degree and can regulate to about 1/2 a degree if not less.
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1,513 of 1,672 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another frustrating gadget I wish I did not buy, March 28, 2012
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
I was very excited about this product when it was announced. I frequently travel in winter and wanted to monitor my house temperature remotely via wifi to ensure my pipes do not freeze etc. Most stats that can do that require a C wire that I don't have. Nest can do without.
Like others mentioned, shipping, unboxing, installation and looks are all top notch and puts other companies to shame. However, this is where it ends. At least for me. Before you read details, let me say I have been using this stat for >3months. Many reviews out there are written a day after installation upon being impressed by the looks and the ease of installation.

Learning: It does learn your schedule over time but it takes good 3+ weeks until it stops giving me "cold house morning" surprises and heating while I'm not there. Yes, initial learning takes about a week but full learning takes much longer. And, after all this, I still had to go to the computer to change my morning setpoints by 30 minutes so I don't wake up to a cold house because this stat does not pre-heat ahead of time even though it learns exactly how long it is going to take and knows weather outside. Search the web, this is one of the top complaints with the device. Eventually, I disabled the learning and just program it manually because it is much faster and more predictable and gives me no surprises (sort of, keep reading).

Auto-away: works reasonably for me but it might or might not work for you depending on how much activity you have near the stat.

Internet control: Works great from the PC but the Android app is seriously weak and desperately needs more features. You cannot see or adjust your schedule, and if the stat is in AWAY mode, you cannot even see the house temperature. People buy this so they can remotely monitor the house, vacation house etc. when they are not home (see my buying reasons above), they need to see what the temp is to see if there is a problem. They need to fix this. Android app was not updated since it was released. I hear the Apple app is better and was updated several times. On the other hand, the convenience is great.

Set point anticipation: As mentioned above, it learns how long it takes to reach the temp (and shows it) but it does not use it (or weather it gets from the internet) to start heating ahead of time to reach desired temperature at desired time. It only turns the heat at the specified time. I have a radiant forced water heat and it takes 30-40 minutes to reach the temp. This makes the learning feature a bit useless since you have to change it later anyway to have a warm house when you wake up. Most much cheaper programmable thermostats have had this feature for very long time. I would absolutely expect this for the price we pay for this stat.

Reliability: Reliability is the biggest problem with this gadget. Nest pushes a software update to the unit roughly once a month. The update can happen randomly when you are not home. Every time the update would take place, my unit would lose all settings. Schedule (that took 3 weeks to learn) gone, Internet connectivity account gone, location setting gone, heating system details gone. All accumulated learning data gone. Heat shut down until I come home and re-set the tstat. This would happen with three software updates. On a separate occasion, Nest cloud server was down and the stat trying to connect to the cloud drained the battery. Drained battery causes loss of wifi connectivity and disables your heat and control of it until charged. Wifi never automatically restores. All this was happening in dead winter with single digit temps outside. All you get on internet or a smartphone is a little "?" and a a statement that your stat lost connectivity. I was not travelling but can you imagine the scenario when I would be away for a week? Who would pay for frozen pipes damage? This is unacceptable. Stat should be a device that is dead reliable beyond a grain of doubt. Obviously, California designers do not share concerns of customers residing in cold climates. This made me to disable the key feature of the stat: learning (I do not have another 3 weeks patience for re-learning each time). I have asked Nest tech support to implement a feature that would need a user input to execute the software updates to prevent system sutdowns like this in ones absence. Still not implemented. Nest support recommended that I disable the wifi on the tstat to prevent updates. Another key feature and very reason I bought it. This would be likely the one most important reason why I'm considering switching to good ugly but trusted Lux or Honeywell. Since then the stat was replaced by Nest but problems continue.

