The Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation T200577 got a big software update in November. The smart thermostat now offers more data, a new system test mode and an enhanced auto-scheduling option. Why is this software update such a big deal? Let’s take a closer look at what version 4.3 has to offer.
New Quick View Option
With the new update, users can now see more helpful data. Just press the outer ring, and a circular menu will appear with various icons. Some of these icons will allow you to see data that was once buried in Nest’s settings menu. Other icons offer completely new data. The icons in Quick View include:
- Energy (green leaf icon): Gives you an overview of the previous day’s energy usage. When you press the outer ring, the thermostat will display details about your energy usage over the last 10 days.
- Thermostat (red and blue circle icons): Displays what mode your thermostat is in: heating, cooling, heating-cooling, or off. Press the outer ring to switch between different available modes.
- Done (checkmark icon): Displays the current weather conditions and outdoor temperature, the location of the thermostat, the indoor humidity levels and the indoor temperature.
- Fan (fan icon): Displays what mode your fan is set to: automatic, on, or off.
- Schedule (clock icon): Shows you the temperature you’ve set in your upcoming schedule. Simply press the outer ring to adjust your weekly schedule.
- Settings (gear icon): Displays the current time, date and Quick View screen. Pressing the outer ring will give you access to Nest Sense, safety temperatures and other helpful settings.
- Home/Away (home icon): Displays your thermostat’s current settings: home or away. You can switch between each setting by pushing the outer ring.
To select an icon, all you have to do is twist the Nest’s outer ring. There’s been quite a bit of speculation as to why Nest would add the Quick View screen. Many believe it’s the company’s way of keeping up with competitors that offer a similar feature.
Auto Schedule Improvement
Nest’s auto schedule feature is what allows the thermostat to learn your behaviors. Nest’s engineers have made improvements to auto-scheduling in the past, but the improvements with 4.3 are pretty significant. The new enhanced auto schedule has been greatly improved and takes into account a wide range of interactions.
The makers of Nest promise that the new auto-schedule update will allow for a savings of 5.6% in heating and 6% in cooling – and that’s on top of the savings you already get with auto-scheduling. The Nest will continue learning even after the first few weeks of use.
According to Nest, user who take advantage of auto-scheduling make 8% fewer temperature adjustments and edit their schedules 31% less often.
What Nest is trying to do is create a “set it and forget it” type of system, so users rarely have to adjust their home’s temperature. If you’d like some more details on the improved auto-scheduling, I recommend reading their whitepaper.
One new and interesting feature that was added with 4.3 was the System Test. This is a feature that I haven’t’ really seen any other competitors adding to their products, but wish they would. What this does is test your home’s heating and cooling system to check for any potential problems. While you can use this feature any time you like, it’s most useful in the beginning of each cooling and heating season.
The new Nest update improves on the thermostat’s functionality and makes it easier for users to access helpful data. If you have a Nest already installed, your system should have updated automatically. If you’ve yet to purchase a Nest and are considering one for your home, I highly recommend reading our Nest review here.