Thursday, November 22, 2018

Is Nest The Best For JAX HVAC?

When I was told I needed a new thermostat, the recommendation was for a Honeywell 9000 series unit. And I was perfectly prepared to spend $155 per thermostat. However, my HVAC guy also mentioned the Nest, in the, "If you want to spend the extra cash" kind of way. I didn't. But since he never mentioned the Sensi by Emerson, which seems to be the budget version of the higher-end, smart, DIY thermostats, I had a decision to make, and since it was Black Friday week, that decision got clearer as I read more about the deals.


Basically, I didn't see any actual deals on the Honeywell units that I was researching. That's kind of disappointing, but maybe it's just because there's nothing sexy about a Honeywell thermostat. When someone needs a replacement thermostat, there it is, and Black Friday is no different. If the holidays weren't such a big time for tech toys and smart home upgrades, I probably would have ordered a Honeywell.

My next choice was actually the Ecobee, since Amazon had a sale on these. But I didn't care about the Amazon Alexa being built in, the Alexa that's on the unit seems to be limited, and some of the basic functions were criticized as being too much work for too little benefit. Also, I never heard my HVAC guy mention this brand. Lots of online reviews were good, but I was trying to get the next thermostat that would work with our heat pump and not break, so the Nest's track record of positive reviews was more appealing. Ecobee was on sale, so that made it nearly my choice, but the Nest was also on sale.

I don't know if the Nest will make our HVAC perfect. I'm not even sure if it will really learn how to keep us happy. However, it should work with our heat pump, it gets good reviews, it will help resale if that's ever an issue, and it had possibly the best Black Friday sale of the options. If you have a heat pump, make sure the thermostat you buy says it works with the heat. Hook it up and test it so that you don't end up with a winter on emergency heat without realizing what just happened to the electric bill. The reviews for the Nest are probably skewed towards people who want to believe it can do all it says, as well as those who believe it's the cool thing to have. I am sure it does its job well, and that's all I wanted.

If we ever have to sell our house, plenty of people will see the Nest thermostat and think the system must work well because its smart and whatnot. Cool with me, not that I'm looking to sell. No one is going to buy our house specifically because of the thermostat, but along with other upgrades, it can't hurt. But a Nest is an investment, and not a cheapo thermostat. The house might  I got it on sale on Black Friday. I actually found a website that said the best place to get it was Kohl's, since my wife could get about $100 back in Kohl's cash. The thermostat was the same price as Amazon, Best Buy, Lowes, and several other stores, but getting some Kohl's cash for my wife to spend on herself helped us swallow the too-expensive thermostat pill.




Those of us in Florida have to make sure the thermostat we get is compatible with a heat pump, assuming that's what we're using. I saw some thermostats say specifically that you cannot use a baseboard heater. Some may not have 2-stage heat. The Nest is supposed to work well with a heat pump, even claiming to ease its use into the morning so we won't need to run emergency heat to take showers without getting hypothermia. Amazon is a solid place to get the Nest, but you can get deals elsewhere, so shop around a bit, especially if it's that special time of the year when people ignore their family to rush out of the house for a good deal.  Come back for the full review later on. For now, here are some relevant comments from where I got my Nest:


Josi from Florida:
We never have to go upstairs to change the setting. We just use the app. This results in more timely temperature adjustment. It is helpful in reducing energy consumption but the real gain is the convenience.
jshopper says:
I’ve owned the Honeywell high end thermostats and they’re good but the Nest is in league of its own...highly recommend it...great value for the money!!
Milton GA:
These little gizmos will rock your world. They learn what you like and make adjusting the temp EASY. It actually makes you care and proactively manage your thermostat. Up until now it has been set it and forget about it. You are comfortable, have control, and save money on your electric bill. It’s a no-brainer.
And so on. Lots of good reviews.