Cool Stuff – Warm Your Nest with a Learning Thermostat

Technology has infiltrated everything from computers to phones to cars and now...thermostats. If you're looking to wisely invest in a home temperature control system, the Nest Learning Thermostat by Nest Labs is a smart way to manage your home's climate. And the "coolness" factor of this device is off the charts!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that programmable thermostats, if used correctly, can slice $180 off of your energy bill annually. While the unit is pricey at $250, it will pay for itself after only a couple of years.

The Nest knows everything including when we're home, when we're not, and what our heating and cooling preferences are, down to the last degree. It programs itself with an integrated motion sensor that helps determine when we're home or away. It distinguishes between weekdays (when we're home less) and weekends (when we're home more). When no one is home, it turns off the heat or air, then flips it back on when we return. Because it's so in tune with our preferences, it adjusts accordingly so we don't have to make adjustments ourselves once the Nest has learned our habits. It's easy to install and is attractive - slim, sleek and elegant, not the eyesore that many thermostats can be.

As technologically advanced as the Nest is, it goes without saying it can be controlled via your smartphone. It's internal software, which continually updates automatically, partners with apps on your phone which in turn becomes the thermostat's remote control. I installed one in my own home and it's been great being able to lock the thermostat in "Away" mode from my iPhone while sitting on the tarmac at LAX.

The fact that the Nest relies on power coming from the furnace and AC unit can be a drawback; if power is lost for an extended period, the Nest may not come back on until you're there to turn it back on. And if it's installed in a home that's not frequently occupied (such as a vacation home), it may not come on with no one there. This can make for a cold homecoming if your vacation home is in a freezing climate.

To dive deeper into what the Nest thermostat has to offer, click here to see cnet's detailed review.

About Dyan James

Dyan has been researching, writing, copyediting, and proofreading articles across a variety of industries since 1998. She further developed her interest and talent for covering technology while working with the guys at DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. Whether writing from scratch, copyediting or simply polishing, Dyan has mastered the art of turning rough copy or a plain idea into an eloquently written piece.