Google is looking to a new generation of smart homes with the launch of its latest generation of Google Nest Thermostat. It marks ten years since the first (pre-Google) Nest Thermostat brought home automation to an audience beyond James Bond movie villains and offers more features at a lower price. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is it?
It’s just called the Google Nest Thermostat — not to be confused with the original Nest Thermostat or last year’s Nest Thermostat E.
What does it do?
If you’re a complete smart home novice, then welcome! This new model is aimed at you. (Though it also contains some new features for the stalwarts, too). Essentially, a Google Nest Thermostat replaces your existing ‘dumb’ thermostat, allowing you to control and programme your heating and HVAC cooling systems from your phone.
It can be controlled manually via the on-screen display, through the Google Home app, or by voice with Google Assistant. But its real power comes from its ability to make intelligent decisions that go way beyond making your house a certain temperature at a certain time. Using an array of sensors, it can look at whether you’re actually in the house to enjoy the climate, and even detect boiler/HVAC problems before they occur.
Why do you need one?
More than any other smart home device, the answer is ‘because they pay for themselves’. Features such as presence detection mean that if you go out, your heating can be automatically switched off, saving you money. It also allows you to set up routines at a granular level. If you work outside the home, it doesn’t just switch on the heating at a set time but can actually use the Google Home app to detect when you’re on your way.
More than this, the Google Nest Thermostat can actually make suggestions to adjust your settings to help you save even more. It can even tell you if the boiler is playing up, before it fails completely.
What’s different about the new Google Nest Thermostat vs Nest Thermostat E?
There are a number of tweaks. First of all, the design has been simplified. Though superficially similar to previous models, its smaller, thinner, and does away with a physical dial in favour of touchscreen gestures.
Left: Nest Thermostat E. Right: New Nest Thermostat.
The biggest change is the use of Soli radar that we first saw in Google’s Pixel 4 smartphone. Here, Soli is used to spot you approaching and light up the Nest Thermostat display without you lifting a finger. The tech also allows the geofencing feature to be pinpoint accurate, making Home/Away Assist work flawlessly (in theory anyway).
In keeping with Google’s sustainability programme, the new model is made from 49 percent recycled materials. A ‘Trim Kit’ is also available to help cover up any unsightly marks left by your old thermostat during installation.
What about older models?
The previous generation Nest Thermostat E has been taken off sale by Google already, but it hasn’t gone away completely. Google will still be offering it to the trade for new build housing and remodelling purposes, but consumers will be limited to the newer model.
In fact, if you do some digging, you may find places still selling the 2015 model, which plays nicer with high-end HVAC systems. Expect to pay a pretty penny for that one though.
Is there anything it doesn’t do?
Yes. Because the new Google Nest Thermostat doesn’t currently offer controllers for the devices in each room (radiator valves for example), it can’t turn your bedroom off during the day but keep the rest of the house warm, or only heat the bathroom when you draw a bath. In addition, there are no sensors for air quality or mitigating factors like if you’ve left a window open. German firm Tado offers all these features — but it’ll cost more than $130.
When is it available?
Google is offering pre-orders now for U.S. and Canadian customers with delivery due in “the coming weeks”. Once it’s available, it’ll also be available from all the usual outlets. No word on international availability yet, but we’d expect to see it reach Europe and Asia sometime in early 2021.
Pricing is significantly lower than previous models, clocking in at $129.99 (U.S.) and CA$179.99 (CA). The thermostat comes in 4 colors: Snow, Sand, Fog, and Charcoal.
Featured image credits: Google
The post Why the Google Nest Thermostat is a perfect way to start your smart home appeared first on xda-developers.
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Which Smart Home Heating Should You Choose?
Not all smart heating control systems are suited for every lifestyle and home, with some more and less beneficial than others. SMART stands for ‘Self-Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology’, and differs from standard heating controls by allowing you to control every aspect of your heating schedule from either a phone or tablet. Although room thermostats and timers allow you to control each room instead of your whole home, as long as you have internet access, smart home heating devices let you control your heating from your phone, no matter where you are in the world.
Today, we’re running through 7 of the best smart heating thermostats and systems, comparing features, benefits and what type of home they’re most suitable for.
– 7 day, & 5/2 day scheduling with a pre-configured schedule included
– Choice of up to 4 time periods a day
– Minimum On-Time & Cycle Rate settings ensuring compatibility with many boilers
– Table stand for ease of positioning
– Alert messages to assist fault-finding with a fail-safe mode
– Wireless technology makes upgrading easier and the installation time shorter with less wiring involved
– Homes that require high levels of automatic control that provide significant energy efficiency for a wide range of boilers and systems.
– Single Heating Zone Control
– 7 Day, 5/2 Day, or 24 Hour Control
– Programmable Room Thermostat
– Easily Programmed With The Associated App
– Homes that are just starting to take the first steps into using smart home heating
– Homes that need a single heating zone control
– Homes that have either combination or standard boiler systems
– Touch-screen interface simplifies scheduling, changing and overriding temperature
– Location-based programming (geo-fencing) adds an automated layer of control, adjusting the customer’s home heating based on their location
– Scheduling features include 7 and 5/2 day bespoke scheduling with up to 6 time periods a day
– Simple flip-up wiring bar for easy access and an easy-to-install boiler or zone valve interface
– Direct wall mounting or wall-box mounting
– Optimisation features include optimum start and stop & delayed start boiler control. Allows the thermostat and boiler to work more efficiently together
– Homes with any boiler and almost every heating system
– Homes with 230V on/off OpenTherm appliances (gas boilers, combi boilers and heat pumps)
– Ability to control water temperature and heating
– Self-learning functions to make every experience a unique one, helping it to understand your home’s needs
– Using a smart weather compensation feature and weather data, the vSMART can tell your boiler how hard it has to work to get your home to your required temperature
– You can connect multiple vSMART controllers to one app
– Homes with Valliant ecoTEC system/open vented boilers
– Households that want to be able to control water temperature from anywhere too
– A 7-day full programmer that gives great flexibility offering up to three on/off switchings per day
– LoT display, providing text feedback that gives help and programming hints
– Automatic Summer/Winter 1 hour time change
– Choice of 3 different built-in programmes
– ‘Holiday’ button
– Homes with heating and stored hot water in complete systems
– Homes with older gravity circulation stored hot water systems, where there’s no interlocking control valve
– Households with different heating needs from day-to-day
– One channel thermostat system with two radiator thermostats to start zoning your system
– Smart heating & hot water control
– Quick & simple to install using an industry-standard backplate
– Easy Zoning with the addition of extra Wiser Radiator Thermostats
– Homes with combination boilers
– Households that want to start a zoned system to control individual zones within the home
– Automatic time and temperature control of domestic heating premises
– Optimum Start, Optimum Stop and Delayed Start
– No installer links or switches on the back of the unit means no adjustment is required for combi boilers and most central heating systems
– Scheduled maintenance alert
– Automatic Summer/Winter time change
– Up to four independent time & temperature settings
– Auto, manual, holiday, override and off (frost) modes
– Domestic premises
– Most central heating systems and combi boilers
For more smart home heating controls, check out our full range today at MonsterPlumb. If you’re not interested in smart technology when it comes to controlling the heating and water temperature in your home, take a look at our selection of heating controls and valves.
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