Smoke detectors, home security systems, home stereos, appliances, and thermostats are all items we interact with daily and have become "smart". This is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things or part of a Smart Home. A smart thermostat was one of the first products to fall into this product category.
Thermostats have long been one of the simplest and most important parts of a home’s energy consumption. Over the years thermostats have developed to allow pre-determined schedules, day/night temperatures, and auto heat or cool settings. In recent years thermostats have advanced to be centers of the Smart Home and Nest is one of the leaders in Smart Thermostats. The Nest Learning Thermostat has been around since 2011 and has gone through three generations of refinement to be one of the most advanced and energy-saving thermostats on the market.
Nest and the Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat, as its name suggests learns your habits and starts to build a schedule. After installing the Nest thermostat, you’ll need to manually set the temperature for a few days as it learns your schedule. If you like to wake up to your home at 68 degrees, after a few days of setting the temperature to 68 when you wake up it’ll know you like the temperature at 68 at 6 am and will start to set the temp on its own. The Nest also uses your smartphone’s GPS, or other “Works with Nest” products to know when you’ve left your home and will automatically change to an ECO setting. This will lower your desired temp in the winter and raise the desired temp in the Summer so you aren’t wasting energy while you’re away from the home. We recommend that you set this to within 2-5 degrees from your at-home settings. This will maximize your energy savings.
Configuring your Smart Thermostat
Thermostats use a series of wires that run from the thermostat to your heating system to control when your boiler or furnace turns on to reach the desired temperature. Heat only systems will usually only use two wires; a red and a white. Heat and cooling systems will use four; red and white for heat and green and yellow for cooling. Smart thermostats like the Nest can utilize a third or fifth wire for power, this is called a common wire or c-wire. While the Nest, in some configurations, doesn’t require the c-wire, Gas Doctor recommends that a c-wire be installed to maintain optimal energy efficiency and health of your heating and cooling system.