Daylight savings time: This is with the replacement thermostat. Wouldn't you expect the smart stat be smart enough to handle DST switch? I would! Especially for the price paid. Well, it did learn new time automatically but guess what. It did not apply it to my schedule! How smart is that? I had to go in and reprogram all timepoints for all days in the week because they would be off by 1hr. That is ~28 time points! Come on, who wrote the code for this? My old Lux stat did not handle DST automatically either but only change needed was the clock!

Swing value: Nest does not have the ability to change the temp swing value. All other cheaper programmabe stats have had this basic feature for years.

Temperature hold: It does not have the hold feature. I would use hold feature when home on a weekday, like on holiday, Thanksgiving, or when sick home when I do not want to run my normal program. Any other cheap thermostat has this feature. Nest does not. The Away feature is not the same as hold. Hold should be one touch easy to use. The Away is buried in menus and generally reserved for low temperatures in cold season and not meant to be changed.

Energy use: By now it is well known that programmable thermostats do not save energy so they were taken off the Energy Star list. They preheat your house when you sleep and when you are not yet home from work. You would otherwise wake up or arrive to cold house with the manual stat and change it then. Nest takes this concept one step further. It allows you to preheat the house remotely when you are not yet home. Which you would otherwise need to adjust upon arrival home. Energy saving? Not. Convenient? Yes. Not a complaint, just saying...

Let me conclude with a paste of a section from Nest warranty statement. Like me, you probably did not read it before purchasing:

NEST LABS DOES NOT WARRANT THAT OPERATION OF THE PRODUCTS WILL BE ERROR-FREE OR UNINTERRUPTED OR THAT THE PRODUCTS WILL IN EVERY CASE PROCESS ALL DATA CORRECTLY.

and, in the case your pipes froze after a software update

YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR (AND NEST LABS DISCLAIMS) ANY AND ALL LOSS, LIABILITY, OR DAMAGES, INCLUDING TO YOUR HVAC SYSTEM, PLUMBING, HOME, PRODUCT, PRODUCT PERIPHERALS, COMPUTER, MOBILE DEVICE, AND ALL OTHER ITEMS AND PETS IN YOUR HOME, RESULTING FROM YOUR USE OF THE PRODUCT INFORMATION, SERVICES, OR PRODUCT.

As of now, I cannot recommend this product. It looks great but that's about it. I recommend searching the web for more reviews as there are other problems reported but not experienced by me so therefore not included here. Many reviews concentrate on ease of installation. Yes it is true but ultimately you need a solid one-season-of-use review.

Update 04/08/2012: OK Nest released a new software update 2.0 which fixed/improved following features:
1. Android app was finally updated. Now I can see my temperature while in Away mode (auto or manual) or while off. I can now see and edit my schedule. +0.5 stars.
2. Reliability: Not really software related... They replaced my unit and it now survived two software updates without resetting itself or shutting off my heat. +0.5 stars. Maybe by next winter, I will trust it again....
All other feature and problems mentioned above are as before. Oh, one feature I forgot to mention: Some users complained about temperature accuracy (not me). Nest does not have a temperature calibration feature (common for many years on any other thermostat). Your only way to correct it is through exchange for another unit with Nest.

Update 07/15/2012: Apparently, this was not clear. This is a THREE (3) star review. NOT four (4) star review. Before the release of Nest 2.0. I had it as TWO (2) star review which I updated to THREE (3) star review upon release of Nest 2.0. Also, no comment on A/C-related features. I don't have A/C.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
496 of 553 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Nest: A Fatal Flaw (UPDATED), August 5, 2012
By 
S Greene (Hebron, CT United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
The Nest thermostat is a remarkable design, with incredible features, and really reinvents an often overlooked part of everyday life. In so many ways, it is a great device.

But - it has a fatal flaw. (see update below)

A flaw that makes it unsuitable, and in fact dangerous, for any part of the world where temperatures can drop below freezing.

Nest Technical Support agrees this flaw exists. And they are working on it. But they don't know when there will be a solution.

