2nd gen problems solved
As a certified licensed HVAC contractor for 32 years and Certified Nest Reseller in Scottsdale Arizona I have personally re-installed and troubleshot over 50 of the Nest thermostats. We like the Nest and it's concept though we have been experiencing multiple problems with regards to error messages, units operating erratic, systems switching from ac to heat, compressors cycling into internal overload, burnt up control boards and relays to name a few. I do admit it's great for business, though once we show up for service, we now own the call and are responsible for making the system work. The newest problem was this last week on a commercial building with 4 new AC units on the roof and 4 new Nests. We have logged in 6 additional non chargeable hours to troubleshoot and replacements in a 1hr job to change out all 4.
To keep it short, these are the facts;
*Installed 4 nests, all AC units are same brand, 2 Nests are functioning
*Nest #1, installed, ran for 1 day went into heat, troubleshot replaced control cable and determined bad base, replaced with new from supplier. Installed new Nest, ran 3 cycles, began chattering compressor contactor relay (shorted from 26v to 16v) and compressor went off on overload. Replace Nest with conventional thermostat, unit is now operational for last 2 days.
*Nest #2, customer wanted nest in his office, shut off system power, removed Nest head, relocated line in office, reinstalled base and applied power to system, Nest displayed error message on G terminal as no power and system had no fan, removed head metered lines and jumped fan circuit and fan came on. Replaced Nest with conventional thermostat, unit is operational.
*I called the Nest Tech support and was informed that there is a problem with the "FET" (field effect transistor) inside of the base that they are having problems with. Talked with commercial support for 45 minutes, there was nothing they could help with that we have already done.
We are a licensed HVAC contractor in Arizona. We have discussed with product support and consulted for an hours with Nest service techs of multiple problems associated with 2nd generation thermostat subases.
Problems found installing new Nest thermostats that will result in complete Nest replacement and possible component replacement include;
*wiring errors in the G terminal after running for a week
*failure to operate fan with relocation of Nest from one office wall to another office wall
*compressor relay chatter and compressor overload shutdown
*system going into heat while in cooling mode
*ac units tripping breakers
*costly control boards on ac units shorting out and needing to be replace
*system settings changing from O to B and going into heat mode
*ac units running without the Nest head installed
*wifi not responding to commands with regards to setting changes
Been working with the Nest folks regarding the issues associated with the sub bases and the 2nd generation Nest. We have found that the upgrade to 3.5.1 has been successful! The installations have gone well with the last 6 Nests that we have installed. We suggest installing your Nest without using the C terminal and configuring the wi-fi as well that will automatically install the upgrade to the Nest. DM Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation T200577
Energy-Efficient and Quality Built Thermostat.
I originally purchased the 1st generation of this thermostat. The only thing I didn't like about the 1st gen thermostat was how far it protruded from the wall. On my final day for the return policy of the 1st gen, the 2nd gen was advertised to be released soon. So, I didn't hesitate to uninstall the old thermostat to send it back, pre-order and wait on the 2nd gen. The 2nd gen thermostat's profile in my opinion is perfect for the look and style I desire in my home; It makes my home appear a little more modern, but not too much. The install was easy and it looks great just as with the 1st gen. I noticed a $35 drop in my $120 per month power bill w/the first gen. I have a 2200 sq/ft home w/3bdrm and 2bth that's occupied by only myself and my wife. My AC system is a basic singles stage AC and a two stage heater; I hooked up six wires: O,R,B(C),W2,G & Y. I live in FL and the AC runs at 82 during the day and 78 at night. I'm hoping for about the same performance if not better with this thermostat. I'll admit I did try to go with a programmable Honeywell thermostat which ended up not being compatible with my system while waiting on this order. So my options were keep to my pre-order with the 2nd gen nest or keep the old thermostat from over ten years ago with no features. I'm glad to have decided to go with the 2nd gen Nest.
There are Nest only exclusive cost-saving features on this device. So please no ranting on how this is just another overpriced thermostat for those who are reading reviews and are against this product. Move on to another product where people care instead of being a Debbie downer. My two favorite features of this unit are the auto-away and air-wave technologies (for the A/C) which are probably the two most cost saving features for me. Air-wave shuts down the compressor before the push box. Since the coils are still cold from the compressor running, the thermostat knows how long it takes for your home to get from one temp to another. Depending on this time, the thermostat knows when to shut down the compressor to save power while still getting the home to the desired temp. Auto-away is a feature that shuts off the AC within a programmable range if it detects no one is home. My unit is in a hallway that doesn't see much traffic (I spend most my time in a back office) and this unit still managed to not go into auto-away mode while I'm home. A side note on auto-away though is that it must be trained within the first two weeks before it has an idea of your home activity. Once the unit trains itself, the power saving features will all be automated unless you manually disable them.
