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How the Nest thermostat works
The new Nest learning thermostat is the third-generation heating control system from Google.
What’s so special?
The Nest is a thermostat that works like any other. You simply update the settings and the boiler fires up until it reaches your desired temperature.
The difference is that the Nest learns your heating patterns, manages the central heating when not needed and understands how long it will take to heat your home to the desired temperature given the weather and the size of your home.
The Nest Learning Thermostat isn’t the only smart heating controller on the market. They all perform a similar duty, adding learning, remote control and intelligence into the standard scheduling thermostat. However we think the nest is far more stylish than its competition.
It is a round disk with a diameter of 8.4cm and a depth of 3.2cm. The outside metal ring rotates for selecting options and temperature adjustments. The screen is an upgrade over the previous version: larger, more vibrant colours and crisper, which makes a difference when using it.
Setting up the Nest is pretty simple. Most will have a heating engineer attach the required Heat Link box to their boiler and the Nest to the wall in the desired spot.
It can be wirelessly connected to the boiler, or wired if you have an existing thermostat. For wireless connection the thermostat needs a microUSB power adapter, which it comes with.
Once set up the Nest is easy to control. It learns your heating schedule over the next week.
The screen remains off unless you approach the Nest. There are two settings, one called farsight, which turns on when you’re a metre or so away, and near sight to turn the display on when you stand directly in front of it ready to change something.
How the Nest works
Most of the time you don’t need to adjust the Nest. It maintains a reasonable temperature when left unattended. Adding the convenience of Pre-heating, The Nest gets rooms up to temperature just before you get home from work. The ability to change the temperature and alter schedules from a smartphone or tablet is also great for days your schedule may change.
Your standard home heating schedule can also be switched off when no one is in the house. The Nest works out whether anyone is home by using either the built in sensors or by tracking the location of user smartphones. This works well and saves on heating an empty house. It maintains a decent temperature when you are away to make sure the pipes don’t freeze during winter and you can keep an eye on it remotely using the app.
The latest Nest Thermostat costs £199 or £249 with professional installation.