THE PROBLEM: After a power failure, even a brief power failure, the Nest often requires human intervention to restart and turn the heat back on. Not every time, but quite often.

This means that if there is a power failure during a winter vacation, even brief, you will lose your heat until you return home. This results in frozen and bursting pipes, and the resulting water damage to your home.

In theory, there is battery backup that lasts a week. In practice, it often does not. It sometimes only lasts for an hour. When the power goes out, the Nest repeatedly tried to connect to WIFI, burning through the battery's power in a short period of time. Apparently the software does not recognize that when the power is cut to the Nest, it is almost certainly off for the WIFI router. So, the battery drains quickly. This happened to me this week during a one hour power failure.

When the power returns, the Nest should restart, but often it does not. It did not restart for me. The device was not responsive for me. I needed to remove it from the wall, recharge it on a mini-USB cable for an hour, and restart the device. Then, it started working again.

This problem happened during summer, so there was no harm done. However, if this was winter, it would have resulted in a major emergency for me as this took place at my second home. There would have been a loss of heat, frozen pipes, and serious property damage.

In October, if the problem is not solved, I will remove the Nest from the wall, and put my old thermostat, which always restarts the heat after a power failure, back on the wall.

My experience is not unique, this is a known problem. I am not aware of any other thermostat that has this fatal flaw.

I can't take the risk of losing my home due to the Nest's Fatal Flaw.

If I had known this I would not have purchased the Nest. I have been told by Nest it cannot be returned.

Please consider this before you buy. And feel free to verify this problem with Nest Technical Support. It's real.

UPDATE: Technical Support called back after receiving a copy of this review that I posted on Amazon. I sent this review directly to Nest Tech Support when tech support told me that my Nest was fine, and that behavior was expected. After receiving my review, they called back and told me that although my Nest Unit did fail to function and was not able to control heat after a power failure, this was not normal behavior. However, they did not know what was wrong. They sent a new unit in case it was a hardware problem. I have a new Nest Unit, but there have been no power failures so I do not know if the problem is resolved. I tried to simulate a power failure with the heater circuit breaker, but this does not fully simulate a real power failure as my wifi was still working, etc. This would limit the rapid battery drain that was experienced during the real power failure. I have increased my rating to 3 stars from 1 star as they have acknowledged that Technical Support was not correct, and provided a replacement unit. I am hoping the problem is resolved but only time will tell. I will update in a few weeks. The Nest thermostat is a great product and I want to support them, as long as they stand behind their product and ensure it is safe and reliable.

UPDATE 2 Nov 4 2012: The replacement unit sent by Nest is still working - but it has not really been truly tested by a second power failure. I appreciate the suggestions to turn off the main circuit breaker for an extended period as a test, but it's a second home and we often have guests and I do not want to inconvenience others to be in a cold dark environment with no running water simply to test my thermostat. Also, the circuit breaker test would not produce the random voltage surges and brownouts typically associated with a real power failure. It's possible that the voltage drops and surges rather than the lack of power caused the problem, but of course, I don't know. The weather has turned cold, not quite pipe freezing cold, and the Nest is still in use. I hope it will handle the next power failure as it will happen eventually. Other than this possible issue, it's a great product, and I am hoping I can save energy by managing the temperature remotely.

UPDATE 3 Mar 25 2013: The Nest has almost made is through the whole winter and worked well. Despite the initial problems, and I am not sure how much it has been tested, it has worked well through a long cold winter in the cold north.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Aug 21, 2012 11:16:38 AM PDT
As S Greene noted in his comment on 8/13, the original information provided by Nest customer support was inaccurate. The unit was defective and we have sent a replacement unit. We apologize for the confusion.

To clarify, in the event of a power outage, Nest goes into a deep sleep to conserve power and wakes up when power is restored. Human intervention is not required.
 