As everyone else has claimed, the setup was quick and easy for both the thermostat and wifi to access a personal profile/account. The tools to install the thermostat are generously included with the premium price. Packaging was premium and very Apple-like; a nice presentation.
Yes, like mostly everyone else, I realize $250 is a lot to spend on a thermostat. I don't mind spending that kind of money on something that is going into my home that will be used 24/7. If you don't mind the price hurdle, I'm pretty confident you'll be happy with the performance, company(Nest) and style of this thermostat.
I'm very happy with this thermostat if its anything like the 1st gen in performance. If it doesn't perform, expect a followup to this review. As of now, I'm very pleased assuming the only real differences I'll be expecting from the 1st to 2nd gen is aesthetic appeal.
If you have any questions, I'll do my best to respond. Also, before giving a review a thumbs down, provide a suggestion for making it better. Thanks.
I just wanted to mention then 2nd gen is on par with the 1st gen thermostat in cost savings and performance.
Nest 2nd Gen review
Picked mine up from the store today.
***DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE FILM FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE UNIT*** I am one of those remove plastic wrap from everything kind of guys. Guess what, that isn't plastic wrap on the entire bottom of the Nest ring itself. It's the sensors. Don't scuff up your Nest!
It took longer to unbox it then it did for me to install it. It helps that I only had 2 wires, red & white to connect. Connected to my Wifi easily. It then downloaded a software/hardware update 3.01. After that it was pretty painless.
Looks great on the wall. If you think the stainless ring reflects the color of your wall like they say it does, then you are willing it to happen.
I never had the Nest 1 to compare it to but this one is very sharp looking. Everything in the box was well packaged.
Mainly got this unit for the fuel savings and the fact that it does not need a "C" wire to work like every other fancy thermostat.
Android app works perfectly over 4G or Wifi. Running ICS on a Droid Razr.
Unit does have an Anti-Freeze temp setting since someone asked.
Awesome Technology - With Potential Headaches That Can Be Solved
Let say I want these thermostats to work. I love every aspect of them, except for the crappy hardware, specifically the base. I purchased 6 of these for my home and 5 of the 6 have failed, sometimes multiple times. The first failure occurred straight out of the box. When we connected one of the thermostats the brand new unit would not cool. We started checking the wires and quickly noted that even with the thermostat removed from the base there was power to the O/B ie the reversing valve, and it was apparent that there was a voltage leakage across the base of around 15.5 volts. This causes the reversing valve to not fully open/close and gave a chattering sound.
Second failure I had unit worked several days and then suddenly started cooling and not heating, because the transistor in the base had failed and was causing voltage leak from power to reversing valve. Another unit failed in the same way.
Third failure was similar circumstances, but unit was not turning on, because the base was heating up enough it thought the room temperature was warm enough to not require heat.
I received three new bases from nest which seemed to stay working. There was a manufacturing issue with the early models of the bases, that they have possibly worked through. Until this flaw has fully been worked out I would strongly recommend not buying these thermostats. Because the guest cottage nest base failed yesterday and the pipes are now frozen.
Symptoms to watch for related to base failures:
-Fan runs constantly
-AC runs cold even when it is supposedly heating. (this is caused by voltage leak holding open reversing valve)
-Chatter from reversing valve
-Thermostat reads a higher temperature then the room. Typically around 75 degrees.
-Nest feels warm to the touch, can be at the top or the bottom.
-Nest base will be warm to touch even with Nest removed from base.
I changed my review to 5 stars. Nest when they send out replacement bases send them with stronger Feits. On the last round where I received 3 new bases. I also disconnected the common wire on the thermostats. Which I believe helps keep the base from overloading and shorting out. After doing this if you go to the tech info screen and you are getting at least 20+ma on the "Lin" readout you should have enough voltage to power and operate the thermostats. I went through 7 bases in a very short amount of time before putting this issue behind me. It has been several weeks now and I haven't had any new problems. Hopefully this review will help anyone else if they run into issues.
