The Learning Thermostat – Nest!

Nest Labs started producing their smart thermostats in 2011. They do wonders by cooling or heating your home or office space by learning your schedule or can be set using Nest app. All you need to do is set the thermostat during the initial weeks of usage and then it does the job on its own. They study your schedule and thereby set cooling or heating accordingly. They have sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, occupancy and can even track you, to know your current location so that they adjust the room temperature accordingly. It can activate the ‘Away mode’ when you are away, hence does a great job in energy conservation. Different generations of Nest thermostats are Nest Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3 and E which were introduced in the year 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017 respectively. Here in this article let us see about its latest versions Nest Generation 3 and Nest E.

Nest 3rd  Generation Review

It was launched in 2015 with the very same features of Nest Generation 2. The only difference is that it has a bigger dial and is slightly thinner. The display is larger with greater resolution giving sharp and clear readings. This updated version of Nest is capable of detecting your presence even at a greater distance of 20 feet whereas in the previous version it was only 3 feet. This version of Nest comes in 4 colours; copper, black, white and stainless steel. About 90% of Nest Gen 3 resembles Nest Gen 2. They come with a total of 10 temperature sensors to improve the accuracy. They also have sensors to detect your presence and thereby activating ‘Away mode’ when you are away. They can self program after learning your schedule or can also be programmed using app. The following are its main features:

  • Far sight: The thermostat will wake up from sleep and display data’s like set temperature, present temperature of the room, time, temperature outside etc. whenever it detects your presence.
  • Bigger display: Helps you to read the data’s and alerts easily and legibly.
  • Secure Boot Technology: Ensures that the Nest software is running alone, by blocking all unwanted or malicious software. It also safeguards your data and hence protects your privacy.
  • Can be interfaced with OpenTherm compatible boilers and can control hot water.
  • Remote Control: Controlling the thermostat from anywhere is possible using your mobile phone, laptop or tablet using application making it very user friendly.
  • Alerts: Gives alert when something goes wrong.
  • The Green leaf function helps you to identify when the thermostat is working in the energy efficient mode.
  • Energy saving: Offers better energy saving opportunity due its improvised hardware.
  • Geo-fencing: Sets temperature by learning your location with the help of your Smartphone.
  • To prevent overheating, they have “Heads-up” feature that will turn off the device to prevent overheating. This feature also helps to save energy.
  • Installation is pretty easy as it takes hardly 30 minutes for the entire procedure.

 

Pros

  • The  green leaf icon lights up when the thermostat is in energy saving mode. This feature helps us to reduce energy consumption.
  • Takes minimal time for installation.
  • Bigger display with greater resolution giving sharp and clear reading.
  • Enhanced learning capability.

Cons

  • Nest Gen 3 has no remote sensors, hence the thermostat monitors only the temperature near it.

Inshort

This version of Nest offers some great features as like updation from near field technology to far field technology. The improved resolution and bigger display gives more clarity to the readings. It is considered to be the easiest model to install and works with many Smart Home Partners. It supports water boilers and comes in different colour options. Works with Alexa for voice control. It is great choice for every home giving a very attractive appearance.

Nest E Review

It is the latest model of Nest thermostat, launched in 2017. It comes with a new simplified design with almost all features and is cheaper in price. They look much plainer rather than having a big metal Ring with a bright screen. Nest E thermostat looks duller with Plain White puck and they really can’t be noticed easily. All you need to do is setting the thermostat in the initial few weeks and then the rest will be taken care by its own built-in intelligence. Frosted glass tops the display making the display look dimmer. It has a simpler interface. Like all other Nest thermostats, E version can be connected to internet and can be controlled using mobile application. Using your phone and other sensors, Nest E can easily identify whether you are at home or not and thereby sets temperature accordingly. It helps to save about 12% on heating and 15% on cooling bills each year. The only difference from other thermostats is that it doesn’t have ‘farsight’ feature which enables you to know the time and temperature by turning the display on automatically when you are around. E version is compatible with almost 85% of heating or cooling devices at your home. Like all other thermostats, E has sensors to detect motion, humidity, proximity and temperature and can also integrate with third party services like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant or Apple’s HomeKit . Few of its main features are:

