Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nest: A Review

Because we're exciting party animals, when Derek and I were perusing last year's Black Friday sales, we immediately zeroed in on the sexiest product on the market:

That's right:  A Nest Learning Thermostat.  And before you turn away because surely this has got to be the most boring post ever, please:  Don't.  This thing is AMAZING, and we love it like a fourth child that saves us energy and money and always does what we say, so actually not like a child at all.  It's an anti-child, if you will.

I have a curious relationship with our Nest, in that the traits that make us love it are the same ones that make it super creepy to me.  It's like Santa in that it sees you when you're sleeping and it knows when you're awake, except instead of breaking into your home, it monitors the activity inside the house and does things like turning itself down when we're not home and "learning" our personal patterns as to when we turn it up and down and to what temperature, then automatically does it for us.  You can also control it via your phone, which Derek has used many times both because I can never seem to remember to manually set it to "Away" when I'm leaving the house and to mess with me by turning the heat down when he's not home but I am, which is a very strange kind of a prank, really.

When we take trips in the winter, we always turn our heat way, way down, which in the past meant we came home to a decidedly chilly house, because nothing says "Welcome home, family!" like getting out of the cold only to go into the cold.  Now, however, Derek will turn it on via his phone when we're a few minutes away, so by the time we get home, the heat is on and the temperature is rising when we step inside.  It's heavenly.

Another delightful feature is the monthly report Nest emails us.  Here are just a few neato things contained within the email we received for August:

Since October 2011, all Nest Thermostat schedules have saved:
4,581,243,474  kWh
That's enough energy to power the laptops of every high school student in the U.S. for about 4 years.

Here's how you did:
This month you used 25 fewer hours than last month.-25

A look at your Leafs:
This month, the average Nest Thermostat owner in your area earned 14 Leafs. Here's how many you earned:
In August you earned:
Nest Leafs
6 more than July
In August you're in the top:
of Nesters
in your area
This year you've earned:
Nest Leafs
Let your friends know how many Leafs you earned.

Two things about that last graphic:  Does it drive me the tiniest bit crazy that they call them "Leafs" instead of "Leaves"?  YOU BETCHA.  A tiny piece of me dies each time I see that.

As for our household only being in the top 30% of Nesters in our area, well.  Top 30% is obviously not good enough for the Crislers, not even close, so we're working on moving up through the ranks.  I realize that there are a bunch of factors that likely go into this, such as the size of your house, how energy efficient it is, etc.  No matter; if you're the tiniest bit competitive about this kind of thing (Sports?  I couldn't care less; not competitive at all.  Energy efficiency?  WE MUST AND WILL PREVAIL.), Nest is a terrific motivator to be less of a leech on the environment.

Why, hello, Nest!

Oh, and that's just another Leaf earned.  Take that, 30%!

If ever you decide to purchase a Nest of your own, don't forget to check with your energy company for rebates:  We got a sweet one from Alliant, which helped offset the initial cost.

Now, if only they could come with some kind of game to earn "Drops" or something for our water usage.  Someone get on that, please, because I know we'd be way higher than 30% in that competition.


  1. Ooooh! I'm drooling. I looked at the Nest during Black Friday, too, but did not indulge. This year...

  2. I have never heard of such a thing.

    Meanwhile, I am quite happy using energy to keep my house nice and cool. My guess is that we are in the top TEN percent for using energy. We win!


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