Inside Nest

Here’s what we’re working on and thinking about at Nest.

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Energy

Better temperature control, better thermostat.

There are things we do to make the Nest Learning Thermostat more helpful, more interesting and just cooler – new features like Farsight, updated designs for hardware and the app, fresh integrations with products that work with Nest.

There are things we do to make the Nest Learning Thermostat more helpful, more interesting and just cooler – new features like Farsight, updated designs for hardware and the app, fresh integrations with products that work with Nest. But in the background, we always focus on the basics – temperature, stability, efficiency. And today, we’re making the Nest Thermostat a better thermostat.

New software going to all generations of Nest Thermostat over the next couple weeks is going to do three big things:

Nest is now better at keeping your home right at the temperature you set. Even if your house is really drafty. Heat pumps and multi-stage heating and cooling systems are now even more energy efficient. Time-to-Temperature, Early-On and Heat Pump Balance are getting more precise.

All these things can happen because we’ve improved our algorithms. They’re now better at analyzing how fast your home heats up or cools down, which allows them to build a better thermal model of your home. Then HVAC Control 2.0 software allows us to more precisely control your HVAC equipment.

Let’s break it down:

1. Nest Thermostats will now maintain the temperature in your home up to 20% closer to the temperature you’ve set. That means that if you set the heat to 70ºF, your Nest Thermostat will be a lot better at keeping it at exactly 70ºF. That’s a pretty big deal and actually really, really hard to do right.

Because your Nest Thermostat learns about your specific home, it will now be a lot better at adjusting how it heats and cools based on how big and drafty your house is, what kind of heating and cooling system you have, what your schedule is, and what’s going on with the weather. Using that info allows Nest to predict how much energy it should use to get the temperature right for your home – when it should turn on and when it should turn off – to make sure you’re comfortable.

2. Multi-stage heating systems can now save 3.8% more energy, heat pumps can save 6.5% more, and multi-stage cooling systems can save 5.4% more than they have before. These systems are already more efficient than traditional systems. Now Nest can make them even better. While single-stage heating and cooling systems just turn your heat or AC on and off, multistage systems can save energy by turning it up a little bit at a time. Heat pumps work on a similar principle – they use two different ways to heat your home. Nest’s new understanding of your home and the weather allows your thermostat to predict how hard these systems will really need to work so they can use as little energy as possible to keep you exactly as comfortable as you want.

3. Time-to-Temperature, Early-On and Heat Pump Balance will get better. All these features rely on predicting what will happen next: how long will it take for the house to warm up, how fast is it cooling down, if I turn on the heat a little bit now, will it be enough to get to the temperature I want in three hours considering it’s such an unseasonably warm day? Advanced algorithms and machine learning now make Nest much better at predicting the future. Which means Nest is much better at saving energy while keeping you cozy.

There’s a huge amount of data to back all this up and explain how it works. If you want to geek out, read the white paper. Or just turn up the heat and watch Time-to-Temperature get it right.