Learning Thermostats are a new category that’s starting to pick up steam. But is it the right investment and fit for you?

The Nest corporation was one of the first companies to come out with a Learning Wi-Fi connected thermostat, and now you can find a wide selection from popular thermostat manufacturers like Ecobee and Honeywell.

I went with the industry pioneer Nest and purchased one of the third generation Nest Thermostats. I may be a bit more technical than the average person, but the installation was a breeze!

Nest Thermostat Installation

As soon as you open the box, the first thing on top are the step by step picture instructions. All I knew about thermostats before this is that you need to be careful about the wires on the back, and so I was a bit hesitant to take on this project for fear of messing up my home’s heating and cooling. Thankfully the Nest instructions made it extremely easy!

If I can give one piece of advice, it would be to gently remove your existing thermostat off its wall mount and take a picture of your wires on the back before you do anything else. Don’t get overly excited about your new tech and rip that old thing right off the wall. If you do, you’ll lose your wire placements and you just can’t count on your wires being the correct color. Worse yet, on some thermostats there can be more than one wire that is the same color. As long as you take this bit of advice, installation should be a breeze.

Once you have your thermostat on the wall, there’s only a few things left to do. I like being able to check up on my house from my smartphone and making sure the device has all the latest features, so I wasn’t afraid to attach it to my home’s Wi-Fi. As soon as you do, it should automatically check for an update and update itself.

Nest Thermostat Programming

Programming is a snap, but the process is a little different than your old-fashioned programmable. For the first week after installation you’ll need to go directly to the Nest Thermostat when you return home, go to bed, and when you leave and set it to the desired Home and Away temps. After that first week it will have ‘learned’ your desired temps. From then on it uses its motion sensor and audio sensor to determine when you’re home and when you’re away.

Want more control? Download the Nest mobile app for your Android or iOS smartphone, create a Nest account, and enter that account into your Nest Thermostat. This will give you the ability to make sure your thermostat, and any other Nest products you have, are functioning properly. Think about how nice it would be during those cold winter nights or hot summer days to change your home’s temperature on the car ride home.

Who Should Buy a Nest Thermostat

Everyone! If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, or aren’t actively using the programming schedule on your thermostat, you need this!

Even if you have a programmable thermostat with a scheduled program running, there are times when you’re not at home and your furnace or AC is running. This is where the Nest Thermostat sets itself apart. It senses when your home and when your away to adjust the temperature to your comfortable temps. So, you’re not wasting those higher heating and cooling dollars on times when you’re not home. In my opinion this is the single biggest benefit to a Learning Thermostat; Your heating and cooling is controlled by when you’re actually home and away, not a theoretical schedule.


A good thermostat can run you anywhere from $100 to $250, the Nest being one of the $250 thermostats. But the Nest thermostat is one of the models that most energy companies are offering a rebate up to $100 (at the time of writing). See the Link right under the price here on the Home Depot website.


Overall I really like the Nest Thermostat. We’ve always been conscious about our heating and cooling and used the programmable features of our home’s thermostat. So I wasn’t sure what, or if, the benefits would be. I can’t say that we’ve noticed any significant drop in our heating and cooling bills, but I can say I’m not heating an empty house.

It’s easy to install, it’s easy to program, and it gives you a lot more control than your old hard to figure out thermostat.


Up Next

A question for you: Is Carbon Monoxide heavier or lighter than air?

Next, I will be reviewing the Nest Smoke Detector Carbon Monoxide Detector.