We have the 3rd Generation of Nest Thermostat that replaced our old timer thermostat.
Whats in the Box
- Nest Thermostat
- Thermostat wiring plate
- Wall plate / surround
- USB Lead
- Heat Link
- Power Adapter
This isn’t for everyone so I would advise having a professional install the thermostat for you.
You need a good understanding of boiler systems to identify the setup topology you have and a very good appreciation of wiring and mains safety. I have experience from my work in designing boiler electronic controllers and the associated hardware, the only lack of knowledge for me is in plumbing.
I found the Nest instructions to be very comprehensive for the wiring details but a little lacking in help for you to initially identify the type of central heating system you have and how the system is plumbed. After a few google hunts I found the following useful resource on a college website for plumbing – Pearson Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies.
From this I easily identified our system was a “Fully pumped system using 2 × 2-port valves (S plan)” and lucky the majority of the system wiring and all the valves resided next to the hot water tank in the airing cupboard. With a very useful although small junction box.
Once you have identified the system type, following the wiring is straight forward for someone with a reasonable level of wiring skills and knowledge of boiler valves and thermostats.
I was very fortunate that I managed to re-purpose all the wiring in the system to fulfill the Nest system requirements.
All I had to do is extend the Nest Heat Link contacts down into the junction box already in my house as the wires in there weren’t long enough to be directly connected. This also allowed me to mount the Heat Link in a more favorable position.
If in any doubt always get a professional in to do this installation.
This is done on the nest Thermostat, setting up connection to your home WiFi by using the thermostats control ring.
The ring rotates to select options or values / characters and then is entered / accepted by pressing the ring in. This input device really does have a very high quality feel to it and is very intuitive.
From then on I used the Nest app on my iPad to complete all other settings, you have to register with nest but this is easy enough.
The following are a few of the primary features we use on the Thermostat but there are others and more advanced features.
These are really easy to set up with Nest, no more awkward little displays and confusing settings and only two buttons to select what you want.
The schedule for the Nest thermostats heating and hot water are two separate areas and are programmed via your tablet or phone with a week calendar and multiple options for the day. You can do this on the thermostat its self but the app layout is easier and far clearer.
The thermostat can detect when you walk past and display a variety of information.
- Current Temperature
- Set Temperature
- Analogue Clock
- Digital Clock
We have ours displaying the set temperature which also displays the actual temperature in a ring around the side.
But this feature can also determine if you are in the house for automatic scheduling of the central heating.
Auto scheduling uses a variety of inputs to determine when you are in the house and tries to adapt the heating schedule to your household routines automatically.
The system can use both the Thermostat sensing you walking past, your phone being within the house location and can also utilise any nest protects or cameras you may have on the system as they detect people passing.
Through the app you can control the Nest Thermostat whenever you have access to the internet, from anywhere in the world. This is a really useful feature, being able to request the house to start warming up and have hot water ready for when you get home from trips. The opposite is also useful if you forget to turn the heating off when going away on holiday.
Time to Temp
With this feature, the times you enter into the schedules are the times you actually want the house to be at that temperature, you do not have to program in an hour to allow the house to warm up. Nest gradually learns how quickly the house will warm up taking into account the current temperature and adjusting the start times to achieve the correct temperature on time.
Integration with other Nest Products
The Nest app becomes a mini ecosystem for all the Nest product you have, combining all our Nest Hubs, Thermostat and protects into one easy application.
The Nest system tracks how much energy your using and provides a visual monitor on how much energy has been used. Nest also sends monthly updates via email with a breakdown of usage and scores you against other users.
The Nest thermostat used to integrate well with our home automation system but lately the app that Homeseer utilises is no longer supported by Nest / Google. This isn’t a big deal as the thermostat tends to reside in its own area and because it is a phone / tablet app it is so easy and its integration with our Google home assistants is so tight we don’t really need it to be part of the other systems.
We have lived with the Nest thermostat for about 4 years and it has become an integral part to our home, it’s a piece of home automation technology that Jo seems to have taken to more than the rest.
The unit looks good in our hallway with its brushed metal ring and black display, far better than the rough white block and plastic dial of our old timer thermostat.
Walking past and having the unit softly illuminate the set and actual temperature is really nice and the control ability from the unit or the app is really useful.
One of the most useful features for us is being able to set the central heating to come on as your returning from holiday, so you walk into a warm house with hot water ready to go.