Simplifying with Nest
To anyone that has pulled my name or Tyler's for a holiday gift exchange, I'm sorry. We have to be the two worst people to select in the history of gift exchanges. Well, unless you're okay with gift cards, but I suppose that's not exactly the most fun gift to give. Tyler and I are picky - VERY picky. We want what we want. Nothing more, nothing less. On top of that, if we really want something, we usually buy it. Most items don't get "reserved" for the holidays. You've met my husband, right? :)
I talked about the way my side of the family has decided to handle the holidays over the past few years in this post. Believe it or not, my siblings are even harder to buy for than me! Scary, huh? Well, Tyler and I aren't completely free of gift exchanges around the holidays. We still stick to a nice little gift exchange on his side because he has two beautiful nieces that deserve a little spoiling. Tyler's parents have resorted to giving us some money to buy something really nice that Tyler, believe it or not, hasn't already purchased. This year, we decided to purchase a Nest Thermostat. Have you heard of it?
Meet the next generation thermostat.
Most people leave the house at one temperature and forget to change it. So the Nest Learning Thermostat learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. Teach it well and the Nest Thermostat can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%. - Nest.com
Tyler and I have actually had our eye on one of these things for a few years now, but we could never get ourselves to pull the trigger. We have been pretty diligent about adjusting our thermostat before leaving the house, but we wondered if a Nest could help us become even more energy efficient. Well, that's what I was hoping for. I think Tyler just liked the ability to control everything from his phone. You know, priorities.
We decided to purchase our Nest Thermostat on the Saturday after Thanksgiving due to a great sale at Best Buy. They were offering $50 off and we had a coupon that was going to expire shortly anyway. Win-win! Well since this was a Christmas present, you would think we would wait until Christmas to actually open it, right? Psssshhhh. Of course not. Tyler is like a little kid in a candy store when we purchase new things. He just HAS to check it out. Heck, even when we receive items in the mail he has to open them before we can leave for our walk at night.
With the permission of his parents, Tyler dove right in and got to work on the new thermostat that same day. The directions were very straight forward and claimed that 95% of 24V heating and cooling systems were compatible, so we felt pretty good about our odds. I think Tyler even said it takes 3 out of 4 people less than 30 minutes to install the entire thing. We, of course, were the 1 out of 4 that took longer. Go figure. The actual installation itself was a breeze, but we had to do a bit of wall repair to accommodate the minimal display. I guess that probably doesn't count in the 3 out of 4 statistic, but I like to give Tyler a hard time. :)
So this is what our old thermostat looked like before. Tyler had actually already removed it before I could take a photo, so he just held it up there for effect.
We then removed the old unit and realized we had a bit of repair to do. I guess there used to be wall paper in our house, who knew!
We just did a little scraping to even things out and then patched up the imperfections.
Once everything dried, we added a little paint and called our repair job complete. Next up? Install Nelly! Yes, we (I) named our thermostat. Nelly the Nest. She's learning our daily routine and keeps me toasty warm, so I think she deserves a name. We've been using our Nest for just over a week now, and so far we love it! We initially programmed it to turn on in the morning just before we get up and then to turn back down when I'm leaving for work. This excluded weekends. However, on Saturday morning, Nelly had actually learned our pattern and despite not setting a time to turn on, turned itself on around our normal wake-up time. It's like magic!
I snapped a few photos of Nelly this morning before I headed to work, and I was lucky enough to catch the before and after photos of her working her magic.
As you can see, we originally had it set to our normal temperature of 68 degrees and right before I left for work, she turned herself down to a nice energy efficient 52 degrees. I used to only turn it down to 56 degrees when I left for work because it was pretty chilly when I came home and would turn it back up to 68. Well now, we can keep the house much cooler during the day because Nelly will turn herself back on around 5:30 and ensure that the house is approaching 68 when I walk in the door. Now THAT'S service.