Nest Update #11: Resetting Ranges

Quick update about a new bug/issue/feature in the Nest thermostat that I’ve encountered.

Here’s the before image:

image

I’ve used the new Nest 2.0 software to set ranges for the various floors as you can see above. I captured that image on the 30th of May.

Here’s the image from this morning (4th of June):

image

The first floor is set to Off as I neglected to take a screen shot before I adjusted the setting (and I’d turned the Basement back On earlier, so ignore that).

However, the First Floor had the same range as the Second Floor in the shot above (68-75F) before I switched it to Off. Yes, automatically, two of the active Nests had reset their range from my choice back to the defaults. That’s an expensive choice during the hot muggy summers of Wisconsin (or any time of the year). This is the second time this has actually happened.

It also happened while were were on vacation recently (but I hadn’t had visual evidence). The house went from a range of 62-84F to 68-75F. While I’m sure our house cat appreciated it, our electrical bill will not (as it was extremely hot while we were away).

And if you’re planning on trolling/flaming this post, don’t bother. I won’t publish it.

7 Comments

  1. Wow – I thought I was the only one, at least that is what Nest made me think.

    I have two units, and in the middle of the night one reset to a range of 68-75, which caused my AC to come on, not pleasant at 3:00a considering my AC is loud.
    The odd thing is that the energy graph online also lost days of data, it said I had the unit set to 68-75 for days and that the unit never ran. I know that neither were true.
    Nest support has been ZERO help, last call I made said it was in the hands of Tier 3 support, I opened the issue back on Memorial day.

    1. No, you’re not alone Scott. 🙂

      I’m amazed more people aren’t having similar problems. I’ve experienced tons of issues with the 3 Nest thermostats I own — well beyond what I’d assume was just bad luck.

  2. To me it appears the the range is an afterthought, and was not thoroughly tested, if at all. Yet to me the range setting is the only usable and worthwhile setting.
    My house and life are random, so having a programmable thermostat with set points is worthless, yet this appears to be the main feature of the Nest. There is no way it could learn my schedule as it is never the same.
    I have yet to see the benefits of the auto-away as mine does not work, I just reset both Nests hoping they can relearn that.

    In my opinion the power of the Nest is in the range setting, as well as a good working auto away (as well as auto return) plus remote settings, as well as the energy usage graphs.
    But for now I really think they need to add some advanced settings. Like the ability to change auto-away times, when it turns on and off (mine right now seems random and not really temp driven, this makes my wife nuts, if the thermostat is set to 79 then it had best turn on when it is .0001 past 79) Good logging that the user could see would help, as it would be great to see why auto-away didn’t work, or why it thought I changed the temp @3:00a…

    I have hope and faith in it… I would have more if the company was responsive, gave us a better line to the developers for suggestions as well as insight into current issues as well as a user forum so we know we are not alone.

    just my $.02

    Scott

  3. @arron So have you given up on this piece of technology? I have appreciated your thorough analysis thus far and insight as I consider the purchase of a “smart” thermostat. Have firmware updates alleviated any of your pain?

    1. I’ve paid less attention to the thermostats in the past few months. Away mode which is turned on for 2 of our 3 thermostats rarely activates anymore for some reason. I haven’t noticed the wireless connectivity issues as frequently as I once did — I think because I haven’t looked. There are still other commenters who complain about it, so I assume that firmware fixes haven’t helped universally. If you need something 100% reliable, this still shouldn’t be your choice.

      No, I haven’t given up on it. It hasn’t ruined any equipment (unlike a few others who’ve had damage caused by the way it powers itself). It has run the HVAC when we weren’t home just like before we had them. I’m relatively confident that it hasn’t saved us any money, as we were both very conscious of not wasting energy, so we’d make sure we’d turn down things, etc. before leaving. If the price were closer to $150, I think it becomes more viable and could be an option for many people, especially if the reports of wifi connectivity issues drops significantly.

      If you’ve already gotten a programmable thermostat and you use it consistently (and turn up/down when you’re away), then this won’t likely save you much time or money.

      I’ve found that when I do use the remote features to turn the furnace on before we come home for example, that I usually remember too late. 15 minutes before coming home isn’t enough time for the house to really be “warmer/cooler” on most days.

      The UX of the remote control is still clunky. (It’s a very attractive interface, but still clunky feeling).

      Summary: Nest Thermostat improved enough where I didn’t feel like using them for large hockey pucks anymore. 🙂

  4. Hi Aaron,

    Your last comment sounded a bit more reassuring, in the sense that things seem to be getting better over time — as one would expect. I did want to follow up with you and see what your thoughts on the Nest 2.0 were, that was just released. Do you think (from the descriptions) that they are addressing the major concerns? Will you be getting one? And has the 3.0 software update helped your original Nest to function better?

    Thanks again!
    ~Mike

    1. As 3.0 was just released, I can’t say yet that it’s made it function better, but I do like the new functionality they’ve added. The Early-on functionality in particular I’m really excited about as it will mean our house will be warm during the winter when we come home rather than just starting to heat when we arrive.

      My HVAC system worked fine with the first generation, so I don’t need to upgrade as I see no hardware upgrade benefits for my system. While it looks a bit more polished and a bit slimmer, we don’t need that for $249.

      While it was a rocky start, barring wifi connectivity issues that many have had (and some continue to have), I think the product is finally worth buying for the masses.

      A part of me was disappointed that they didn’t release something truly new, like remote temp sensors, or …. (fill in the blank).

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