 

108 of 120 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worse than a regular touchpad thermostat, May 26, 2012
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
My comments regarding the nest can be summed up in the email that I wrote to Nest, detailing SOME of my issues with their product:

"Dear Nest,

I've had two of your thermostats for many months now, so I've gotten to know them. These are the reasons why I'm going to disconnect my Nest units and replace them with my old thermostats. Hopefully you can learn from my comments to make your thermostat better. It's VERY CLOSE to being great, but it needs work in several key areas.

1) The fan functionality is broken. It detects my wire, but not the fan, and that's fine, but then it disables the ability to use the fan. I know the fan works because Nest just uses a relay, and my system works with EVERY other thermostat I've plugged into it. My problem is that the Nest programming disables the ability to use the fan if it doesn't sense voltage, even though it works properly without said voltage. All I want is for Nest to activate its internal relay-- and it would work, but the programming is "too smart" for it's own good and disables something that would work perfectly fine, if it would just let me. I'm an electrical engineer, and I know how easy and basic a relay is to deal with, and I know that it doesn't require voltage on the line to work. There is nothing wrong with my wiring or my system, and yet Nest disables this feature because it doesn't sense voltage. This was fine in the winter, because the fan activates as the blower for the heater, but now in the summer, this is driving me insane.

2) There is no 'circulate' functionality. Yes, one of my Nests doesn't work with the fan, so this is sort of moot, but the other one does, so we'll just talk about that. My old thermostat allowed me to activate the fan in circulation mode, which turned it on for 10-15 minutes an hour. Why doesn't Nest allow me to do this basic function?! On top of that, my old thermostat allowed me to schedule this circulation, which was fantastic for the summertime. Again, Nest neither offers circulation OR the ability to schedule it. Why not?!

3) The auto-programming is ineffective. Over many months of using my Nest, it started getting less and less smart. For example, I heat my house more on the weekends, and I turn my thermostat WAY down during weekdays. One of the most heavily advertised features of the Nest is the ability to intelligently auto-program itself to such cyclical, predictive events. Over the months, Nest started heating the house on the weekdays, to temperatures I had set on the weekend. I NEVER set my thermostat to 70 on a tuesday mid-morning, for example, but all of a sudden it was heating to that because I had done so on a weekend. Not only was this wasteful, it completely goes in the face of what auto-programming is supposed to do.

4) There's no summer mode. I don't use AC, so I open my windows at night to cool my house during the summer. BUT THEN NEST TURNS ON THE HEAT. This is absolutely infuriating. The only way around this, as far as I can tell, is putting nest permanently in AWAY mode, which completely eliminates the point in having it at all, and then if I go to force the fan on, it determines that I'm no longer away, transmits that to the other thermostat, which then turns on the heat, even though I don't want any heat and it's summertime. So then I have to go and 'Away' that one as well. What a pain!

So, I'm planning on disconnecting both of my Nests. I hope that the comments I've made help you to improve your product. Once edited, these comments will be included in my review of your product, as I believe others would gain from my trials and tribulations with the Nest thermostat. It's SO CLOSE to being great, but I just can't deal with it any longer.

Thank you for your time."

I went back to my old Honeywell touchscreen thermostats and I couldn't be happier. Nest just isn't ready for primetime.
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90 of 100 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great while it lasted, August 5, 2012
By 
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
I installed a Nest this past April. Loved the look and ease of use, the away mode worked great with iPhone, so I bought a second Nest for the second floor unit. My son told me that his fan was making funny noises after the Nest was installed, but, I never heard it when it happened, so I let it slide.

Fast forward to June/July when the AC starts working overtime in the southern heat. AC not cooling.
According to my HVAC technician the first Nest wasn't sending signals to the blower.
Live customer support was very poor; after getting cut off (cell phone) Nest support did not call me back on the land line like he said he would "if we got cut off".
My HVAC technician ended up removing the Nest and hooked up the original thermostat. It has worked without a hitch ever since.
I sent an e-mail regarding their support survey, but, they never responded.