  • Remote Control:  You can control the thermostats from anywhere using your mobile phone, laptop or tablet using application making it very user friendly.
  • Energy History: They help you to know how much you save on your energy bills and also provide awareness on how to save more.
  • Fault Alerts:  Nest can indicate if any of your HVAC systems that are connected to the thermostat goes faulty. Hence you can identify and rectify the faulty system.
  • Nest Leaf: The display lights up when the temperature setting you have chosen is an energy efficient one. This feature clearly helps you to identify if you are on the right setting.
  • Scheduling: Set the thermostat in the initial few weeks of purchase as per your requirement, later on the thermostat itself will learn your schedule and sets the temperature accordingly but providing you with the choice of changing it anytime from anywhere.
  • Sensors: The sensors added to it help you to identify temperatures of different rooms and enables you to set priority accordingly.
  • Away Mode: With the help of motion sensors and by studying your current location with the help of your mobile phone, the thermostat can turn itself off after ensuring you are away.
  • Easy Installation: Its simple structure made the installation part easier and it hardly takes around 30 minutes to install Nest E.
  • Attractive Design: The display is topped with glass giving it a frosted look and thereby it blends beautifully to where it is affixed. One can hardly notice it especially when it is off.
  • Alexa Enabled: You can just talk to your Echo or Dot regarding temperature settings and the thermostat responds accordingly.

Pros

  • They can study your routine
  • Very attractive model
  • Compatible with most of the HVAC devices
  • It can be programmed to set desired temperature
  • Simple installation
  • Simplified design where you can twist the dial to adjust the temperature
  • Reduced price but  offers all important features
  • They have pre-cooling or pre-heating feature.

Cons

  • Have the need to have a C wire
  • Fails to support certain HVAC systems
  • Absence of farfield technology
  • Blurred display can cause inconvenience for people with vision problems

Inshort

The strength of Nest E is mainly its simplicity to use and its simple design at a reduced price. The Nest Thermostat E box contains the thermostat, back plate with wire terminals, two mounting screws, optional mounting plate and a detailed installation guide book. Its display hides all unnecessary readings making the display look neat and jus displaying the temperature in a bigger size. Except for its inability to support some of the HVAC systems, it is great for your home offering you get all the important features at a reduced price.

Nest E Vs Nest 3rd Gen

Nest E and Nest Generation 3 both look almost the same with almost similar features. Your choice can mainly depend on the budget or the appearance. Both have similar learning routine and uses Nest App. There are only slight variations which will be discussed below.

    • Price: E is much cheaper as it is made of plastic and not metal like the other versions. Hence it is definitely a budget model.
    • Design and Appearance: E has an inferior display. It has a frosted glass over the dial giving a dimmer reading. Whereas Nest 3 has a bigger screen with greater resolution giving a sharper and clear reading. The frosted display of E blends the thermostat beautifully with the wall giving it a very classy look. Nest 3 comes in 3 different colours unlike E which is white.
    • Farsight : Nest 3 has this feature which wakes up the display when it senses your presence near the thermostat and shows you the information you prefers to see. E lacks this feature even if it has this same motion sensing sensors. This  cannot be considered as a major drawback.
  • Compatibility with HVAC systems: Nest 3 is compatible with more HVAC units when compared with E. Say if Nest 3 goes well with 95% HVAC units, then for E it will be around 85%. Nest compatibility tool helps you to check compatibility with your devices.
  • Pre-set scheduling: This feature comes with E which helps you to save money instantly. You can also reprogram it using Nest App or using Smart Home Assistance.
  • Sensors: Nest 3 comes with few more sensors than E.

Below table shows a quick overview of the similarities and difference among the two

 

Category Nest Gen 3 Nest E
Size 3.25 in diameter

1.21 in thickness

3.19 in diameter

1.14 in thickness

Display Superior Display

3.25 in diameter

480 x 480 px resolution

Inferior Display

1.76 in diameter

320 x 320 px resolution

Sensors Temperature(10 nos)

Humidity

Near-field activity

Far-field activity

Ambient light

Temperature

Humidity

Proximity/ Occupancy

Ambient light

Connectivity 802.11b/g/n @2.4GHz
802.11a/n @5GHz
802.15.4 @2.4GHz
Bluetooth LE
802.11b/g/n @2.4GHz
802.11a/n @5GHz
802.15.4 @2.4GHz
Bluetooth LE
Features Auto-Scheduling
Airwave
Nest Leaf
Auto-Away
Energy History
Time to Temperature
System Match
Early On
Heat Pump Balance
FarSight
Water / Boiler control
Auto-Schedule
Airwave
Nest Leaf
Auto-Away
Energy History
Time to Temperature
System Match
Early On
Heat Pump Balance
Water / Boiler control
Price More Less
Material used for making Metal Polycarbonate
Appearance Easily noticeable Blends really well with the walls
Far-sight feature Yes No
Compatibility with HVAC systems Compatible with 95% of HVAC Systems Compatible with only 85% of HVAC Systems

 

Conclusion

To wind up, it is very much clear that both versions of Nest aren’t much different except for very few features. So either Nest E or Nest gen 3 is going to make your home smarter, ensuring a comfortable atmosphere all around.

 

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