A Little Energy Geekiness and Just in Time for Christmas!
As an energy geek, I love my toys. I have a lot of energy saving toys like a thermal imaging camera, hygrometers, smoke sticks, home energy monitors, and a combustion analyzer to name a few. I love playing with my toys. The home energy monitor is a great toy to teach you how to save money because it shows you what you are pulling off the grid in real time. My monitor is from TED (The Energy Detective) and it cost me about $200 a few years back. It came with some great software that allows me to hook it up to my computer and produce some graphs. I have one qualm with my monitor and that is that my computer has to be up and running in order to use the graphing portion of the software. That means it has to be up and running, which means it is on even though I am not using it. In other words, I am wasting energy to save energy.
I have found a solution to my problem, and just in time for Christmas! And, of course, it is from Apple. Apple has proven itself as a company that completely changes the playing field in whatever field it chooses to enter, whether that is music, computers or cell phones. Now Apple is indirectly completely changing the field of thermostats.
Two former employees of Apple, Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell, have teamed up together to use the same type of engineering design that they learned at Apple and apply it to the field of energy conservation with their new firm NEST. The NEST Learning Thermostat has all of the features that make Apple products so appealing to the masses. It is simple, incredibly user friendly (something not many people say about their thermostat) and the best part is that it’s software is upgradable over time. That means that this already incredible thermostat will do even more in the future which is mind boggling to think about.
The design of the thermostat is a simple circular touch screen with no other buttons, very reminiscent of the original iPods with the single circular button controls. To raise or lower the temperature in the house you just grab the outside of the round thermostat and turn clockwise or counter-clockwise. Each time you make an adjustment the thermostat remembers what day of the week and time of the day that you made the change to learn what your preferences are for particular days and times. No actual programming on your part. No endless series of menus to flip through to simply change the temperature for Saturday morning at 8 a.m. This is sheer brilliance.
To make it even better, the thermostat has a little green leaf that appears on the circular face to tell you when you have made a selection that will help you save money. Nothing like a little feedback to help you make better choices. This amazing little device is also equipped with an occupancy sensor which knows when you are coming and going so it can make adjustments to the temperature for you. It even learns at what time you typically go to bed and makes adjustments for that as well.
Have guests coming in from out of town in the middle of the day and need to warm things up at your house for them? No problem. Just access your NEST thermostat from your cell phone or office computer and change the temperature remotely. You have a nice cozy house to greet your guests and you didn’t have to run home to do it.
But the greatest feature of all, this thing is a mini energy monitor without the hard wired computer connection
I love things that help me save money. I especially like devices that save me money without even having to think about it ( Nest claims 30 % on your energy bills). Check out the video for yourself at www.nest.com. I know you will be impressed, I sure was. These things can be preordered now for $250 and Best Buy will begin shipping them next month. So, you think there will be people lining up at midnight to get new thermostats like they do for Apple cell phones? I think I might just have to do that.