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Nest Learning Thermostat 2.0 - $249
The father of the iPod is at it again and he's developed something for your house that can save you money this winter. Tony Fadell, former SVP of Apple Inc.'s wildly popular iPod division has turned his attention to something more pedestrian: home thermostats. The first Nest thermostat (my May 2012 review) revolutionized home HVAC systems allowing you to control it via the Nest Mobile app from just about anywhere.
The Nest concept is brilliant: install it then turn it up and down like you would on amanual thermostat. Nest learns from your patterns and notices that you like it at 72 degrees when you wake up at 7 a.m. and 70 degrees when you arrive home at 5:30 p.m. Nest is also smart enough to know that no one's home from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will automatically set itself to "away mode" saving you money.
The second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat hardware is 20 percent thinner, even easier to install, and compatible with 95% of low voltage heating and cooling systems and whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers (you can check compatibility here). But the biggest changes come in the Nest 3.0 software, which was pushed to every Nest device.
The updated software includes enhanced Auto-Away mode, more languages, Auto-Schedule in Heat/Cool mode and new System Match technology that automatically activates specific features like True Radiant, Heat Pump Balance, Early-On and Filter Reminders. Although it's spendy, after you use it for a week, you can't live without it. As a bonus Nest emails you a monthly Energy Report that details your energy usage with tips to help you save.
For more information read the CNET review.