One of our goals for the new house (I might have to stop calling it that soon having been here over 3 months now), anyway, one of our goals for this house was to make it Smart. Josh loves technology… its his thing, so any new gadget or toy, he wants it. If you can control it by talking to it or from your phone or by syncing it to something else, he’s gotta have it. But of course Smart technology is supposed to be exactly that, smart, clever, useful, so you can see his point for wanting it I suppose. We are slowly adding more Smart tech to our home, so im going to be blogging about the different pieces and sharing with you their benefits and whether I think they’re truly useful or, just a gimmick to suck in tech lovers.
One of the first pieces of Smart tech we really wanted to get in the no longer new, new house was a Nest Learning Thermostat. We had wanted one in the flat but it wasn’t compatible with our boiler without spending some serious money first, so we patiently waited and it was one of the first priorities for the new house.
For those that don’t know, the Nest Learning Thermostat replaces your traditional thermostat and allows you to control your heating and hot water from your phone. Its called ‘Learning’ because it learns your routine, like what times of day you increase or decrease the temperature, when you leave the house so the heating can be turned down, that sort of thing. We have been using the Nest Thermostat for about two months now and I do really love it and think its a great piece of Smart tech that more people should invest in. Here are my favourite features:
Set a detailed daily schedule - This was one of the main reasons we wanted to get a Nest Thermostat, because it allows you to set a different schedule each day for your heating and hot water. On weekends we get up later than during the week, so we wanted to have the heating and hot water set to come on a different times on those day days, which our traditional thermostat didn’t allow. It also has a feature called True Radiant, where it learns how long your home takes to heat up, so that it can turn the heating on early enough for your house to be toasty and warm by the time you get out of bed - dreamy.
Shows your daily energy usage - This feature is amazing. The Nest app lets you check your energy history for each day, so you can see how much heating you use. It also lets you know useful details about why you’ve used more heating, like ‘the day’s weather caused energy usage above the weekly average’. Equally, if you use less than usual it tells you, such as ‘Eco temperature helped you save energy’. I pretty much make it my goal to get it to say this most days, because first up, its better for the environment and secondly… it’s cheaper, and who doesn't love a cheaper gas bill? In the nerdiest way possible, it's pretty satisfying to see how much difference adjusting your heating by just one degree can make to your energy usage.
Learns when you leave the house - This clever little feature uses your phones location services to monitor when you’re away from your house, and adjusts the temperature of the heating accordingly. You set an ‘Eco’ temperature (ours is 16 degrees) that it drops down to when you’re not at home, meaning you’re not wasting gas and money heating up an empty house to higher temperatures.
Do it all from your phone - Have you ever been on holiday and got back late at night only to walk into a freezing cold house, and realise you don’t have any hot water because its been off for a week, and all you desperately want is a shower? Or worse, gone on holiday and realised you’ve left it all turned on unnecessarily for the week. With the Nest, you can control both the hot water and heating from your phone, and turn it on or off at the click of a button from anywhere. I love the comforting feeling of being able to control simple elements of my home from anywhere at any time.
That was only a brief overview of what you can do with a Nest Thermostat and my favourite features of it so far. You can also connect it in with Alexa, it connects with our Nest Protect (smoke alarm) and it looks bloody cute and comes in a range of colours! But the key point is, having it really does make life that little bit easier, and it gives you a really great awareness of your energy consumption, which, after all is very important and would make David happy.
We have also been trialling the Nest Hello, which I will talk about in my next blog post!
Do you have any pieces of Smart tech you love in your home? Let me know in the comments below!
(This post was in collaboration with Nest, who kindly gifted this product)