I first heard about this a couple years ago and the whole
concept sounded a bit dubious. Apparently the guy responsible
for the Ipod design at Apple started a company to make a
thermostat. It's a beautiful design, a retro, round thermostat
that look really cool. But, even upon first hearing about it,
I was a bit skeptical. It has motion sensors in it and it's
supposed to come up with a setback schedule based on how it
learns your temp settings and occupancy patterns. It was
a thermostat for those too lazy to spend 15 mins figuring out
how to program one of the typical digital ones. For me,
it made little sense. But, I could see it being used in
say vacation rental properties.
Recently, I got a little more cuious and started to check it
out. Anyone that's interested in a good laugh, should see
the reviews at Amazon. What a cluster f**
. From reading
the reviews, apparently some of the major problems are:
It lacks a hold button. So, this thing that makes up schedules
on it's own, can set the temp to whatever it pleases and
you can't just set a temp and select to hold it. Could
anyone be so dumb as to not include that? And they've
been told for years now that customers say that's a big
problem. You come home from work sick, set it to 72 and
then it just proceeds to do whatever it wants and you
don't even know what it plans to do. So, 30 mins later,
it could be back to 60F and without checking it constantly,
you wouldn't even know.
In the interests of widespread compatibility, they pretend
it can work with systems that don't have a wire for power.
So, they try to steal power to charge the battery from the
wires coming from the furnace. That was probably OK when
everyone had an old furnace with a Xformer and relay. But
now furnaces have circuit boards that use little current.
Net result, the battery doesn;t get charged. And in an
attempt to charge it, the Nest apparently fires up the
HVAC even when it's not needed. but even that doesn't
appear to work.
To try to fit 10lbs of stuff into a 2 lb little round
thermostat, apparently they put FET transistors into
the base, instead of using relays like most thermostats.
The FETS are apparently failing all over the place and
when they fail, they fail ON. So, you have many people
reporting that the Nest has either the heat or the AC
on constantly. Some have BOTH on at the same time!
There are reports of people coming home when it's 20F
outside and finding their AC running. And this from
a widget that was gonna save you money.
Then there is the self-heating problem. It has wifi
built in, which I'd want in a new thermostat. But,
cramming that 10 lbs of stuff into a 2 lb bag apparently
has resulted in the unit self-heating. So people are
saying that the house is 75 but the thermostat thinks
it's 80, so it's running the AC.
Then there is the issue that since it's wifi connected,
Nest can download new software to it at any time and
you have no option to decline. Apparently they just
did such a download, and it drained people's batteries
so the thing no longer worked. Would you not have an
option to be able to choose when you do an upgrade on
a mission critical device?
It;s really an unbelievable example of making something
cute without regard for reliability. IMO, it's a bunch
of hippies with no HVAC experience trying to trick people
into something that's cool for $250.
And to top it off, Google just bought this pile of crap
for $2bil. Unbelievable.