reply to PhoenixDown
Re: Nest & Tracking Heating Effeciency I replaced my 2 year old 3M Filtrete wifi thermostat with a Nest last month. Both offered wifi connectivity, but the Nest blows it away with usability and "smartness"
The old Filtrete did a good job of turning on and off my furnace at four different times during the day. I could program it from my iPad, iPhone or computer. I set it to go on a 6 AM, it went on at 6AM. I told it to go off at 8 AM, it went off at 8 or if the temp was reached.
Now, the Nest is a whole different breed of thermostat. First, looks.....it looks like those old round thermostats mom and dad had in their house for years. Except it is polished stainless steel.....with a color LCD screen. All you do to use it is turn it, or lightly press it to make things happen. It is expensive and feels like it, not a cheap feel at all.
You can wire in the new Nest and start using it right away. Simply go to it when you want the heat up, and then go back and turn it down when you want it down. After a week or so, it learns your patterns and sets a schedule. Or you can use the Nest itself to set a schedule, or your iPhone, or iPad, or computer browser.....you get the idea. I see there is an Android app too, but I have never used it.
Now here is where the sweetness comes in. It learns that you want the house at 68 degrees when you wake up at 6AM. Well, during the week before, Nest was monitoring your temps as the boiler was on, and took note of how long it takes your house to warm up. So the second week, the heat might kick on at 5:15 in what it calls "preheat mode". When your feet hit the floor at 6:00AM, the house is already warm. I sed to have to guess how long it took for my house to warm in the morning so it would be warm when my wife got up earlier than me for work.....no more guessing. We just tell it when we want it to be a certain temp, it does the rest.
Another thing Nest does is it monitors your outside temp over the internet (You told it your zip code when you installed it). It sees that the temps are really cold outside tonight, so it may need to turn the heat on sooner.
Each day you can log in with your devices to see how many hours your boiler was being used, and at what time. It shows a 24 hour bar graph detailing when your boiler was on and off. We had a few days of warmer weather here in NJ, and it even noted that decreased use of boiler was due to unseasonably warm weather.
I have yet to receive a monthly report, as I have only had mine installed for three weeks (My wife got it for me for Christmas...yes, she knows me pretty well).
One neat thing I noticed yesterday is when you go up to the thermostat and raise the temperature, is the Nest displays the current temp, your setting, and some text detailing how long it thinks the house will take to warm to the new temperature.
If you have specific questions, let me know.....I will be happy to share what I know. I love my toys, and this is one really neat toy.