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April 5th 2012 11:04 am

Is it worth it if you already have a decent programmable Thermostat

Now that these are $250 from Nest I really want one. Problem is . . Can I justify it? I currently have a programmable thermostat that I got with a new heat pump just last year. It is a nice Honeywell RTH8500D unit that is a full 7 Day set. It works fine and I have no complaints. The new energy savings features they rolled out today for the Nest look appealing though. So is the NEST worth the large price premium? Will it ever pay for itself considering I already have a nice programmable unit? Thoughts?

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You will certainly have some savings over your current unit because there will be times the Nest realizes you are out (via the motion sensor) and will go into away mode that your current unit can't do. (You can turn off this feature, of course, but if you have the unit mounted in an area you walk by periodically, you should consider keeping it on.) However, it may be a long payback period if you already have a programmable unit and you've got it reasonably configured.

I'd say forget about the payback period and just buy it because it is cool (the first time you are warm and lower the temperature manually using your iPhone while sitting on the couch is awesome!) and looks fantastic compared to the fugly units usually installed.
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You won't save any money, so only buy it if:
1) You like the design (who doesn't) that much.
2) Gonna use the wifi/Nest Mobile app alot.
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It depends on how you use your Honeywell. Setting a 7 day week schedule is fine, but do you currently change the settings on days you are home? or vice versa if you aren't?

If you are actively using the Honeywell and not just relying on the schedule you set then the Nest is probably comparable, the only difference being you don't have to manually change things. (AKA - set it away when you leave the house, tell it when you arrive back home, raise it when you get home un-expectantly, etc) If you have set the Honeywell, and then just sorta leave it (or just raise the temperature when you are home) then the Nest will indeed save you some energy. Or if you are like me and have a programable thermostat that was set years ago then you will definitely get your money's worth.

The Nest offers sensors for auto away, which in itself will save you over time. It doesn't appear the RTH8500D has any sensors. It's almost worth it just for that auto away feature alone. It also has a good internet set of remote apps (Android, iOS, and the web) that allows for control even when not home. This allows for remote viewing, and control over your home (so you can see if the house is getting a bit too hot or cold for some reason, or raise/lower the temp when heading home). ( shameless plug - did review of just the 2.0 remote apps @ tasel.wordpress.com­/2012­/04­/05­/nest­-2­-0­-web­-ios­-an... )

For those with great programable thermostats that lack motion sensors & internet control, the Nest is still a great buy.
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No - it is not worth the price premium. People will tell you to buy it because it's cool. It is - that's the reason to buy it - that's the reason I bought mine. It might pay for itself over time, but unless you're a pretty incompetent homeowner who can't figure out how to program your current device (my litmus test: can you identify the model of your current thermostat? you passed :)) then you should buy one of these because it looks great and you think you'll impress people by showing them that you can set your thermostat from your phone.
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If you live somewhere temperate, turn off your heater and air conditioner, get a sweater and a nice Hawaiian shirt. If you don't live somewhere nice (intemperate?), get up and change the thermostat and room ventilation as needed. Personal comfort is not a simple matter of air temperature. Being too busy or lazy to see to your most basic need for homeostasis is a bad sign. (She slept with the window open, I slept with the window closed, good by good by good by)
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