Then, this past week, the 2nd Nest ended up frying the circuit board in the upstairs unit, due to the the fan cutting off and on. Nest didn't detect a problem.
So now, not only am I out $500 for two failed experiments. I'm also out $750 for two service calls ... thanks for the "support" Nest.

Note: both units are 5 years old and are on twice annual PM schedules.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Nest needs more improvement, August 7, 2012
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
I have a newer construction home that when we purchased it seven years ago had a pretty spiffy Honeywell Touch Screen thermostat. Being an engineer I dutifully programmed a full schedule for it, but my wife was always very leery of touching it.

A friend of ours bought the Nest thermostat and I got a chance to play with it. After just a few short weeks I caved in and ordered one for our home... the tipping point was Nest's inclusion of the Air Wave feature, which is supposed to reduce air conditioner cooling costs by as much as 30%.

First things first, the Nest is very nicely packaged and exceedingly easy to install... I will opine however that the 'self starting' screws that are supposed to self-tap into sheetrock were a bit worthless in my opinion. They worked but conventional anchors likely would have worked better and not been any harder to install.

Setup of the Nest is pretty easy. I think if you include all install time, plus the time to set the Nest up and put it on our home wi-fi network, as well as download and install apps on our smart phones and tablet it might have taken all of one hour to get up and running. When the Nest starts out it does not use the auto-away or learning features. It has to 'learn' the norms of your home first... those features start turning themselves on after a couple of days.

A lot of people, after seeing the Nest, ask what the deal is, why pay $250 for a thermostat. I show them that I can control it from my phone and many of them think that this is a pretty neat feature but not sure if it is worth the steep asking price.

We've now had the Nest installed for about four months. I now feel qualified to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the Nest as well as a few pet peeves about it. All in all I like the Nest, but I think there is quite a bit of room for improvement.

Pros;

1. The Nest is very easy to install, assuming that you have a relatively new construction home (30 years or newer I would say) and have traditional central heat and air.

2. The screen of the Nest is gorgeous. It is very easy to read, unlike the crappy low resolution screens on most digital thermostats. The blue background when cooling and the red/orange background when heating is a bit gimmicky but cool nonetheless as you know right away if it is heating or cooling your home at a particular moment.

3. Auto set-back. More on this feature below (in the cons section) but on the whole it does what they say it does, it will basically follow a schedule that you set or that the Nest has "learned".

4. Remote control over the internet (from your iPhone or even a web browser). This is pretty much the killer feature of the Nest and what will probably make it (or something very much like it) standard equipment in vacation homes in the near future. Nothing better than leaving for vacation, realizing that you have forgotten to set the thermostat to vacation mode and being able to do it from your phone.... on your way to a vacation home just use the remote to set the nest to heat up or cool down the place before you arrive. Neat.

So, what's not to like about the Nest? Well there are some things. A lot of things actually.

1. One thing I have observed is that the Nest appears to be off, temperature wise about 1-2 degrees from all of the other thermostats in my house. Just for grins I hooked up one of my Fluke digital thermister probes and yep, Nest off by about 1.7 degrees.

2. I have observed that Nest will allow the temperature to 'float' a full 1-2 degrees off from the set point. I actually called Nest about this because I found it a little annoying. I can tolerate temperatures in the summer time of up to about 78 degrees in the house, as I use a ceiling fan in my home office. I noticed that Nest was trending up to about 80 degrees before it would finally turn the AC on. Nest's explanation is that as part of the energy saving algorithms that it uses, the thermostat will basically "coast" and let the temperature get out of range by a full 1-2 degrees before it re-engages... it does this to save energy. While I like to save energy, I don't like sweltering in my own home. If I set the thermostat to 78 (which already should be saving energy from a more aggressive setting of say 74 degrees) I expect that the thermostat will do its job and maintain that temperature. Nest doesn't.

