Smart home products – or home appliances that can connect to other devices or networks, like a smartphone – offer convenience and efficiency, and are becoming increasingly popular. From doorbells and locks, to smoke detectors, to thermostats, smart home devices can be controlled from virtually anywhere. Google Nest, Google’s line of smart home products, boasts a sleek collection of smart home products that can help manage a home’s energy habits. In this article, we review Google Nest smart thermostats: the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat.
Google Nest offers two thermostats: the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat.
Both Nest models are smart thermostats, aka WiFi-enabled home automation devices that control a home’s HVAC.
Google Nest thermostats are only compatible with 24V heating and cooling systems. Even still, they work with 85 to 95 percent of systems depending on the Nest thermostat model.
With a Nest thermostat, you can control it remotely, set it to automatically turn down when no one is home, monitor your HVAC health, set it to send maintenance reminders and savings suggestions, and more.
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What’s in this article?
How do Nest thermostats work?
Google Nest thermostats are smart thermostats, or WiFi-enabled home automation devices that control a home’s HVAC. Just like traditional thermostats, Nest thermostats are wall-mounted control systems that display a zone’s temperature and settings. However, unlike traditional thermostats, Nest thermostats can be controlled remotely, turn themselves down when no one is home, monitor HVAC health, send maintenance reminders and savings suggestions, and more.
Once installed, Nest thermostats connect to either the Nest or Google Home app, allowing users to adjust the temperature of their homes from anywhere and receive alerts to catch potential issues early on. Unusual heating or cooling patterns, for example, trigger the apps to send an HVAC system alert at first detection. Google’s smart thermostats also send maintenance reminders that can help increase your HVAC system’s efficiency and longevity through regular maintenance. Additionally, Nest thermostats can use proximity to automatically adjust temperatures to save energy when no one is home.
Smart thermostats offered by Nest
Google Nest offers two thermostats: the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat. Here’s what you need to know about both options:
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat is Google’s original smart thermostat and is set apart by its advanced features. Named for its learning algorithm, the Nest Learning Thermostat learns your personal temperature preferences to adapt and adjust on its own to save you time on manually setting a schedule. Other notable features unique to the Nest Learning Thermostat include exclusive compatibility with the Nest Temperature Sensor and access to the Nest App.
The Nest Learning Thermostat features a high-res display with Fairsight, which displays the local weather and time when it senses your presence. Available in seven different metal ring finishes, the Nest Learning Thermostat also includes a trim plate for a cleaner look. From its sleek design to its position as the first ENERGY STAR certified thermostat, the Nest Learning Thermostat continues to adapt its technology to provide comfort, convenience, and savings.
Created to fit a lower budget, the Nest Thermostat provides many of the same features as the Nest Learning Thermostat, but at a lower price point. Importantly, the Nest Thermostat delivers the same energy savings and is made to be easily self-installed, monitor HVAC systems and send alerts and reminders, suggest temperature settings to optimize energy savings, and turn itself down when you’re away. But as the budget-friendly model, the Nest Thermostat does come with fewer features.
The Nest Thermostat only works in the Google Home App, not the Nest App. You are able to manually enter a schedule for your temperature preferences through the Google Home App, but the Nest Thermostat will not learn and adjust to your personal preferences over time. Similarly, the Nest Thermostat does not work with the Nest Temperature Sensor and lacks the his-res display and Fairsight that comes with the Nest Learning Thermometer.
The Nest Thermostat is available in four of its own unique colors and features a mirrored finish and a plastic setting. Trim plates are sold separately, but compatible with the model and its colorful finishes.
Are Google Nest thermostats compatible with all HVAC systems?
Google Nest thermostats are only compatible with 24V heating and cooling systems. Luckily, this works for most household systems. According to Google, the Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with 95 percent of HVAC systems, whereas the Nest Thermostat works with 85 percent of systems. To make sure your HVAC system is compatible with either Google Nest thermostat, use their Compatibility Checker tool for step-by-step instructions to do it yourself or connect with a professional installer in your area.
Which Google Nest thermostat is right for you?
The energy savings for both the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat are equal, so either way, on average you’ll save 10 to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling! However, the Nest Learning Thermostat works with a wider array of HVAC systems and comes with more features, like Nest Temperature Sensor compatibility and the ability to learn temperature preferences to automatically set a schedule accordingly. Overall, things like your design, app, and display preferences, HVAC system, desired level of convenience, and budget will help you determine which thermostat is right for your home.
Comparing Google Nest thermostats Nest Learning ThermostatNest Thermostat Price249130 Heating energy savings10% to 12%10% to 12% Cooling energy savings0.150.15 HVAC compatibilityWorks with 95% of systemsWorks with 85% of systems App compatibility Nest App, Google Home AppGoogle Home App only Warranty length2 years1 year Trim plateIncluded Sold separately Design materialSteelPlastic DisplayHigh-res digital display Mirror display Includes Farsight display (time, temperature, or weather)✔– ENERGY STAR certified✔✔ Turns itself down when you’re away✔✔ Nest Temperature Sensor compatibility✔– Learning capabilities✔– Voice control compatibility ✔✔ Rebates available ✔✔
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