Affordable, efficient, and useful—the Nest Thermostat E is just what you need. It does pretty much everything you’d expect a costlier smart thermostat to do; it can be programmed and controlled from your smartphone, and automatically creates a heating and cooling schedule based on your activity. It also responds to Google Home and Alexa voice commands and interacts with other smart home devices.
Design and Features
The Nest Thermostat E has a small puck-shaped design, and comes in matte white with a polycarbonate casting. The Nest Thermostat E’s LCD has a 320-by-320 resolution and uses frosted glass. While it doesn’t have the Farsight feature, which wakes the device up when you enter the room and displays the time and temperature or the current weather, the E will wake up when you get close to it, and displays the current and target temperatures. The Nest E has temperature, humidity, motion, and ambient light sensors, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a Bluetooth radio, and Wi-Fi with support for wireless communications. The Nest E works with various home heating and cooling systems with support for forced hot air, gas, electric, solar, oil, radiant, heat pump, and hot water systems.
The Nest E is a learning thermostat; it will create a heating/cooling schedule based on your daily activities. It also has Home and Away modes to save energy. The Home/Away Assist feature uses your phone’s location services to automatically enter “Eco mode” when you leave the house and revert to Home mode (your regular schedule) when you return. It works with most other Nest products, and also supports Google Home and Amazon Alexa voice commands! When you press the thermostat’s outer ring, it activates the menu system. Here you can select your heating and system type, set the date and time, configure network settings, enable features such as Home/Away Assist, Nest Sense (auto-schedule, Sunblock), set reminders to change filters, and view energy usage reports. The Nest Pro setting even allows you to enter contact information for your HVAC service company.
The thermostat has built-in sensors that monitor humidity, temperature, light, and movement, and it uses the data it gathers from them to inform its automatic schedule. It also checks local weather conditions to see how they affect your home. In addition, the Nest E notifies you when you need to change your air filter or if the HVAC malfunctions. The thermostat’s Airwave feature shuts off your AC but leaves the fan running, using leftover cold air to cool your home for a short while. This significantly cuts your cooling costs. Another way it keeps your energy bill low is by using its motion and light sensors to activate the Auto-Away mode, which changes the temperature when your home is empty. You can also set your Auto-Away preferences to detect your smartphone’s location. This activates your system when you’re within a few miles of your house so it’s comfortable inside when you arrive. The Nest E also lets you know how long it takes to reach a specific temperature. Your Monthly Nest Home Reports show you how much energy your home uses and gives tips on how to save more. There’s also a green leaf icon that lights up on the thermostat when it’s in energy-saving mode.
The Nest Thermostat E does its thing, and you don’t have to think about it unless you want to change something. If you do, the app and Assistant integration make it super-easy. Not to mention what you could be saving in terms of energy costs. Also, it’s a pretty cool gadget, so it’ll be sure to impress a few guests!