Does Nest Thermostat really work

I’m mulling which thermostat I’d like to use to control heating at my new house. Nest is an obvious choice but I’ve read that it’s learning capabilities can actually lead to increased heating bills and that it’s learning & decision making doesn’t play well with an overseeing HA controller.

I’d appreciate people’s views on this so I can get a better understand of real merits, or otherwise, of going down the nest path…


Personally, I would prefer to have control over my heating. Rather than offloading it some 3rd party.

A few reasons,

1 - more control - I can adjust setpoints depending on who is home (e.g. warmer if the wife is home), and depending on weather/forecasts/whatever - much more flexibility IMO
2 - better presence detection - I wouldn’t trust one little sensor in one spot in my home to determine whether anyone was home or not
3 - reliability - the Nest servers will/have gone down - I would prefer to have zero reliance on 3rd party servers for anything as important as heating!

In saying all that, there is a Nest binding for openHAB so you can probably do most of (1) and (2) via that. I am not sure if the binding communicates directly with your thermostat or via the Nest servers - if it is the latter then (3) is still an issue.

Well, I’m not going to use anything that leads to me being owned by a cloud service…

Are there nest alternatives that look the part? My family are big on nest cos it looks cool so I have to factor that into my thinking :wink:

I have a Nest and I’m pretty happy with it. The learning part worked great in my old house. In my new house I don’t have an air conditioner and the Nest is located in a place we rarely go so I have all but neutered it into a semi-dumb thermostat. I don’t use the learning feature and instead have a set schedule and I use OH to set it from Home to Away and back. It also doesn’t support running the fan as an air conditioner (i.e. start the fan when the temp goes above a certain threshold) so I had to implement that in OH as well.

The binding does communicate through the cloud servers, not with the device directly.

Most are pretty boxy and traditional, but there are a few nice looking ones:

The echobee is the one I hear talked about a lot on these forums and there is a binding. You will have to do the research yourself to understand which ones require a cloud service.

The Honeywell Lyric seems the most similar in appearance to the Nest.

If you are in North America, I highly recommend the ecobee3 thermostat. Very good engineering. It, like the Nest and Honeywell Lyric, all require cloud services to communicate, but they will continue to function in absence of a working Internet connection. For Nest and Ecobee, their cloud services have been very reliable in my experience (over a few years). The availability of the cloud service or my local Internet connection have never caught me out. The need for a non-cloud API has always been overstated in my opinion, with the deficiencies of a cloud-only API remaining almost completely theoretical (IMHO, YMMV).

The ecobee3 has optional wireless sensors you place around your house, and they tell the thermostat which rooms are occupied and what their temperatures are. The thermostat uses the average of occupied rooms’ temperatures to have only occupied rooms reach the setpoint. The binding reports occupancy and temperature for each wireless sensor, along with lots of other information and control.

The Honeywell Lyric’s API is currently ill suited to integration with openHAB. I’ve been in contact with their API people but there is no progress I’m aware of in resolving the deficiency.

I’m in UK so my options are limited. However, the more I look at this more I think a smart thermostat gadget is unnecessary. I’m in the process of moving home and the home I’m moving to is modern and well insulated. I think i’ll be ok with z-wave rad stats in each room and leave it at that. It seems to me that smart thermostats are really for poorly insulated homes.


Yes, Nest Thermostat is worth the purchase. I’ve owned both Nest 2nd and 3rd Generation models and can say for sure that it saves you money on monthly and yearly bills.