3. Nest periodically disconnects from the home wi-fi and is inaccessible from my mobile devices... sometimes for an hour or two. Nest says that this is because my Netgear router is not fully compliant with a specific internet standard. Which is funny, because this same high performance dual-N band $250 router works with ALL of the other devices in my home, including internet accessible security cameras and other "always on" devices. I have to call Nest out on this one, it is BS that they are blaming my router when all of my other devices work quite well with it.

4. Nest is reluctant to learn a new set point. We are having a record hot summer in Colorado and after a couple of months of my stringent 78 degree setting for the AC, I finally relented and started setting the AC in the early evening down to 76 degrees. I noticed it kept getting warm later in the evening and sure enough it was because the Nest was militarily setting the temperature back to 78 degrees at around 7pm every evening. If Nest is a "smart" thermostat why is it not learning that I want a new set point even if I am dialing it down several days in a row? You are able to manually change the set points in the iphone/ipad apps but that's a bit of a hassle.

5. Nest has never worked properly from my work, using Firefox or IE browsers. It only reliably works from my home with Safari. It does work over the internet with my iPhone so I guess that's a plus. Nest seems intent on offering a special browser experience with a fancy plug-in and I suspect that is causing some of the issues as we have strict security settings at work. Here's a thought.... why not default to the fancy mode but offer a more dumbed down "text" mode for those of us who still want to track energy usage or change the temperature on our $250 thermostats? I have a very nice interface to the solar array on my home, and it works with any browser, no plugins required.

6. Nest has limited utility. It has the guts of a smart phone but all it can do is basic thermostat stuff. Why can't Nest be set to give me the weather automatically when I walk by and it "sees me" and lights up the display? Why haven't Nest Labs introduced other gizmos that can talk to the Nest over the neat Zygbee radio that is built into it so that Nest can control some lights or other things? Considering the price tag, I have higher expectations on extensibility of Nest's functions.

7. Airwave. I bought Nest for Airwave but I have observed it rarely functions. I am in the Denver area at an altitude of 6,000 feet. Humidity is typically 30% or less... yet Airwave only seems to operate some of the time, perhaps a few times a week that I notice. So much for all those energy savings I was banking on.

That's about it as far as my initial thoughts. The Nest is a quite good setback thermometer, but it realistically doesn't do much more than a $100 thermostat can do. In some ways it is worse as I've outlined. The killer feature of Nest is the ability to program it from your phone as well as things like "auto away" that help you save energy when you're not home.

In my mind, Nest is a 3 star product that is bumping up against a four star rating. If they improved some things it could hit four stars and start reaching for five stars.

What do I consider a 5 star product? My iPhone, that's a 5 star product.
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106 of 121 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought two, here is my review:, February 25, 2012
By 
jamescroak (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
A beautiful product brought on the market by the designers of the iPhone who intend to make this thermostat just as slick.

They are almost there.

The packaging, marketing, features, quality and appearance are all Apple quality, as is the typical easy installation. Online videos and included tools generally make it a snap to learn the intricacies of 24 volt wiring sufficient to replace your thermostat.

It is a new product and there are issues as with any new product and a start up company. Both Nest thermostats purchased a month apart updated themselves with the latest software....and then went into a download loop, endlessly updating themselves with no way to reboot other than calling the factory and having them do it remotely. This was done quickly, within a few minutes so they get a pass on that one.

The second issue was a no-go item that was ridiculous: the second unit did not work for my home. This in spite of me taking a picture of the wiring and explaining in intricate detail that this was the slave end of a two-zone HVAC system. They wrote back and stated that my photo showed that it worked, whereas later they acknowledged that it did not and the help-line person was "new". This after removing old thermostat, messing up the plaster and spending two hours troubleshooting. I looked around their web site and they now list about ten popular modems with which the unit will not function, at least online. They further state that "99% of the installations do not require a "common" wire." In other words 1 out of every 100 people who buy it will discover that the information provided was incorrect and they will need to rewire their house in order to get this unit to work. Others will have to change their modem. Incredibly, and un-Apple-like, they blame the modems rather than their software.

