To many of you, and for good reason, the $250 price tag for a Nest thermostat which is basically a glorified timer sounds absolutely nuts. Dumb even. The idea that Nest learns when you are home & away, and what temperature you want while trying to efficient sounds romantic maybe, especially to a tech nerd like me. And for most people, maybe the whiz-bang algorithms powering Nest isn’t enough to make them part with their hard-earned money, especially when the basic argument, that a cheap thermostat with a timer is really all you need… that is, until that one day.
First, I should say I do own a Nest thermostat. And I love it. I like the monthly reports and charts and comparisons it sends me rating me against other houses in my metropolitan area. Like I said, a tech nerd’s dream. The problem is I don’t own Nest at all of my houses… And yeah, you heard that right, I own more than one house… and at our new house, I don’t have a Nest… until today.
I should also tell you that I live in Los Angeles, a place where at least 100,000 people will promise themselves to move during next Rose Bowl game, while huddled around their fireplace wrapped in their Snuggies basking in the warm glow of the TV, staring in wanderlust at all the people in the stadium taking off their shirts because it’s just another sunny day here in LA — in January.
But me? I split my time between my house in the foothills of Runyon Canyon (where I kid you not, there’s a valet station waiting for today’s would-be hikers) and a beach cottage in the South Bay of LA. And, I love our house in the foothills, because it’s insulated — and it’s also where we shop, eat, and soak up all that city life has to offer. And for the times we want to get away from all of the accompanying grim and grit city life has to offer, we spend the rest of our time we spend it at our cute little 1920’s beach cottage, which doesn’t have insulation. It’s a good life, great even — I’m definitely not complaining. First world problems, I suppose, is ultimately what some of you may garner from the tale I’m about to share, but the reason I’m telling this story is because yesterday, that one “cold” day, is the reason why today, I now have Nest in all of my homes. and maybe even in my rental property eventually, too.
Now, If you visit any of the home automation forums, or really any forum where Nest is discussed, because that’s what people like me do in our nerdy free time, one of the most prevalent questions asked is: “What’s my breakeven for buying a Nest?” “How much does it really save me over the life of what I can expect from a Nest?” And those are fair questions. And, the answers aren’t always that dramatic. Nest saved me “$10 last month” isn’t very exciting, and for most people that answer is probably enough to stop them from ever buying one… and probably the reason I didn’t rush out to buy a Nest for our beach cottage.
It wasn’t a particularly cold night here while I was in the house, maybe the mid 50’s. And if I was still living back east, that might seem downright balmy. But I live in LA, and if it’s anything less than 72 and sunny, most people here will tell you… It’s cold. Freezing, even. And frankly, having a beach cottage is pretty freakin’ amazing, except for the insulation… or lack thereof. And last night, I splurged… and set the thermostat to a balmy 73 lovely degrees. I finished some calls with clients, watched the sunset, did some yoga (because we all do yoga here). And then, because I know it takes an hour to get anywhere here in LA (including to my other house) and because I had a meeting close to my LA house, I left and finished the night with my family back in the city.
It wasn’t until about 11pm that I jolted myself awake… remembering I forgot to turn down the thermostat, picturing that lonely furnace blasting all night to maintain 73 degrees when temperatures dipped to 54.
What do I do?
At that hour, I wasn’t about to call my neighbor (who has a key). I also wasn’t going to spend 2 hours in the car, driving home and back to the LA house. First world problems, I know… but having remembered this happen to me before a long time ago (pre-Nest), I know this is going to be a very expensive mistake. A mistake that, on this one day, would have probably paid for a big chunk of that $250 investment.
So, yeah… I know… maybe you don’t have two houses. And, maybe you’re smarter than me about remembering, or religiously setting your timers (I hadn’t and didn’t) — but for the idiots like me, in moments like this one, it sure would have been nice to sit up in bed, tap my app a couple of times, and save myself a nice chunk of time & money, and worry.
Today, on this one day, Nest makes all the sense in the world. And that one costly mistake will never happen again now.
Find out how much Nest could save you here: