Monday, April 7, 2014


Last week, we headed down to Lowe's and picked up a new Nest Learning Thermostat. Our old thermostat was on its last leg (I was convinced that it wasn't gauging the temperature properly) so we decided it was time to upgrade. We had heard great things about the Nest and really liked its features, so even though it is pretty pricey, as far as thermostats go, we decided to bite the bullet and get one.

Apparently, the entire city of North Little Rock heard we had decided to make the move and there was a rush on Nest thermostats. Both Lowe's and Home Depot were completely sold out. We had to truck it over to the next town just to find one. And because our search took so long, we didn't get back until after dark. And because we were too anxious and excited to wait until the morning to install it, we did the entire installation in the dark. So, while you're looking at these photos, picture Andrew and I standing in a dark hallway -- him with a bunch of tools in his hands and me with my phone in mine and a flashlight between my teeth -- and Tillie looking at us like we are mad.

The Nest has a really great compatibility checker on their website, so we knew ahead of time that the thermostat was compatible with our system. And they give you everything you need to do the install -- including a screwdriver, level, and screws -- which made installation by flashlight that much easier.

The Nest is actually super simple to install. We took the cover off our old thermostat (after being sure we turned the entire system off first).

Then we took a picture of the placement of the wires and cut the power to the house. Once the power was off, all we had to do was use the stickers they provided to label each wire, disconnect them, and remove the old thermostat. From there you mount the new thermostat, using the level to make sure everything's straight, reconnect the wires, snap the cover on, and give it some power. 

The system connects to your wi-fi and walks you through the setup. It's very simple. I would say the whole process took us less than 30 minutes.

We've been using it for about a week now and so far, we really love it. It lets us see our energy usage over time, so we can see how much energy (and money) we're saving. I love the little green leaf that pops up every time we're being energy efficient. The thermostat has an app that you can download that allows you to remotely control your thermostat. So, if you're in bed and don't feel like getting up to change it, no problem. And if you're out of town or at work, you can let it know that you're away and it will adjust so you don't heat (or cool) a house that's empty. After a while, it learns your habits (hence the name "learning thermostat") and makes adjustments automatically. So the days of forgetting to adjust the settings on your way out the door are over. 

It does about a million other cool things as well. Check it all out on their website. I am looking forward to seeing how much it can cut our electricity bill this summer once the temperatures skyrocket. 

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