I decided to replace the zone panel in my house, about $400 item as the previous one was aging. Both Nests now work fine and the second automatically joined the first on my iPhone remote app.

In summary this is a beta unit which will probably work on your house, but for many it will not, I would explore their website looking for known issues before buying. They did offer an immediate refund and emailed FedEx labels in case I wished to return it, so good points for correcting the tech snafu.

After those unfortunate hurdles it works perfectly, I wake to a warm house, it learned what time I rise, checks the outside temp via the net and then allows sufficient time to warm the house based on its experience of heating time. If I leave for a few hours it senses this and lowers the heat. When away for a week I let it drop to 50F and then call the Nest units via my iPhone an hour out. Presto, come home to a warm house.

It is clearly the future, but presently its like an 80's computer: great once you get it working.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get frequent low battery error, poor customer service experience, July 16, 2012
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
Love the innovation of the product. However, for last few weeks nest reports low battery every few hours and then disconnects from wireless network to conserve battery. Once offline, I cannot control it from iPhone and neither can it talk to its servers to leverage the "learning / programmable" feature. Talked to customer service day before Yesterday and had a very disappointing experience.

Customer agent said it is owing to Apple Extreme / Express router. He further claimed that Apple routers are not compatible and result in faster battery drain. I used nest with Apple router for ~5 months without issues and now am being told problem is router. He was not willing to entertain another logical explanation that the lion battery inside nest had simply lost capacity to hold enough charge, a common occurrence with rechargeable batteries.

I doubt nest can sell devices in Apple stores and outside if they tell buyers upfront that Apple routers don't work well with nest. Here is a support link on neat support site showing Apple router issues (though a different one than high battery consumption):
[...]

I did like the product when it worked as expected, but disappointed with the poor customer service.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Sep 1, 2012 8:19:25 PM PDT
Hello Neo,

I wanted to let you know that we released a new software update that resolves this issue. Thank you for your patience and apologies for the inconvenience.

All the best,
Kate
 
 

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four months of use, June 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
I inherited an incomprehensible programmable thermostat when I bought my house. The instructions were long gone. I could infer from the design that I would need three hands with 13 fingers each to press all the buttons in the proper order, so I just didn't mess with it. When I did use it, to simply set a temperature manually, it would 'forget' the setting after about two days and raise or lower the temp to some setting stored in its memory.

Being a gadget fan and former graphic designer, I bought the Nest mostly for the novelty and the elegance of the design, but I was not disappointed by the thermostat itself. I did my own installation. As other owners have mentioned, the Nest is so much smaller than a typical programmable thermostat that you'll probably want to use one of the enclosed backing panels to cover old screw holes. In my case, it also appeared that there had been more than one thermostat installed previously, and the plaster was crumbling badly. I had a lot of patching to do before I could install the Nest.

In addition, the wires in the wall had been cut so short that they wouldn't reach the Nest's connectors. They fit the old thermostat, but not the Nest. You may find that you need to splice additional wire to make connections.

The learning feature was not that useful to me, since I don't come and go from the house with any regular schedule. Far more useful were the iPhone and iPad apps, which allow me to create a manual schedule - a constant 71 degrees. And when you set it at 71, it stays at 71. That doesn't sound like much, but it was a new experience for me.

Now, after four months of use, I'm having an issue with the battery not taking a charge. It will charge a small amount on a USB connector, but seems unwilling or unable to charge at all on the base. This is not supposed to be user replaceable part, and I'm not looking forward to calling tech support. I would much rather deal with this by email, but Nest doesn't offer that option.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What happens when it breaks..., October 2, 2012
This review is from: Nest Learning Thermostat - 1st Generation T100577 (Tools & Home Improvement)
I won't rehash all the reviews on what this thermostat does and does not do. By now that is well established, and no, it's not the end-all be-all of thermostats. I do love it for what it does...gives me wifi control from anywhere. The pleasant surprise is it has saved me money in it's first 9 months of use, which I really didn't expect. That includes peak heat and a/c seasons. I would guess at least $150 in energy savings compared to the programmable thermostat that preceded it, but it's hard to pin that down with fluctuating energy costs and our very warm winter last year. How did it do this? Because it changes the temp automatically when I'm away, where I would normally let a programmable thermostat just do it's thing (this is mostly on weekends). Sure, I could have done this by myself, but the point is I never did.