No problems in the last two and half months. What I wrote earlier seems to have solved the problem. One of my thermostats was periodically going offline. I figured out that it wasn't getting enough voltage with the common wire disconnected so I reconnected that common wire and it hasn't failed. The nests are great addition to a family that has very random schedules. Auto away functions works great, as well as the ability to quickly log in and check to see what systems are on in the house. I climb in bed and quickly check on my phone/computer/tablet to see if anything needs to be adjusted. I would highly recommend these thermostats if you can get beyond any issues similar to what I experienced.
Nest is a Solidly Smart Thermostat
First, let me point out that it is "Okay to ask for Directions". Nest phone support is the most professional I've used, slightly edging out Apple with the ability to send screenshots to the support person. We called nest support during setup when I overrode common sense and connected the Orange "O" wire to every potential other than the "O" over "B" connector. Support was very quick to see my issue when I sent them the photo of my old thermostat's wiring. You did take a picture of the old thermostat wiring, right?
Anyway, after wiring, I began tracking and micromanaging the Nest to squeeze the optimum temperature control for our system. I have to say we are extremely impressed with this thermostat. Basically, for the first winter in 5 years here our heat pump is operating without beating itself to death. In addition, for the first time ever our home seems evenly conditioned without cold and warm spots. Note: no other changes were made to our vents or system.
Micromanaging: The first day with the Nest installed was really cold and the thermostat brought on both the outside unit and the AUX heat to get us up to speed to the requested temperature. I decided that a stair-step approach might be easier to achieve so I set 2-degree bumps in the morning an hour apart to ease us to our daytime comfort temp. That worked out so efficiently that the second tier was reduced to a 1-degree bump and we settled for a daytime number that was one degree cooler than our old Carrier thermostat ran at. Because the home seems so evenly conditioned, the lower temp seems warmer than the drafty conditions we had before. Run time has dropped from 10.5hrs to 2.25hrs (one day was 1.75hrs).
My advice is to spend some quality time with your Nest and you'll soon feel as if the system that controls your environment just got upgraded from cattle car to a subtle and austere control of luxury accommodations. All we wanted was a little more control, but we're getting the impression that we have gotten a lot more than we could have asked for.
It's only been a month, so I'll add to this review as time goes on, but I thought there were some little tidbits that might help others make the best out of their thermostat choices.
The build quality of the Nest is second to none I've seen. The resolution of the display makes it easy to fully appreciate all details of how your system is operating. Interacting with the device is both smooth and elegant.
Our system is a heat pump with an auxiliary heat unit (that was handled as Emergency Heat by the old thermostat). The Nest 2nd Gen. handles these two heating systems as a tandem unit magically intertwining their operation to deliver a noticeably more comfortable home thru out, and that's saying something because we didn't think it was uncomfortable before (guess it was).
The replaced thermostat came with the Carrier Puron system back in 2005. The old operating characteristics of the heat pump was much more erratic with starts and fits during it's reversing cycles, a clicking noise that came from the thermostat when it activated or deactivated, and uneven heating thru out the house. The original setup always seemed to really struggle to the point that I purchased a spare capacitor for when it would fail under duress. All that has changed to the well-oiled potential that we always knew it should have been.
With the Nest, the heat pump and E-heat units act in near silent operation. That quiet running without a sense of straining by itself makes the purchase worth every penny.
Take the time to configure the online account and iPad app, then go through every setting and scheduling choice you can think of. BTW: scheduling can be copied and pasted I learned the hard way, and the Nest Sense Setting "Early On" does work with heat as well as cooling showing "Pre-Heating" ahead of the temperature bump.
Oh yeah, personally, I don't mind that the Nest doesn't wake up every single time I get near it. I mean, it is a hall. Anything more lively and it would seem needy for attention. The amount of attention it asks for is what I would expect from a professionally designed device.
UPDATE: Still going strong.
Home is so comfortable that we have not hung our insulated drapes used in previous winters. If our electrical consumption doesn't go up a lot, I would say that the Nest is running at a savings because the insulated drapes had saved us a ton in the past. We like having more light so it would be an easy trade off.
Beautiful and Functional
I just sat down from installing this. So far I am pleased. The packaging is simple, frustration-free, and esthetic. It comes with the thermostat unit itself, the wall mount that has an included level (I thought this was just fluff, but it would be difficult to level a circle without it), a metal mount if needed, a white rectangular backplate if you are covering up an unpainted area, and a screwdriver with 4 different heads that store themselves in the handle.
