Unimpressed with Nest

The longer I’m using our Nest thermostat in the summer, the more unimpressed I become with it. The “learning” feature doesn’t seem to include finer details that have to do with perceived temperatures, like humidity, for example (ie. what you see as “feels like” in the weather forecast).

When humidity in the house reaches 60%, like it has a couple of times recently due to some monsoonal moisture reaching Southern California, it does begin to feel uncomfortable sooner, and I have to manually adjust the thermometer so that it begins to cool (and thus, dry).

Actually, I find myself intervening quite often – for the most part, it’s a pattern of “it’s too hot now why does this thing not start the A/C?” and then I lower the target temperature, followed by “it’s getting too cold why is that thing still running the A/C?” when I increase the target temperature.

And then occasionally I see oddities like this:

Strange display on Nest thermostat
Strange display on Nest thermostat (screenshot from the Nest app on the phone)

The way I read this is:

  • It’s active – blue background means the A/C is running, cooling
  • The target temperature is set to cool down to 26°C
  • The current temperature is 25.5°C (in other words, below the target temp already)
  • We’ll reach the target temperature… in 25 minutes?

I know that it “overshoots” and cools (or heats) more, even when the target temperature has been reached, so that the actual temperature is “around” the target temperature longer. But with regards to cooling, I wonder if that really works. On the hottest days, I notice that I begin to cool to 26°C in the early afternoon, but then keep adjusting the target temperature as it gets warmer outside, until I reach 28°C in the early evening – which feels perfectly fine then (this is what I mean with the constant manual intervention that I mentioned above).

So I don’t know… in our old home we had a “stupid” thermometer and most of the time, I’d simply turn the A/C on and off manually. It was super easy, just one press of a button on the thermostat control. Now I have to “click” the display, select the mode control, select “on” or “off”, and “click” to confirm (or alternatively, unlock the phone, open the app, wait for it to connect, select the thermostat, then the mode control, and turn it on/off), since I’m still manually adjusting all the time.

I don’t see how that is “smart” in a useful way.

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