Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on January 26th, 2014

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Combat this winter by outfitting your home or office with a Nest.

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We are experiencing more cold weather here in the Chicago area. Let's face it saying "cold weather" is an understatement. We have been dealt a sub-zero arctic winter here in Chicago. So, it's time to stop complaining about it and time to put on our thick skin and find ways to cope with it. I have already talked about using the OnStar app to cope with the cold, and about remote access to the office if the weather inhibits us from coming (we put on our thick skin though today and are all present and accounted for here at SYDCON headquarters). Today's coping mechanism is upgrading our home with a Nest thermostat.

With extreme temperatures come discussion about conserving energy. With the below average temperatures everyone's furnaces are getting a good workout this winter. And, as a result so are our checkbooks. One way to combat the rise in energy usage is to have an efficient thermostat. An efficient one could be a run of the mill programmable thermostat or you could go high tech with a Nest. We had a programmable one, that we were pleased with, you know we had a Monday-Friday sleep/wake schedule and a weekend schedule and would venture over to it on occasion to boost the heat or make it cooler as needed.

Being tech people we have been considering upgrading to a Nest and took the plunge this weekend. Installation was simple, with the exception that Dave now has some touch-up paint work to do as the Nest is much smaller is size than a traditional thermostat. We then downloaded the iPhone and iPad apps to work in conjunction with the Nest. I have to admit having the ability to adjust the temp from the confines of my cozy bed is a huge plus! With temperatures plunging overnight it's nice to have the ability to boost the heat if I am chilly!

The Nest allows you to have better control of your energy usage while out of the home or office. You can keep temperatures cooler while you are away in the winter and boost the heat while you are en route back home. Likewise in the summer when it's steaming outside you can set your air conditioner to not kick on while you are out and then set it to cool when you are returning so that the temperature is to your liking upon your return. Now over time, Nest is said to learn your habits and preferences. We have had it two days, so I can't comment on that yet, so we will see. But overall the cost saving potential is there if you utilize it how it is intended. I will be interested in monitoring our energy bills going forward.

So, the Nest is just another item that you can use to help you get through this crazy winter. And, as I mentioned, there is an "app for that". There are other household friendly apps out there as well, such as apps that work with alarm systems, apps that control lighting, apps that function as door locks versus traditional keys. Once again it just goes to show that if you have an app idea that will make your life easier chances are it will be a good seller in the App store. So, don't wait, look into bringing your idea to life. You may have the next app to cope with the elements!