Thermostat With a Mind of its Own


I’ve heard about the Nest thermostat for some time, but now I have a client who’s installing them in his renovated home so I’ll see how it works firsthand.

If you don’t know about Nest, it’s a company founded by the guy who designed the iPod, and there’s an Apple form follows function look to it. Basically, it’s a smart thermostat, with algorithms that learn how you live to maximize comfort and minimize energy use. Based on your initial input and sensors that know when you’re around, it will turn on and off the heat or AC to be exactly the right temperature when you’re home, and turn if off as much as possible when you’re not to lower electric and gas bills. It knows what kind of system you have and factors that into its decisions. And, if you’re away you can control the Nest through the inevitable online app. While it’s not cheap at $250, it will save money through efficiency without any sacrifice in comfort. Plus, like an Apple product, it’s easy to use and looks cool.

It does remind me a bit of the malevolent computer HAL in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” If it decides to take control you can always unplug it.

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