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  • Writer's pictureClay Murray

Clay vs. The Nest

SPOILER ALERT: That was easy.

I like to think of myself as a few steps back behind the cutting edge of technology. I can see that edge and admire it, but I’m not about to cut myself on it! More and more, I am fascinated by the smart home components available on the market today, but I’m also not what you call an “early adopter.” I like a couple of other folks to take the plunge, then I wait until it’s on sale and pounce on it if those first folks are still digging it. My latest product was the Nest Thermostat. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I’m just going to quickly detail the installation process from a layman and give you a little feedback.

First, we had to say goodbye to this old gem:

Once I un-boxed my new Nest Thermostat, it reminded me of how Apple always minimally presents their products. I took everything out of the box and was left with this:

And it is as easy as it looks. The instructions recommended me killing the power to my HVAC system so I wouldn’t blow a fuse or cause any minor damage to my system. I very much like the idea of NOT creating another problem or project, so I sheepishly followed those instructions:

With the new smart thermostat ready, I had to remove the NOT-smart one off the wall. They recommend labeling the wires, but mine were already color coded. I took a giant leap of faith and didn’t label anything. I know, I’m a rebel. Here’s a look behind the scenes once I got the old one off and was leveling the Nest replacement (note the little self-leveler on the Nest bracket — pretty smart, huh?):

What’s that you say? You hope I have paint to match my hallway so it all looks pretty when I’m done? You also hope I have some spackle and sandpaper to get rid of those holes left from my last thermostat? Well, I’m not getting out the paintbrush and Nest doesn’t care. Showing their smarts again, they provide a small, sleek plate that can cover up missing paint, existing anchors/holes in the drywall, etc. I went that route and the boss (wife) approved:

The last little part of installation was to put the wires where they belong. I know, I know, I’m practically a brain surgeon now. The fun part of “smart” objects whether they be phones, thermostats, light bulbs, speakers, etc., is that they allow the installer/owner to be, umm, “not” smart. Here’s the finished product after I hooked it up to our WiFi and it started asking me where it was. At this point, I was wondering if it was going to order us a celebratory pizza:

We are happily altogether now. Me and technology, technology and me! Over the next few days, I’ll adjust the temperature as we need and the Nest Thermostat says it’ll learn our behaviors and be able to save us up to 20% a month on the energy bills! And believe me, I’ll be checking my bills to see.

The rest of the setup and customization is done through the Nest App which was an easy, free download. I’ll be able to adjust the temperature anytime I want from my phone along with a multitude of other options, so that’s pretty cool:

All in all, it was as easy as I expected and I really do look forward to seeing how much it can save our family each month. Technology is fun, but when it can put money back in your pocket, then it’s really fun!

By the way, for those of you who are Columbia Gas customers, from now until the end of the year, if you install one of these bad boys, they are offering you a $50 cash rebate. Yes, I’m sending my rebate form in the mail now!

I hope this provided a little entertaining encouragement if you’re thinking about giving the Nest a try! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or experiences you’ve had with the Nest or any other smart home devices you’ve loved/hated/etc. I’d love to hear all about it!

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