Over the better part of this decade, Nest has become one of the best known smart home manufacturers. What started as an idea between 2 former Apple employees to change the modern thermostat has branched out into something much bigger. Acquired by Google in 2014, Nest now boasts multiple products in its arsenal for both inside and outside your home. This blog explores existing Nest smart home products and how they can benefit your home.
It only takes one app
One of the nice things about aligning with a single manufacturer for all of your basic home automation needs is that you don’t have to install multiple apps to control each little thing. There’s only one app that links together every part of your Nest home ecosystem, which means that no matter what you’ve bought for your home, as long as it has that familiar logo on it, you just need the Nest App to run and maintain it.
It all starts with the Nest Learning Thermostat
The most well known Nest product is the Learning Thermostat. First released in 2011, the original Nest Learning Thermostat is now in its 3rd main generation. Over the past 7 years, Nest has found a way to adapt to the changing needs of its customer base. Nest was one of the first companies to offer a smart thermostat that ran on 2 wire heating systems. While most of the competition required a 24 volt 3 wire system (more common with those that have dual heating/AC systems in their homes), Nest was one of the first major companies (along with Honeywell) that adapted their setup to work with a 2 wire / heating only system. The 3rd generation of the Nest thermostat is now compatible for use (at Nest’s estimations) in 95% of homes.
The beauty in Nest’s thermostats is no longer that they can be controlled by a smart device (though that’s cool too), but that they take the time to learn about your home heating habits and adapt to them automatically. As you begin to program settings into your new thermostat, it will learn more about your needs, and eventually it’ll even work hand-in-hand with the app so that it will know when you’re at home or away and whether or not you need the place heated. This way you can keep from unnecessarily heating your home and running up those bills to keep an empty house warm.
Nest even has temperature sensors that team with the thermostat to ensure that you’re heating the right rooms when you need them to be warm (i.e., the kids rooms / master bedrooms) and not just every room in the house.
If you want something a little bit more dialed down and contemporary, the Nest Learning Thermostat E features a much more modern look, and a frosted look to blend better with home decor. Before you commit to either thermostat, however, be sure that you check for compatibility. As I mentioned above, the original thermostat works with about 95% of homes. The Nest E works with slightly less than that.
Nest has been so confident in the thermostat’s ability to master your heating needs that they’ve often said that you should save enough money on your heating bills to basically pay for the thermostat within a couple of years.
Keeping your Family Safe with Nest Protect
The Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector will quickly become one of the most important things in your home. This detector is a smart one, capable of distinguishing the difference between smoke and steam, and even what’s minor or major. In cases of a minor incident, it will send an alert to your smartphone advising you to look after whatever is happening. If it progresses and gets worse, however, alarms will blare and it will alert you to let you know exactly what is going on. You can even hush the alarm directly from your phone if it goes off when all you’ve done is, say, burned dinner and don’t want Nest to tell your neighbours you’re a bad cook.
Best of all, if you partner this with the learning thermostat, they can communicate back and forth to shut your furnace off automatically to help stop a leak at the source if that’s the culprit.
Depending on how your smoke detectors are hooked up, you can purchase the Nest Protect in either a hard wired option or one that runs on batteries. If you choose the latter, Nest has a thoughtful sensor on the device itself that alerts you to its remaining battery life rather than the world we’re used to today: The smoke detector starts chirping at 3:30 AM and you run out of bed to try to fix it only to be greeted by your excited cat thinking you’re awake and serenading your entire home with the song of his people. We’ve all been there. Thanks for looking after us Nest.
While some of your smart home products may be built to last for a generation, remember that carbon monoxide and smoke alarms only have a temporary shelf life before they must be replaced. In this case, the CO2 sensors in the Nest Protect have a 10 year life span, so look to replace your devices that often.
Keeping your home safe with Nest Security Products
In addition to thermostats and detectors, Nest has a full line of security products for inside and outside of your home.
When Nest purchased Dropcam in 2014, they became fully invested in smart security. One camera has turned into multiple, and they’ve even turned to smart locks and doorbells.
First, for your front door, there is the Nest x Yale Smart Lock system, as well as the Nest Hello Video Doorbell. When Yale entered the home smart lock market a couple of years ago, they tried things that no other smart lock manufacturer had done till then. One of those ideas was a completely bump-proof key-free smart lock. Nest clearly took note because that’s exactly what the Nest x Yale smart lock is. There are no keyholes to be seen. Nest x Yale is a completely keyless entry system that can be activated through your smart devices or manually through the illuminated touch pad. If you or the kids leave the house and forget to lock the door, Nest x Yale will even remind you to do it before leaving.
Hello is Nest’s entry into the smart doorbell market. With a camera that provides an HD portrait-style view of the front door, it picks up whenever somebody rings the bell or walks into view and notifies you to take a quick look or speak with whoever is waiting. Featuring two-way communication and even the ability to archive video through the Nest Aware subscription, Hello always keeps a keen eye on your front door even when you aren’t paying attention.
Then there are the security cameras. First, there are the Nest Indoor Cameras. These cameras follow the spirit of their predecessor Dropcam. The original Nest Indoor Wi-Fi Camera has withstood the test of time and continues to be one of the best IP camera options out there. With 1080p recording, a 130 degree wide-angle lens, and 8x optical zoom, Nest Cam records in crystal clear resolution and sends you alerts so that you don’t miss a single thing. Night vision sensors guarantee clear recording no matter what time of day it is, and, finally, you can create an entire network of Nest Cams in your house (not just one) to be your eyes and ears when you are not around.
There is also the more robust Nest IQ cam. The Nest IQ camera takes the features of the Nest Cam to the next level, featuring 4K recording, a 12x digital zoom, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and even a facial recognition feature.
Both Indoor Nest Cams also partner with the other Nest products mentioned above. Your Nest Cam turns on automatically when your Nest Thermostat senses you’re away, and it can even start recording automatically in the event of an emergency picked up by your Nest Protect.
There are also Nest Cams for outside of your home. The Nest Cam Wi-Fi Outdoor Camera offers many of the features its indoor version does while holding an IP65 weatherproofing rating, having password protected livestream capabilities, and a “sightline” feature that allows you to quickly scan through your day’s footage with the push of a button.
Much like its indoor version, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Camera also features 4K recording technology and that same 12x digital zoom while carrying the features of the regular Nest Cam. However, you also get the added benefit of better facial recognition, a tamper resistant housing, and an IP66 weatherproof rating. It sounds like a small weatherproofing uptick compared to the Nest Cam, but it means that it has withstood higher pressures and more concentrated water jet testing by comparison.
Tying all of these together is Nest Aware, a paid subscription service that allows you to store up to 30 days worth of footage at a time. With a Nest Aware subscription, you can get a little bit more out of your security hardware, including alerts and recordings within your activity zones, and even facial recognition capabilities for your repeat visitors.
Don’t forget Works with Nest and Voice Assistants
While this blog was mainly to talk about Nest’s products and what they can bring to your home, no mention of Nest would be complete without mentioning Works with Nest. My colleague Leo Bond did a fantastic job talking about Works with Nest a couple of weeks ago in this blog. His blog also ties in how Nest products work with voice activation like Alexa or Google Assistant. I also wrote about some other products that Work with Nest earlier on in the year, and you can read all about them by following the link.
That’s a look at Nest’s products and how they can benefit your home. The full suite of Nest smart home products is now available at your local Best Buy store and online at BestBuy.ca. Are you already a Nest user and want to share your experiences? Please comment below.
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