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  1. #1

    Why do you hate Nest?

    I've had this thermostat for over a year now and love it. It more than paid for itself last summer in my reduced energy bills which have been about 33% lower.

    It seems all the pros hate the Nest. The only reason I can think of is Nest targets homeowners directly and that affects your bottom line.

    What's the REAL reason the pros hate Nest?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,982
    I dislike it because the inner operations are kept secret. I once spent two hours on the phone with Nest tech support as they had me check continuity of the wiring. Once I realized what they were looking for I explained to the tech that Ruud systems energize the RV in heating mode rather than cooling mode. The tech had to confer with another tech to confirm that. DUH!
    Then we moved on to correct the installation set up which was evidently wrong from two years before. (Not our installation.)
    If they provided documentation for it such problems would not exist.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    I don't hate Nest, I just find the product quality to be barely above that of garbage.
    In the past 6 months, I've had more service calls for failed Nest thermostats than all other thermostats combined, in the last several years.
    Failures include the thermostat body being hot to the touch, the sub base leaking stray voltages to control wires that should not be getting any voltage in the mode the thermostat was in, and thermostats going insane and over cooling or heating by >10º. All of them had the common terminal connected, so it wasn't a power robbing issue.
    One was keeping the reversing valve energized on the persons heat pump in the heating mode, and cost the person about the cost of 3 Nest thermostats in increased electrical usage in just one month.

    On heat pump systems, the 2nd generation Nest is, by design, not able to use the heat pumps axillary heat source as "emergency heat" if the heat pump fails. The "emergency heat" option on the Nest will only control an external backup heat source on a limited bases, not the "aux" heat source.

    Nest control algorithms sacrifice comfort to maximize energy savings.

    Nest thermostats cost more than far more capable thermostats.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,720
    Quote Originally Posted by littlegreeny View Post
    I've had this thermostat for over a year now and love it. It more than paid for itself last summer in my reduced energy bills which have been about 33% lower.

    It seems all the pros hate the Nest. The only reason I can think of is Nest targets homeowners directly and that affects your bottom line.

    What's the REAL reason the pros hate Nest?
    Nest creates work for us because homeowners feel like they can install it themselves and half the time they screw it up.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,111
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    I don't hate Nest, I just find the product quality to be barely above that of garbage.
    In the past 6 months, I've had more service calls for failed Nest thermostats than all other thermostats combined, in the last several years.
    I installed one for a customer not long ago, very easy to set up even for an old geek like me, I had it hooked up were the customer was standing in front of it changing the temps with his smart phone, in less than 30 minutes, not bad for my first one. The customer bought the stat and I just installed it. Mark, that is some pretty serious issues you have seen with them.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    549
    Quote Originally Posted by littlegreeny View Post
    It more than paid for itself last summer in my reduced energy bills which have been about 33% lower.
    I call BS

    A thermostat alone cannot provide this level if savings. Best case scenario, the nest has aided you in habit or lifestyle changes to accomplish this. Even the cheapest Honeywell stat has built into it cycling control adjustments and basic setback that if set up correctly, will do anything the nest can.

    A habit and operational shift could potentially reduce consumption by 1/3 if done correctly and without regard to comfort. The nest did not save you %30, you were waisting %30 previously for comfort gains

    Also have experienced frustrations with the lack of documentation and literature provided with the stat. Performing simple system alterations took up significantly more time than they would on a regular stat simply due to the lack of literature. They look like a really cool stat, its just a shame they are a pain in the butt.

    And by the way, Honeywell targets stats at home owners and DIYers, but I don't hate Honeywell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Most energy savings strategies that use thermostats as the solution are NOT solving the root cause. The root cause is equipment oversizing. It's not so much saving you energy, rather it's optimizing a bad situation by using occupancy and humidity based tmeprature settings. If the equipment was properly sized to begin with, you 1) would always have low humidity condtions most of the time and can set the thermostat higher ALL the time 2) Properly sized equipment without using setbacks can be as much as 30% more effceint without changing the temperature settings.

    If you have a home larger than 1500sqft, if your equipment is properly sized, it should take at least 60 minutes to gain even 1F on a hot or cold day. Beyond design conditions, it will even fall behind slightly.

    Smaller homes have less mass and can heat up and cool off quicker, but are more directly influenced by outdoor temps and solar gain.


    Let me clarify. I have properly sized equipment on my home. A NEST would save me nothing and just be a nuisance. Why? 1) It can take 2-3 Hours to cool the house off even by just 1F if it's over 80F outside. It also only warms up by less than 0.5F per hour even when it's 95F out. So over 8 hours on a hot 90+F day, it would only warm up by 3-4F all afternoon, then take maybe 10-12 hours to cool it back down. That's not very comfortable.
    2) I don't have a "Open Concept" floorplan (thank goodness) So where do I place the thermostat? In the foyer? Can't put it in the living room. We don't always go in there in the morning. Can't put it in the kitchen.

    As mentoined, it's pricey. I'd rather put the money towards a system with even more intellegence like Carrier Infinity that can modulate airflows to comfort AND effciency to control humidty prceisely. Dehumidify on demand is not the same thing either. Infinity uses are range of airflow, not a fixed pseed reduction and factors in indoor and outdoor temperature. No that's a smart thermostat.

    Remote access is not nessesary and i think a waste unless it's a large commercial building with multiple systems, central plants, demand limiting controls, manul equipemnt resets, ect.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,370
    Thermostats like Nest are often seen as "smart" solutions to reducing energy use. My experience dictates that investing in a "smarter" building envelope is a better investment, albeit more expensive. That said, there is no excuse to keep building houses the way we do in hot climates; i.e. with attics containing HVAC ducts that overheat terribly all summer long. Yet it is done daily. Why? It's hard to get long term change started and gaining momentum. "That's the way we've always done it" is used to cover a multitude of thermal and pressure boundary sins.

    I agree with Motoguy's statement about correct sizing, but I'm also learning first hand in my own house the benefits of two stage a/c. Sometimes you need extra capacity, for a great deal of the remaining time you don't. A properly set up low stage, combined with smart choices about the home's thermal and pressure envelope, dehumidifies and cools wonderfully, delivering great comfort without breaking the budget each month.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    We also are so focused on insulation. Insulation if great, but we need to focus on the envelope and make good choices of building materials. I have no cavity wall insulation, but with low-E storm windows and excellent choices by the homeowner, builder or architect almost 90 years ago, resulted in a fairly tight home with extremely low heat loss and gain. It suprises me all the time. Would it be better with wall insulation, sure, but woudl it be far worse if built with the same MOC as you commonly find now on new construction. Absolutely.

    Here's a interesting statement. My home exceeds the performance of modern new construction, despite not even meeting minimum building codes for R value. Not even 1/2 the minimums. The devil is in the details. Traditional 3 coat stucco, ~40" downward sloped eaves, the majority of windows face the East, the least face South and the wide exterior chimney is on this side, and there are large shade trees on the West and I'm planting a couple more on the South side.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,111
    I think it's also a mental thing with the customer, it gives them a feeling of a little more control over their entire a/c and heating system.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  11. #11
    I'm not lying about my energy savings. It's made a big difference as I live in a loft on the 6th floor with 10 foot windows which face west. August 2011 I used 1315 kWh and this last August (after the Nest was installed) I used 950 kWh.

    I previously had a Honeywell which I never programmed. I have noticed the Nest sacrifices comfort for efficiency as the temp swing is about two degrees for cooling which is a little high (and cannot be adjusted). It was uncomfortable at first but I've gotten used to it. All my savings is during the summer as my biggest heating bill has been $30/month. I love how I can control it from anywhere and they send me an energy report every month. They keep making improvements to the software which is a big plus. You can now program the fan to run during certain times and you can turn on a dehumidify function (by over-cooling).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    990
    It also makes Apple Geek type Clients feel they are in control within the constraints of their Apple Minded universe!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,668
    I don't hate nest, I wouldn't have it at my house though because I don't want MY thermostat thinking it knows what temp I like MY house

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