Friday I was splitting wood and carrying some inside for the fire, when I noticed that the furnace thermostat said the temperature was 70 degrees. I find the process of splitting wood to be very enjoyable. It’s a bunch of work and it’s very satisfying. I also love a nice warm fire, so I pretty much enjoy the whole process. Somehow the thermostat failed to realize the effort I had made, as the room was for sure closer to 73 degrees, geesh… show some respect!

Later that night I realized the thermostat was actually always showing 70 degrees. It also failed to respond to any input, thus I started to wonder if indeed the old guy had ran his last.

Old thermostat

After some more debugging I confirmed that it was a dead letter. So off to the store I went for a replacement. I love simple things like firewood and trees, but I’m also a nerd and find reward in things designed for a purpose. After some research I decided to get The Nest.

Once I had the old one removed I was ready to install my fancy new friend.

Bare wires

The replacement was significantly more polished than his predecessor

Nest display

Polish is nice and everything, but I’m more concerned with function. I like things designed for for a purpose, to serve a need. When I saw the attachment plate I knew someone had put time and effort into designing this thing.

Nest plate

Notice the impressive attention to detail:

  1. The inputs are very clearly labeled.
  2. The layout of the inputs results in each wire being easily viewable by itself. This is in stark contrast to many other electrical things which force your fingers into contortions to get everything into a compact space, and you hope never to do it again.
  3. It came with easy to read little labels for each wire. If I ever have to do more work, I’ll immediately know what each wire is for.
  4. The darn thing has a built in level. See that little blue part just below the top screw? Yes… that’s actually a level!

Permalink End result

The installation was really easy.


I’ve read that you spend a few days teaching it what your preferences are, and then it starts to take over. It uses input like sound and motion in order to determine when people are home. This results in more intelligent decisions about when the heat can be reduced to save cost. Pretty slick, can’t wait to see how it goes :)

By the time I was finished with the installation, my kids had managed to do this: