Never has a product been more divisive in our house than the Nest automated thermostats – I love them and they are the bane of my spouse’s existence.
In January of last year, I was browsing at the Lowe’s next to my office and saw that the first generation Nest thermostats were on sale. So I picked up two – one for downstairs and one for upstairs – in the anticipation of installing them myself over the weekend. Using household tools and the included guide, I was able to physically install the first Nest in a about an hour. The second one was much easier and took only 30 minutes. I then spent another 30 minutes getting the Nests connected to the home WiFi network, setting up an online account and downloading the Nest App to both my iPad and my iPhone. I was all set to build an automated heating/cooling schedule for our house and that’s when the marital issues started. Turns out that controlling the thermostat is much more powerful and contentious than controlling the TV remote control.
The ability to change the temperature in your home remotely makes you feel omnipotent. On a recent flight home from the west coast, I was even able to warm up the house to anticipate my return while I was in-inflight. I simply used the Nest App on my iPhone while connected to the plane’s WiFi. But with all great advances in technology, there are bound to be dissenters. To illustrate, here is a recent conversation:
Spouse: It’s too cold in here for me. Did you just touch the thermostat?
Me: No (since using an app is not officially “touching” the thermostat)
Spouse: Yes you did. I can feel the change.
Me: Hmmm…it must be the automated schedule. I will try to tune it for you.
In short, my wife was a “set it and forget it” thermostat user while I am constantly tinkering to find the perfect schedule. It really became contentious. I love the control that the two Nests in our home give me over the furnaces and AC units. I love that I can monitor and change their settings even when I am not home. But before you rush out and start installing them, be very aware of their impact on household harmony.
There is, however, another chapter to the Nest saga. It’s titled “The Attack of the Relentless Fire Alarms” and I will fill in the details in a later installment.