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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Hot Water

What's next for the Nest Thermostat? Solving your immersion woes

The third gen version of the smart thermostat is getting hot water control, something the company says Irish customers have been requesting.

IRISH PEOPLE HAVE A strange fixation with water heating. Jokes about the immersion and the fear of leaving it on while away had been the source of fear for many.

Things have changed now. Most thermostats offer basic scheduling, but some companies are now able to provide their own smart heating versions. Hive Thermostat included it with their thermostat and now the Google-owned company Nest is getting in on the act.

Previous versions only focused on adjusting heating temperatures which, depending on your set up, would also be used to heat water at the same time or you had to operate it separately.

While the new version was announced in the US back in September, there are two features designed for European audiences: hot water scheduling and OpenTherm.

Nest / YouTube

Now it will learn your water heating schedule as well and determine the best times for it to turn it on and off. It happened to be one of the most requested features from Irish users, according to Nest’s European Product Manager Lionel Paillet.

“I think what we learned from Irish customers was mostly hot water was a top topic. It was pretty clear from day one”, said Paillet.

The other feature it’s including is called OpenTherm, which allows it to determine the amount of gas needed to reach or maintain a specific temperature, instead of opting for a basic on or off setting.

For those unfamiliar with Nest, the device relies on a number of factors to determine the correct temperature in a home: user input, the weather conditions of your location, and built-in sensors.

The device now comes with two new sensors, bringing the current number up to ten. One is near-field while the other can detect movement from up to 10 metres. This not only activates the thermostat so you know what temperature it is, but also displays more info the closer you get.

Those who already own a Nest may be disappointed to hear that they will need to invest in a new version if they want to avail of it. The reason for this, according to Paillet, is the new system needs “you need to reprogram the installation than just have the new product… you need to change the full hardware”.

For now, it is sold as a separate upgrade with those owning one having to sign up for a new plan or buy it separately.

Both its design and display have seen some subtle changes. While the actual device is thinner, the actual display is 40% larger than previous versions which not only allows information to be clearer, but makes way for another feature: a clock.

While it’s not exactly an exciting feature, Paillet says that testing it in both Irish and European homes saw positive responses, saying “we were not expecting this, it looks like a gimmick potentially, but… families love it”.

Nest thermostat Nest Nest

Considering it’s on standby most of the time and the effort that has gone into its design, it makes sense for it to display something else while it’s at work. Nest see the thermostat not as a tool, but something that fits into the style of your home, so you can turn on the clock setting, analogue or digital, if it’s in a prominent position.

The device will also work with dual-band WiFi, supporting 5GHz as well as 2.4GHz, a boost button for short bursts of heating for once-off moments, and will detect when you’re away so if you’re away for longer than 48 hours on holidays, it will shut off automatically.

The other product that Paillet said Irish users had responded positively to was Nest Protect, its carbon monoxide sensor, saying ,”we’ve seen an enthusiasm around this subject [among Irish users]. The new thermostat works with other Nest products to create a more comprehensive system.”

The new version is out now and costs €249 including VAT. The price is €30 higher than previous versions because of the dollar to euro conversion rate said Paillet.

Read: This new smartphone battery charges to almost half-capacity in five minutes >

Read: Facebook explains why safety check was available for Paris but not other ‘human disasters’ >

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