Using the Nest Thermostat: Turned On for Winter


It’s weird, but it started when I was a kid and my dad would argue with us whenever we used the heater. The heater was never to be turned on before Nov. 1, but even then, that day was only a baseline minimum. The goal was to try to hold out days longer before turning on the heater. This year, we’d been cruising along, cold, but not that cold, until this morning when I lost hope that the sun would eventually warm the house above 62 degrees. It was time to fire up the Nest.

Our Nest was installed six months ago at the end of our remodel, and our builder kept pushing me to relocate it to somewhere more visible because the interface was so pretty. He wanted it to go where our alarm panel is located, and while the Nest is prettier than the alarm panel, when entering the house with kids and groceries, I’d rather the alarm controls be in the easy to reach location. Because of that, our Nest is nestled into the dark hallway in the kids’ wing. (I’m using wing about as loosely as it can be used. Nook may be a more accurate word.)

I was certain the Nest was trying to cook us alive during the first few weeks while it got to know our schedules and temperature wants. I’d check and the heat would be set to say 69 degrees, but later after feeling flush, I’d see the Nest was cranked up to 90 degrees. It wasn’t the kids playing with it, even though I may have accused them of that. It was just the Nest figuring it out. After many temperature adjustments and cursing at it, it’s regulated itself. We turned it off in August when the air conditioner was no longer needed, but I changed that this morning, turning it back on and switching it to heat.

It is possible to have both hot and cold systems operating at the same time, but we overrode that option in the beginning when the a/c switched on a few times when the house temperature was low enough to require heat. Running the a/c needlessly bothers me more than turning on the heater before Nov. 1.

The Nest goes to sleep, but pops awake when someone walks closely by, displaying the temperature for all to see. I love to wave my hand near it to see the temperature appear. I just did it – the house is 77 degrees with the heat set to 64. The Nest heated the house to 66 degrees this morning, which was the target temperature until 3 p.m. The sun finally warmed us up the rest of the way, but if the hallway temperature dips below 64 degrees before 7 p.m., the Nest will kick on. The night time and overnight temperatures will be lower than 64. The worst thing about the learning curve is that the Nest will sometimes kick on during the night. We never had this with the a/c, but it happened with the heat in the spring. When I’m fast asleep and snug in my bed, I don’t want 90 degree heat blowing in my face. That’s when the cursing happens.

We’re happy with the Nest, especially now that I no longer think it’s trying to cook me.

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