February 8, 2013

Installing the Nest - DIY

There is this really cool new thermostat I've been coveting for awhile now. It's called the Nest. They call it "The Learning Thermostat." From the creator of the ipod, it is a simple, elegant design. In addition, you can access it from the computer, your iphone, while you are away. It's pretty cool! From the Nest website:
"Most people leave the house at one temperature and forget to change it. So Nest learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. Teach it well and Nest can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%."
So, we decided to take the plunge and invest in one of these thermostats - I say invest because it isn't cheap, about $200 for the 1st generation version.

Regardless, we ordered it...then my husband turned to me and said "wouldn't it be cool to blog about installing it all by yourself?" My first thought - you are just trying to get out of doing it! Then I realized, it would be pretty cool! It claims you can do it in 30 minutes or less...so why not try, I needed a home improvement project to call my own :) Challenge accepted.

First off, the company tried to make it as easy for you in every way possible. The design is simple, they include a screwdriver and a built-in level. There are plenty of YouTube videos available. If you don't want to do it yourself, you can get the high level service, someone will come install it for $120. So I opened the box, got the tools together and headed on over to our current thermostat.

It was slightly more complicated than it appears when you open the box. For me, in addition to the screwdriver, I needed a flashlight (and someone to hold it!), pliers, a drill and for aestetics, you will probably want spackle and paint. 


Installation requires cutting power to your current thermostat (hence a flashlight if you are in, say, a dark hallway); removing the old thermostat (easy part!); disconnecting wires, labelling wires (pay attention here!); attaching the new thermostat to the wall (using power tools!); reconnecting short, multi-colored wires to new thermostat (harder than that may seem); snapping on the faceplate and connecting the Nest to the internet. Oh, and in our case, cleaning up the wall that had been hidden by the old thermostat but that is now exposed due to the much smaller design of the Nest.


Yes, that sounds pretty easy. Assuming nothing else goes wrong, it probably took about 40 minutes. However, due to the age of our thermostat and some wiring issues, once we hooked up the Nest our fan would not turn off. So we uninstalled and re-installed the Nest again to see if it fixed it and it did not. So a couple hours later we had the Nest installed and a constantly blowing fan. One repairman call and 2 days later, problems resolved and a working thermostat!



So far, I love it. The only glitch is that we are unable to turn off the "Away" setting from the iphone - though I believe we should be able to. A small quibble, for an otherwise wonderful product.

So, now that I successfully installed it (if I can do it, really, anyone can!), now we have to wait and see how smart it is! I'll give you an update after some time - after it learns our habits and I can mess around with the cool software a little.

In the meantime...my husband and I are trying to find the temperature sweet spot. What temperature is your thermostat set at?

14 comments:

  1. Wow, this is very cool! I work for a Heating company and have never heard of this. I totally want one now!

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  2. What a cool concept that can save $$ on your bill. Telling the hubs about this one!

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  3. This is an awesome concept and I would love to have one of these! I'm going to pass this on to my husband!

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  4. That's really neat! Not so much that it costs a lot to get, but hopefully the savings on your bill will be well worth it.

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  5. That is awesome. My husband wants to get one, but we're going to wait until the price comes down.

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  6. Found you from Kelly's Korner, love this idea, I have never heard of this. Definitely something I always forget!

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  7. If it were up to me, 75 degrees year round, but my husband likes it at about 68 in the winter and about 78 in the summer. Lol.

    Great job!

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  8. I love that you can control it away from home. I always forget to adjust mine before leaving. We tried the programable ones and well they did not work quite right. After our experience with them, I would call the company we use to see if these are compatible and have them install.

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  9. That is AWESOME!! How interesting!!! I need to get one!

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  10. I would def not be the one to install at my house - even if it is easy lol.... I love the idea of it saving money on our energy bill!

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  11. We almost bought this last weekend! We ended up going with a cheaper one that is not as cool. Can't wait to hear how you learn and save as you go.

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  12. Very cool, will be eager to see how you like it after you work it more. We use a programmable, keep it set 65 during the day 62 at night. All about conserving :)

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  13. This looks like it might be too complicated for me, lol! I really hope that you enjoy it though! We set out thermostat on 68!

    Dawn

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