Nest Learning Thermostat Gets New Features
Energy History and economical air conditioning now available with Nest 2.0.
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April 05, 2012 by Steven Castle

The coolest thermostat on the planet just got cooler with several new features. Five months after the launch of the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Labs has announced features including an Energy History and Airwave, which Nest says cuts the energy needed to cool your house to a desired temperature.

These and other features are bundled with the Nest Learning Thermostat. Those who bought the original Nest and are connected to Wi-Fi are receiving automatic software updates.

The Nest Learning Thermostat features an elegant round design and one-button simplicity, while learning your routines over the course of a week to self-program itself. (You can also program it manually.) “With our Nest-exclusive features, Airwave, Auto-Away and the Nest Leaf, we believe there are opportunities for our customers to save much, much more,” says Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell.

Via an activity sensor, Auto-Away turns down your system when you’re out of the house. The Nest Leaf appears when you’ve been conserving energy.

Energy History

With the new 10-day Energy History, Nest owners can see exactly when, and for how long, their heating or cooling (HVAC) systems turned on and off, whether their energy use increased or decreased compared to the previous week, and the cause of that change. “Now you can compare how much energy you used at a glance, then click or tap on any day to see what times you heated or cooled your home and what caused a change in your energy use,” Nest says on its web site.

An at-a-glance Energy History View is available on the device itself, while on the Mobile (iOS and Android) and web apps, you can drill down within a day to see exactly when your system was engaged. Active heating and cooling time periods are conveyed with red (heating) and blue (cooling) lines and bars across a 24-hour timeline.

Airwave

With the weather heating up, Nest is introducing Airwave. After your air conditioner turns off, it stays cold for five to ten minutes, so Airwave shortens the amount of time the high-energy chiller runs and instead uses your energy-efficient fan to push that extra cool air through the home. Nest automatically enables Airwave when the temperature is high and the humidity is low. Nest says Airwave can save up to 30 percent of the energy used and the user doesn’t have to lift a finger.

Other New Features

Range Schedule is available in homes with both heat and AC and allows auto-switching between the two. You set a range of temperatures that you want, from 68 to 73, for example. When the temperature falls outside that range, Nest will automatically turn on heating or cooling. Range isn’t currently compatible with Auto-Schedule. The Nest Leaf will still appear if you set an energy-saving range of temps.

Away has been given its own spot in Settings, moving it out of the Learning section. Now you can select Settings, scroll to Away and adjust your Away temps.

Nest has even revamped the press connectors on the backplate, moving them to the outer edge for easier install.

Next will we see integration into home control systems?

The Nest Learning Thermostat is available now for $249 at www.nest.com.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

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