How to Use Your Nest Thermostat for Maximum Money (and Energy!) Savings

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night shivering from freezing cold temperatures.

You slowly get out of your bed, only to feel the piercing cold wood beneath your feet. Scuffling to the thermostat across the hallway, you frantically press buttons to increase the temperature.

Hearing the rumble of the heat as it turns on, you scurry back to bed, hoping that you won’t have to do it again.

Now imagine that same scenario, only this time you have a Nest thermostat.

Instead of scrambling out of bed, you simply pick up your phone from your nightstand, open the Nest app, and dial up the temperature. No cold floor — just a quick and convenient adjustment.

Convenience is just one of the benefits of owning a Nest thermostat. But, if you’re also looking for cost and energy savings, it can do that too.

What is the Nest thermostat?

The Nest thermostat is one of Google’s smart home devices designed specifically for convenience, comfort, and energy savings.

In contrast to traditional thermostats, it has the ability to regulate your home’s temperature while you’re away. That means no more panicking when you’ve forgotten to turn off the heat or air while you’re on vacation.

Instead, the Nest can sense when you’re home and can automatically turn off or regulate the temperature. This smart feature is why Nest thermostat owners have experienced up to an average of 15% in energy cost savings.

With the device’s price ranging from $170 to $250, customers report average savings between $131 to $145 per year in gas or electricity. If its cost-saving features are used, this could mean that your Nest would pay for itself in less than two years.

So, how can you get in on these savings? I’ll share three features that I leverage to not only save money but energy!

Home/Away Assist

Leaving your air or heat running while you’re away from home is one way that you can drive up your energy costs. Though it may feel great walking into a home that’s been cooled or heated all day, it’s costing you money and wasting energy.

You can optimize your Nest thermostat to combat this waste with the Home/Away Assist. This feature is designed to prevent you from unnecessarily running your heating/cooling unit while you’re not home.

When this feature is toggled on and your thermostat senses that nobody is home, it will trigger your unit to turn off or go into Eco Temperature mode — another cost-saving feature.

If you’re wondering how it knows when you’re home, the thermostat has a built-in motion sensor or it can use the GPS location on your phone.

Eco Temperature Mode

The purpose of the Eco Temperature mode is to heat or cool your home to a temperature that maximizes energy savings, thereby saving you money.

Essentially, it keeps your home at a temperature that isn’t too cold or too hot, reducing the energy and time needed to get it to your desired temperature later. Though this feature can be automatically activated when it senses that no one is home, you can also manually enable it while you’re home as well.

You have the ability to choose your temperatures from a range provided by Nest. This range takes safety into account — not allowing your home to go below 40° F (4° C).

If your home’s temperature goes above or below the eco temperatures that you’ve set, your thermostat will automatically cool or heat your home to reach it.

When deciding what you want to set your eco temperatures, consider if you have pets in the home that could be impacted by extreme temperatures. You’ll also need to take into account your home’s construction, where you live, how well your home is insulated, and your general temperature preference.

Temperature Schedule

Another way to save money with your thermostat is by taking advantage of its scheduling feature. You can manually create your schedule or have Nest automatically create one for you based on your historical preferences.

Nest’s scheduling system is different from traditional thermostats because, as mentioned earlier, it’s smart enough to go into eco mode when you’re not there. So even if you have your thermostat scheduled to heat your home at noon., if you’re not home, it will default to the eco mode or stay off if the eco mode isn’t set. When it senses that you’re home, it will resume your schedule as normal.

With the schedule, you get the benefit of being able to program your temperatures while also not running your unit unnecessarily.

You can always override your schedule by manually making changes from your app or on the thermostat itself. This is great for days when your schedule changes and may want to adjust the temperature before you get home.

A big return on investment

The Nest thermostat is a nifty smart tool that is designed to help you save money.

When you leverage all of its features, you will be able to maximize your energy cost savings and make your home’s temperature regulation a breeze.

–Fo Alexander

What other tips do you have for saving money on energy costs? Share them below.

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