Installation was really easy. It took a little longer for me because I actually spackled and painted after I took my old thermostat off. Since half of the appeal for me is the Nest's design, I declined taking a shortcut and using the backplate, although that is an option and the part looks well made. The screws are long and driving them into the wall without anchors was adequate for me, although one was a little too long so I used one of my own. The installation instructions include little tags to label your wires. After plugging in your wires, you pop the main unit on top.
The build and feel of this thermostat is top notch. It feels like real glass on the front, but it may be plastic, hard to tell. The sides are real metal. The turning is smooth and effortless. Pressing on the unit to select menu options produces a solid click. I didn't have the 1st generation, but I like the very minimal, seamless, and slim design.
After putting the front part on, it turns on, detects your wireless, you type in your password (with the scroll wheel, it isn't too bad), it detects an update, takes a few minutes to load it, and you are in business. Setup is pretty easy. The menus are clear and self explanatory. Go to nest.com/account and you can then set up a free account. The website automatically detects that a Nest is on your network and a prompt pops up on the thermostat to add it to your account. Once done, you can access the nest with your account on the web or in the apps.
My experience beyond this is limited since I just installed it. I enabled the early-on feature so that when I set it to 74 degrees at 6AM it is actually 74 degrees AT 6AM, not just starting to heat up at that time. I also went online and added the morning temperatures for the whole week (when we wake up is pretty consistent and I'd rather it not have to "learn" this on its own). One thing I did read that may be helpful is that temperature change points set manually are not altered by the self learning, while points it learns itself can be altered as they change.
Finally, when contemplating this purchase, I found a dearth of information on actual usage and savings. News outlets covered this product extensively when it first came out, and plenty of people reviewed it, but I couldn't find a single solid review showing what it had actually done to one's energy bill. However, Nest itself has a very good white paper on this very topic. If you go to nest.com/press and scroll to the end, there are two white papers. The one I looked at is titled "Efficiency Simulation White Paper." I'm not positive on the specifics of whether it uses actual data or simply modeled data, but the paper goes over potential savings in a variety of climates (picked by different model cities). Given this data for my area (the northeast), the fact that my prior thermostat is non-programmable and we do not set it back manually, and the fact that according to the paper most of the savings comes from the heating portion of the thermostat (we only have heating hooked up to the thermostat), it seems like I will potentially recoup the cost in one winter.
Overall, I've been pleased with the product given my limited experience with it. If esthetics are important to you and you do not have a programmable thermostat, the Nest seems to be the best option (if not only option judging by how other thermostats look). If esthetics are not important to you, you already have a programmable thermostat, or you are looking at other programmable ones and are committed to actually programming them, and cost is a concern, there may be others to consider. However, for me this was a good purchase. Hope this was helpful! Feel free to reply if you have any questions. I'll update this review if there are any new developments.
Great if your house is properly wired for it
I think this is a very cool gadget and I am happy with it thus far for the month I've had it. However it recently died on me, turns out the battery died. SO upon further research, the problem is that this thermostat like many other high end stats need "C" wire to run properly usually Blue. Most homes esp older ones dont have that because older thermostats didn't need it. Nest fails to mention that and claims it will run fine off the 4 wires. To do this it must charge during the time heat/ac is running if you dont run it enough it has to perform short burst of off/on which for my new furnace which responds fast it not good as i can hear it making sounds sometimes. Maybe for older ones that there is lag. However this is not safe for your equipment. I am planning on running a C wire to give this the proper power it needs to run.
SO i give it 3 stars because Nest should make that more known, and instead they made me waste hours on tech support doing elementary tests and blaming that maybe its my router. NO its your equipment that you are you trying to run in a way that it is not intended to run.
I don't want to go through hassle of returning and no matter what other wifi stat you get, need that C wire so I will just run new wiring. This will allow me to actually put Nest in better room so it can use the motion detection better. I will leave old stat in old place as back up stat incase nest dies I can just reuse the other one.
