Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

The iPod of Thermostats Gets an Update

Photo courtesy of NEST

The NEST learning thermostat has some big updates and is back on sale.

In December, a new thermostat came on the market. This normally wouldn’t be exciting news, but in this case the device — called Nest — was from some of the same designers behind the iPod, and the new thermostat promised to “learn” your habits and program itself. (You can read our earlier story on the Nest here.)

The product was such a success it quickly sold out (despite a $250 price tag). Today the company announced it’s back on sale, and has two innovative updates to its software:

  • A feature called AirWave, which maximizes the perfomance of your air conditioner, a feature that would be welcome in the hot, dry Texas summers. As the Nest website explains, “after your air conditioner turns off, it stays cold for awhile, just like your ice cream stays cold after it comes out of the freezer. Airwave stops your air-conditioner early, then uses the fan to spread cold air from your turned-off compressor through your home.”
  • You can now see a 10-day view of your energy history that shows you when your system was on and how weather, adjustments or being away from your home changed your energy use.

Gadget guide Harry McCracken applauds the new features. “I still think that Nest has a shot at helping to set off a revolution at least as important as the one launched by the iPod,” he says. You can read some thoughts on the new updates over at Time’s Techland blog.



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