Smart technology can make everyday tasks easier, safer – and sometimes even more environmentally friendly! If you own a Nest thermostat, this article will show you a few ways to reduce your energy bill and your environmental impact.
By the end, you’ll have mastered Nest’s Eco Temperature mode and devised a heating schedule that delivers maximum savings while reducing the environmental cost.
1. Teaching your Nest: set a good example
Nest is an eager pupil! As soon as you set up your thermostat, it’ll start learning your routines. Nest is always learning and will constantly refine its heating schedule to ensure your home remains at a comfortable temperature for a minimal cost.
To start, identify times when your home could be cooler without impacting your comfort levels. Obvious examples include the hours when you’re usually asleep or out of the house. When identifying these times, you may need to take your home’s other inhabitants into consideration. If you share your house with any pets, or even plants, then low temperatures may have a negative impact on their health and happiness.
Depending on your location, it may even be dangerous to leave your property unheated for a significant amount of time. For example, the water in your pipes may freeze, resulting in burst pipes and water damage. It’s best to make your adjustments slowly and monitor the results.
To train Nest to lower the temperature during specific periods, spend a few days manually changing the thermostat to reflect your desired changes. This may involve turning the thermostat down before heading to bed or going to work in the morning. Repeat this behavior a few times, and Nest will take notice and adjust its schedule accordingly.
This process may take some trial and error as you find a reasonable trade-off between energy savings and comfort. You may successfully reduce your energy bill but decide that waking up to a freezing cold home is too high a price to pay!
When finding this sweet spot between comfort and cost-savings, it helps to know exactly how much you’re saving.
2. Monitor your energy usage with Home Report
Every month, Nest will email you a summary of your energy usage. However, you can analyze your energy usage right now using Nest’s Home Report.
To check your Home Report, launch the Nest application on your smartphone or tablet. You can then select the thermostat that you want to analyze.
In the bottom right of the screen, tap “History.”
This screen displays a ten-day summary of the selected thermostat’s energy usage.
You can view more information about the energy usage for a particular day by giving that day a tap.
The orange bar shows the time when the heating system was heating, and the number indicates how long the system was on during the selected day. The numbers that appear along the bar are the target temperatures as set in your schedule.
For some days, you may receive the coveted Nest leaf icon. This leaf indicates that you successfully reduced your energy consumption on this particular day.
To the right of the screen, you’ll see icons representing the main reasons why your energy usage increased or decreased on this particular day. Some of these icons can be confusing, but if you’re unsure, tap the icon and Nest will display a tooltip with more information about the selected icon.
This report can be particularly useful for comparing and contrasting your energy usage for different days, including identifying factors that significantly increase or decrease your overall energy bill.
Nest’s Home Report can also be useful when you’re experimenting with different schedules and target temperatures, as you can clearly see the impact of each change. By using this report, you can continuously refine your energy usage until you’re as cost-effective and environmentally-friendly as possible.
3. Nest Eco Mode
Your Nest thermostat can detect whether you’re at home using its activity sensors, your phone’s location, and sensor data from any other available Google Nest products.
When your Nest determines that no one’s home, it’ll activate Eco Temperatures mode automatically. This mode is designed to help reduce your energy bill by maintaining lower temperatures when Nest is home alone. When you return, your Nest will resume its regular schedule.
You can also manually activate Eco Temperatures at any time. If you don’t mind being a little cooler than usual, then manually activating Eco Temperatures can help reduce your energy usage.
To manually activate Eco Temperatures mode:
1. Launch the Nest application on your smartphone or tablet.
2. Select the thermostat where you want to use Eco Temperatures mode.
3. Along the bottom of the screen, tap “Eco.”
This thermostat will now switch to Eco Temperatures mode.
If you haven’t already, you should check your Eco Temperatures range, as modifying these settings can deliver greater cost savings:
1. Launch the Nest application on your smartphone.
2. Select the thermostat you want to configure.
3. In the upper-right corner, tap the “Settings” icon.
4. Find the “Eco Temperatures” section and tap to expand.
5. You can now adjust your Eco Temperatures range, by dragging the slider. The Nest Leaf will appear when you select a temperature that can help reduce your energy bill.
Finding the most effective Eco Temperature may take some trial and error. Decreasing your Eco Temperature will save you money, but no one wants to come home to a freezing cold house!
While you’re experimenting, it can help to keep a close eye on your Home Report, as this enables you to see the impact of your Eco Temperature adjustments.
To further save money on your energy bill, you may want to use a laptop rather than a desktop PC, as it is more energy-efficient.
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