Since adding C wire Nest runs great, zero wifi issues or charging issues. Has been great so reducing my energy usage. auto away is great since most of the time not thinking about it. The one feature I dont like and i will have to turn off is the auto learn, the nest is super easy to program via your phone or PC. auto learn just seems to come on at wrong times. Its so easy to whip out your phone and change the temp that I'd rather just control it myself so that feature got turned off. overall working great. My review is still 3 Stars to reflect their poor tech support and advising the consumer of potential problems with out C wire.
Nest has continued to run flawlessly. I did turn off the auto learn feature as it didnt suit our household and i have my cell on me so i can easily change when needed. upping my rating to 4 stars.
So I made it through a Chicago winter without any problems once i wired it properly. I like it better with the Auto Learn feature off, and i just control with my cell phone if i need to change. The auto away feature which i do like a lot, for some reason isn't as quick anymore. Seemed like at first it would pick on on it pretty quick that no one is home and now i'll leave for few hours and come back and it never went into auto away. I also will support other claims that motion sensor isn't very sensitive sometimes i have to stand in front of it for few sec to have it come on. I will write a final update come fall, after I see how it performs in summer w/ AC. Overall I still recommend it and if it performs great in summer i will up my review.
Have tested out the summer features, I like how it will blow the fan after AC shuts off to still push air over cold coils and get some extra free AC out of it. It has a fan feature that will keep fan going as well, but it doesn't have whole lot of control over it so i'm not liking that feature to much. But over all this thing is great, decided to up my rating to 5stars and overlook their poor instructions. Honestly its one of those gadgets that you really don't need, but once you get it, not sure how you can live with out it. I will do one more update on the 1yr anniversary for final verdict after year of use.
Has worked perfectly and I couldn't imagine not having it. There are few products that I label a must have and this is one of them. This will be my last update as by now i think my feelings about this product are evident enough.
Love the thermostat BUT watch out for OnlineShopDealer Warehouse Deals - Hacking Tips
All the positive reviews about the thermostat are true, it's great I've installed three of them in elderly parent's homes. Super easy for them to use and adjust them.
OnlineShopDealer Warehouse deals which sells returned Nest's needs to work on their Q/A process.
One thermostat was brand new - hadn't been opened.
The second thermostat clearly had been setup. That's not the issue, but wiring stickers were missing from the installation guide. Since I had installed two already, not a big deal but if you're new to it or not mechanically inclined this could be an issue.
The other problem was the device was still registered to the prior owner. This manifested itself two ways.
1. The battery was drained so when I setup the device it wasn't able to connect to the internet. So it was totally setup and learning for about 24 hours before I researched that you can rapidly recharge the thermostat by using a microusb cord.
2. Once the wireless worked and I went to register the device it came back up as linked to the previous buyer. I tried a full reset to defaults and this did not work. Next step was to call Nest, who answered quickly. He told me to re-try the reset to defaults and this time it worked.
If you buy one from OnlineShopDealer Warehouse Deals - do the following if package has been opened.
1. Open up the device and charge it with the USB cable for a couple hours.
2. If the device is already setup, do two or three hard reset to defaults.
I currently have a first and second generation nest in my house. One on each floor. These things are great. They remind you to change out your air filter if you have one, which believe it or not helps alot. It makes an auto-schedule base on your first 6 days or so of use. It will continue to change your schedule in the future, but is smart about it. It will only make a change if it detects a consistent change on the same days around the same time.
The mobile feature is my favorite part. When we leave the house for hours at a time, I can put the whole system into away mode, which is a setting that you setup during the initial installation. It will also automatically go into away mode when it does not detect any movement for a certain amount of time. If you have two nests, they talk to each other for even smarter sensing for auto-away.
I also like being able to see how long I ran my heating system each day. I am on liquid propane so it is very nice for me to be able to see exactly how long each zone ran each day.
My one caution to buyers would be to check the nest support page and make sure your wireless router is not one of the few not supported by nest. I originally had a Netgear WNDR3800 Premium Edition. While the nests could connect to it fine, the router would kick them off the network after a half hour of inactivity. The nests go into a sleep mode after 30 minutes of not being used so it can charge its battery. Some routers kick traffic off when they go into sleep mode. I ended up buying a new router because of this. Every time I would try and remotely access my thermostats, it would show question marks. Real annoying.
Only thing I can say is Wow. I have already saved enough $$$ to have paid for this. With such a busy schedule and kids running around always messing with the temperature, it's great to have something like this. The best feature for me is accessing it from my iPhone. A must have if you have a busy schedule and want to save some electricity $$$