But the real reason I'm writing this is to tell you it broke after 9 months. Nothing to cry over, but one morning I found a stuck pixel on the screen (white line across the display). I called Nest and explained, they requested some information and said they would ship a new one out immediately. They instructed me to recycle the packaging and send back the broken unit with the prepaid label included. Sure enough, 2 business days passed and I had a new thermostat. 20 mins to disconnect the old one, install the new one, configure and re-program, box up the broken unit and I'm all done. Painless, simple, and frankly unexpected. I've got at least 3-4 other disappointments around the house I need to follow up on with manufacturers and I don't remember the last time a warranty replacement was this easy! It's unfortunate that it broke, and yes, I'm disappointed considering what I paid, but at the end of the day Nest did an outstanding job making it right!

Update December 2013:
Updated the review from 5 stars to 3 stars. Last month I upgraded my Verizon FIOS router to the newer 802.11n router they offer (Actiontec M1424WR Rev I). 5 days later I started noticing a low battery message on the Nest and it would go offline (helps to conserve remaining battery). I know it's related to the new router, and the new router is not on Nest's list of incompatible routers. If I reset the network settings on the Nest, the battery will slowly recharge itself overnight, and it will continue to work fine off the network, but shortly after reconnecting it to my wireless network, the battery gets low and it goes offline again. I tried this many times with the same result. My first attempted contact with Nest was frustrating. It said there was a 20 min estimated wait time, 1 hour later, I hung up the phone. I went to their website looking for answers. My router is within 30 feet of the Nest, with one interior wall between the two. Rebooting the devices and re-entering the network information was not the answer. I confirmed I was using WPA2 on the router. I was on version 4.0, the latest information I could find on Nest's website indicated version 3.5 was the latest (clearly that information wasn't updated). Not finding any viable answers, I contacted Nest via email and sent them some of the details including the router brand and model. Within 3 business days I received what seems to be a canned response asking me to do things I've already done, and suggesting the router may be incompatible with the Nest. Their explanation: "Certain routers send signals to the Nest too frequently and cause Nest to lose battery". Frankly, I found the response unhelpful and I'm annoyed that they resort to an "incompatibility" as an out when things don't work. I've got a dozen other devices in my house on the wireless network. None of them have issues with this change in the router. Some are battery powered, some plugged into a wall, and they are all capable of maintaining a network connection. Now, the Nest is the only wireless device with a very tiny battery, but perhaps it was spec'd too tiny? And what signals is my router sending to the Nest and why? I am not amused that I now have an expensive thermostat that is no longer wi-fi enabled and Nest has seemingly absolved themselves of the issue. If I can get to the bottom of this issue, I will update this review. For now, my rating reflects some degree of optimism that I will get this fixed, but a thorough disgust for the degree of assistance Nest has provided. I had planned on adding a second Nest and was considering their new products as my existing CO detectors are reaching end of life. Now I'm thinking simpler is better (and cheaper).

Update January 2014: On a whim I tried setting the encryption on my wireless router to AES and TKIP. I can't explain why, but following that change everything seemed to be working fine. The thermostat went offline the following day once or twice and never again after that. I don't know if they pushed down a firmware update that coincided with that change or whether that change was the actual fix. At this point I'll probably get an additional Nest thermostat, so I can manage them from one interface, but but no more Nest products for me. They should have taken ownership of the issue from the first contact.
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