A bit more about my Nest thermostat experiences.
On the weekend, I spoke with a support engineer from Nest regarding the issue I was having with one of the Nest units failing to properly read the room temperature. I swapped one of the thermostats with a thermostat from a different floor in our house and then monitored the results over the weekend. I noticed the same problem in the new location: the thermostat would regularly read a temperature that was 3 to 4 degrees warmer than the actual room temperature. As it doesn’t consistently exhibit the problem, it makes heating a room to a comfortable temperature somewhat challenging (and now that it’s 19F outside, I’d like it if it was a bit more on the mark).
I spoke again with the same support engineer from Nest today (Mark). He called back as promised at the telephone number I left with him. He agreed that it was the thermostat that had a problem and decided to ship me a new one immediately (overnight). As today was an “observed” holiday for most shipping companies in the USA, the new thermostat won’t ship till tomorrow.
Interesting tidbit is that the base of the device apparently has a serial number that is tied to the display and that they both must be returned at the same time when shipping a defective unit back to Nest.
When I arrived home this evening, my wife and I did our normal patterns. Go here, drop stuff off, etc. One of the places my wife walks nearly every evening takes her right by the Nest thermostat in a hallway on our first floor.
As we were sitting down for dinner about 30 minutes later I noted that the temperature seemed a bit cooler than normal in the kitchen so I walked over to the thermostat. “Auto away” had been activated. Arrgh. What’s odd (and annoying) is that the temperature should have been going to 69F starting at 5pm. At some point, it had decided that we were “away” and had never arrived home (I checked all of the schedules and everything seemed normal). I thought that there was some way to review the timings and choices it makes for that setting, but the “Energy” option on the thermostat reported “No data” for any of the recent days (I would have expected at least one day as I had moved the thermostat two days earlier).
UPDATE: Jan, 4, 2012: Ok the above happened AGAIN. I don’t know why I’d want AUTO AWAY to also DEACTIVATE the schedule? Seriously? Turn off learning. Turn off Auto-away. What’s left Nest?
So, I don’t know what to make of this new “feature.” Clearly, we were in the house and the auto away should have been deactivated by our presence (I thought?). We did not activate “away” mode manually either.
I definitely can’t give high marks to this product and wouldn’t recommend it right now. I know others are apparently having decent success, but until the kinks are worked out or they do a lot more explaining, I’d recommend anyone thinking about buying one to wait (maybe for v2 or a significant software upgrade).
If anyone from Nest is listening, please speak up!
(And anyone else with comments, questions, etc., feel free to leave them! I enjoy your comments and feedback and I know others are finding your comments very useful!)