Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for good design. It’s one of the many reasons I love brands like Apple and Ikea. I’m also pretty into saving money and being “green”. For a few years I’ve been lusting after Nest. If you aren’t familiar, Nest is a wi-fi enabled learning thermostat. It learns your habits to program itself, adjusts when you’re gone and is controllable from your smartphone. Amazon and Home Depot consumers both rate it at 4.5 stars and Lowes consumers rate it at 5 stars. BUT the 3rd generation Nest costs $249. I know it is supposed to save you money but, Ouch! Luckily, our new energy company offered Nest as an incentive to switch to their services. Sign me up!

It took something like 6 weeks but the Nest was shipped to our door. I received an email letting me know it had shipped. The same email also included an instructional installation video and a number to call if I’d rather have them install it. After watching the video I felt confident that installing this thing was in my skill set.

Here are the Cliffs Notes:

What’s in the box: Your Nest. A built in level… genius! A small (and very straight forward) instruction booklet that also has the wire labels inside. 4 screws. A small (and very ergonomic) screwdriver… but I found that using my trusty drill was quite fast. An optional (see 3.5 below) mounting plate.

You may also need: A drill. It’s just faster. Wire strippers in the case that your wires need to be trimmed, straightened or stripped (about a half inch). A glass of wine… because you’ll have plenty of time left over to enjoy it!

According to the video and manual… I did the following:

***I turned off power to my HVAC system before beginning.***

1– Remove the front plate of your old thermostat. Take phone for later reference for where wires are placed.

2– Remove screws and release the old thermostat’s mounting plate. (PS- check out that great vintage green textured wall paper.  I kind of wish it was still here.)

3– Use provided label stickers to label wires accordingly. Photo from step one may be helpful.

3.5 (optional)- If desired, install provided mounting plate. I chose to use it because there were holes and blemishes left from previous equipment that I didn’t care to fill. Well that, and the fact that I had just used the last of the hall color to custom mix a new wall color for the bathroom.

4- Mount Nest using the screws provided. Lucky me dropped one in a vent and had to scrounge up a spare drywall screw from the pit of doom garage.

5- Connect wires to coordinating chambers on the nest. Do so by pressing the button, inserting wire and then releasing button (which tightens the chamber to secure wires in place).

6– Snap Nest in place. It literally clicks into place!

7– Follow prompts on the Nest screen to connect to your wi-fi network, confirm location of thermostat in your home, test each system. It walks you through everything. Just scroll by turning the outer ring of the Nest like a knob and make selections by gently pressing on the outer ring.

8– Download the Nest app onto your smartphone (multiple users are allowed!). Follow prompts to create an account/login and connect the app to your Nest.

Done. That easy. I think I spent about 20 minutes installing it. But I did end up with a little mess. Bonus: O has been walking around with the old thermostat pretending it is a phone, ipad, walkie talkie, gameboy and a remote. WHO NEEDS TOYS!?

Cool stuff the Nest does:

It goes dark and turns off the display when not in use, when you walk away etc.

When you walk by the Nest it senses you , “wakes up” and displays the current setting, current inside temperature.

When heating, the display is orange. When cooling, it is blue. If no system is running it is black.

When set to an energy saving temperature, a green leaf is displayed.

You can review settings from previous days and schedule settings differently for every single day of the month if you want. Both can be done from the Nest display or from your smartphone.

The Nest will record how long your HVAC system ran each day. You can look back to see settings, when settings were changed and when the system turned on from the Nest and your smartphone.

The Nest displays the date, time, current outdoor temp, current local weather, current indoor temp and humidity  level.

The Nest can be programmed, changed and monitored from the app. Going out of town? Turn it off from your phone. Heading home? Turn it on before you arrive.

Nest makes other intuitive home products too… home monitoring cameras, CO2 and smoke alarms.

It has only been a few days so there is no telling if we’ve actually saved energy or money just yet but I plan to report back.


* I am not affiliated with Nest, Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon or any other brands referenced in this post. None of these links are affiliate links. I have not been compensated financially or with goods or services in exchange for my post, opinions or views expressed here.*

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