A few years ago our local electric company was offering a $100 instant rebate on Nest thermostats. As a technology guy and someone who didn’t particularly care for our cheap builder grade thermostat, I decided to finally buy one. I had been looking at them for some time, but never wanted to pay $250 for a thermostat.
Overall we have been happy with our purchase as it introduced a few key advantages over our existing unit. The ability to remotely change the temperature of your home and the ease of setting a schedule were two of the biggest advantages I noticed after using a Nest.
While I enjoyed having the Nest thermostat, I was also jealous of another product. The ecobee thermostat had one major feature the Nest lacked. The ecobee had the ability to use remote temperature sensors. This gave you the ability to use the temperature in another room to perform heating/cooling instead of the temperature in the room that happened to house the thermostat.
In our home, the thermostat for our downstairs unit was in the kitchen. Particularly while cooking, the temperature in the kitchen is several degrees warmer compared to the rest of the house. This higher temperature causes the air conditioner to run and keeps other parts of the house cooler than we like. With the release of the Nest Temperature Sensor, I finally have the ecobee feature I’ve wanted.
Nest Temperature Sensor
The Nest Temperature Sensor is a small white puck that can be placed on a flat surface or hung on a wall using the cutout on the back. It operates over Bluetooth LE so the sensor must be within Bluetooth range of your thermostat. It has a user replaceable battery that Nest says will last up to two years.
Setup is very easy with the Nest app. You connect it by adding a new product to your profile by scanning the barcode included on the pullout tab located on the unit. Once you add the temperature sensor to your Nest profile, you tell the thermostat to use the temperature from the sensor instead of the temperature from the thermostat. Nest has a good support page that walks you through the entire process here. You can also set a schedule of when you want to use the sensor temperature. This is useful if you want to use both the sensor temperature and thermostat temperature depending on the time of day. This is how we use the sensor.
Our home has been using the temperature sensor for close to a year now and I feel it was a good purchase. We placed the sensor in our living room, which is generally a few degrees cooler than our kitchen. While cooking, the air conditioner has stayed off as the temperature has risen in the kitchen yet remained comfortable in other parts of our home. Also, the cooler temperature in the living room has kept the air conditioning off longer while we are at work. The sensor is doing exactly what I hoped it would do.
The Nest Temperature Sensor costs $39 for one or $99 for a three pack. In our home we are using just a single sensor. It’s difficult to predict exact cost savings with the variability of our electricity bill, but I feel confident the purchase will be a money saver in the long run. I have definitely noticed the air conditioner staying off when it would come on before. If you are a Nest user and have a need for this product, I can recommend it.