Originally published on the Best Buy Mobile Blog, November 7, 2012. I served as editor and head writer for this customer-facing blog for four years, recruiting a team of Best Buy “blue shirt” employees from around the country to write about the in-store experience and the latest happenings in mobile communications.
It’s early winter here in Minnesota, and that means it’s time to start adjusting the thermostat. As anyone who’s heated a home can tell you, it’s no easy task figuring out a setting that keeps everyone comfortable and doesn’t take too big a toll on the monthly energy bill. Repeatedly cranking the temperature up and down throughout the day is both wasteful and a hassle, which is why most people just set it at a constant temperature and forget about it until spring. Fortunately, we’ve finally reached the day when your home thermostat can adjust itself to you rather than vice versa.
The Nest Learning Thermostat has been turning heads and warming homes for a while now, and it’s been learning all the way. Unlike standard thermostats, Nest records your habits and preferences via an array of sensors and programming. It generally takes about a week for it to learn how warm you like your home at various times of day. You can set an auto-schedule that keeps your home as warm as you want it when you want it. Perhaps most impressively, Nest can even sense when you’ve left the house. There’s no sense using excess energy when you’re not around to appreciate it, and the Nest adjusts accordingly. That saves you money and decreases your environmental footprint.
That smart technology would probably be enough to sway many homeowners all by itself, but Nest takes the appeal even further. Simply put, this is a great-looking device. It replaces the metallic dials and plastic boxes of yesteryear with a sleek, slim, unobtrusive disc that complements most any living space. The controls are simple and the settings are easy to understand. There’s even a pleasant little leaf icon to let you know when your home is operating with optimal energy efficiency.
Since this is 2012, of course there’s a connected aspect as well. The Nest app allows you to monitor and control your thermostat via your iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet. Forget to adjust your settings before leaving on vacation? No problem. Just log in to the app and tweak things just where you like them. It’s a brave new world, and one where the temperature is just right.