Friday, June 7, 2013

Installing The Nest!

So as a mini Recap of the last few posts:

My thermostat Broke. AC was getting stuck ON, or stuck OFF.
I looked into replacement thermostats, and found one that is super overkill, but nerdy, which I decided I must have.

Since I have an older house (1977) I had to make sure it was compatible with my furnace/AC system. (It is!)

So now, I present to you: NEST.

I went over WHY I wanted the nest in a previous post... But i'll be straight up:

This is 50% toy, 50% energy saving thermostat.

It does, however have the potential to save energy for anyone. Its just a very premium thermostat, that also looks amazing as well, rather than having a white VCR-Like LCD control system in your living room. This is a sleek little black and brushed steel circle that only lights up when you walk directly toward it.

The slick look isn't just in the wall, but also the packaging:

It includes ALL you need to install the nest:


  • Multi Tip Magnetic screw driver (Really nice! I'm keeping this for computer work!)
  • 2 snazzy drywall screws 
  • Back Plate
  • Wall Plate
  • Box Mount
  • The Nest Unit itself
  • The directions I completely ignored.
I didn't need the box mount, because my wires literally come out of a hole in the wall.

I did use the face-plate, so I could hide the lines caused by years of painting around the Old thermostat. I debated sanding this down (I actually DID sand it down) but realized I was going to need to some putty and a scraper, and then repaint... and then I eralized they had painted over wall paper... *facepalm*

It required a lot of work, and I've never had to do this where it really mattered (I've done it in warehouses, Homeless shelters... but not in a living room that would be under constant scrutiny) so I did touch up the paint a bit and decided to use the face-plate, which was optional. (But if you can avoid using the face-plate, It looks better without it, In my Opinion, as the nest reflects the color of your wall and blends in)

Anywho, to the installation:

Remove your old thermostat base plate, by removing the drywall screws, and loosening the screws that hold the wires down.

Make sure your wires don't fall into your wall, or you're going to have a good long session of curse words as you try and fish them out again. (thankfully I avoided this. You might want to wrap the wires around a pencil to help with this.)

Get the nest's Back-plate, feed the wires through the hole in the middle. 

Screw the back-plate onto the wall loosely.

Rotate the back plate until level (there's a baby bubble level built into the backplate! Cool!)

Tighten screws

Straighten out the ends of the wires. They were probably curved around the screws in your old thermostat.

push the into the properly labeled holes. (G for green, Rh for Red ( h is for hot, as in live power with 24 volts), etc.

The wire has been inserted far enough with the button on the outside depresses itself. (slick!)

When that's all done, tuck the wires into the wall nicely

now, the nest just pushes onto this faceplate!

Tada! Completely installed, with Minimal to no bloodshed!

When it fires up, it goes through a super simple setup, which you control by tapping the screen and rotating the dial. (the dial feels like a really expensive volume dial on a stereo system)

It asks you:

  • Age of your house (for Insulation purposes)
  • Type of heat/cooling (gas, Oil, Electric, etc)
  • Any other Thermostats in the house?
  • Wifi network and password
  • and then gets you to set the temperature via a little wizard.
Its truly idiot proof!

So, over the next few weeks, it will be memorizing our living habits. When we like it warmer, when we like it cooler, when we leave the house (it has a motion sensor) and various other things.

After a few weeks, I'll post how I find it, and if it was worth it to make the leap to an overly expensive thermostat!

I leave you with the nest installation video:


  1. I haven´t tried NEST yet, but it looks really interesting... What´s your first (second?) impression after using it for 5 months, would you still recommend it?

    Have you ever heard about Belkin´s Wemo system? If you like nerdy home automation stuff, this could be sth for you. I´m thinking about it, too, because it even interacts with IFTTT (see which opens a wide range of nerdy possibilities (like turning on a switch/light via email)... What do you think about that? :))



    1. Hi Peter!

      Thanks for your comment!

      I do like the nest, however I have a few gripes. In the summer, I like to open the windows up before I try using the A/C... while the Nest can figure out of there is Sun on it, and avoid turning on the A/C, it can't magically detect if the windows are open, so you have to remember to turn it off or put it in away mode. Also, In Ontario, we have a period in september-October where no heat or cooling is required - I put the unit in away mode for almost 2 months, and didn't earn any "green leafs" that reward you for good energy usage. I would turn it off, but If you have it OFF, it doesn't circulate air - So I set my away settings to Cool at 30 degrees and heat at 12 degrees or something like that, so It would still trigger the blower motor and keep the air circulated around the house.

      Those are really my only gripes - During the colder time (aka now) Its been working very well. It actually reduced my power (A/C) consumption by a sizeable amount. (10-15 dollars a month) and my Gas consumption as well so far has been low. I will write a detailed review in a few months as the heating season progresses.