Our Techie Nest

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Our Techie Nest

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I used to be afraid of home improvements.  Outside of painting walls, hanging curtains and other simple tasks, I was calling in a handy man.  More recently, I've gotten a little more adventurous.  I think that this is partly due to You Tube videos that can be used to guide anyone through lots of household projects.

We needed a new thermostat at home and with one viewing of a simple installation video, I decided to bite the bullet and get busy!  I'm happy to report that upon completion no one filed for divorce or was sporting a new electrical charged hairdo!

Remove the old thermostat,
label the wires and remove everything
down to the wires leaving the labels
Thermostats can be bought with lots of bells and whistles.  Nest is a learning thermostat that learns your patterns for heating and cooling over time.  It can be controlled in house or through a smart app on your phone.  Over time, it is designed to save energy and money.  While that remains to be seen, we dove right in.

Installation was simple and took around 15 minutes total.  Set up only took a few more minutes.  As with any project, get out your tools and turn off the power to the AC.  I wanted to be double sure that I didn't get some unexpected excitement and turned off the main breaker.


Even though the kit comes with a little screw driver, get our your screw drivers with multiple heads.  I had several screws to disconnect from our old thermostat.  Also, I needed a drill to put in a new pilot hole and screw everything to the wall.  After this, its a super simple deal!

  • Take off the old thermostat plate.
  • Label the wires before disconnecting.
  • Disconnect the wires.
  • Install the new hardware.
  • Reconnect the wires.
  • Install the new faceplate and go through installation project.
Reconnect the wires matching
with your labels and add the
new thermostat cover to set up
After you have everything put into place, turn on the main breaker or AC breaker.  This depends on what you had turned off initially.  

The Nest phone app can be downloaded from the app store and is free.  From this app, you can change thermostat settings.  This can also be done from an Internet connected computer.  Over, time you will be able to track energy efficiency.  

So why does this thermostat make sense?
  • It senses when you are away and puts your air/heat into "away mode" to save energy.
  • A little green leaf appears when you are saving energy to help you reduce costs.  
  • If you are away and want to heat or cool the house prior to arrival, use your phone to change the settings so you don't come home to a hot or cold house.
  • As you change the settings throughout the day, the thermostat will learn those patterns and start to adjust for you without you having to do a thing.  
The Next App is easy to set up!
I purchased our thermostat at a local Lowe's.  They can also be purchased online.   Both the online and Lowe's price was the same for me.  

Finally, there are competitors to the Nest brand that you might want to consider if you are looking to make some changes around your house.  Iris has partnered with Lowes for a line of home management tools that includes thermostats, security and more!  I only wanted to make the thermostat change, so Iris wasn't for us.  However, Iris is less expensive.  
  • Nest - $249
  • Iris Home Comfort Control with Thermostat - $179
Ask me in a few months if it has made a change in our energy bills.  I'm gambling on yes and hope I'm right.  Overall, this was an awesome project.  It was simple and fun.  Nothing like a project that helps to save money that makes me feel like a winner.  At the end of the day, that equals more shopping for shoes for me!  

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