Nest Adds More Energy Saving Features to Its Smart Thermostat

© Nest Labs

Five months after its debut, Nest Labs has released a major software update to its Learning Thermostat, the simple and sleek smart thermostat from the creators of the iPod that learns your temperature preferences after about a week of use and auto-programs itself.

Among the updates, Nest has added better access to energy history by allowing users to see their heating and cooling history for the past 10 days on the website and through its iPhone, iPad and Android apps. Users can see a summary or click on any day and see specific times of heating and cooling to learn more about where they could be saving energy and money.

Also added is a new feature called Airwave that can cut cooling costs up to 30 percent by shutting off the air conditioner early and using the fan to spread cool air from the still-cold compressor, extending the time your home stays cool without the air conditioner running. Users can choose this setting when it's hot outside, but humidity is low inside the home.

© Nest Labs

The apps got an update too, with users now able to get a summary of all their energy info, change their "away" temperature, set temperature schedules and ranges and turn auto settings on and off from their iPhone or Android device.

Other minor changes include reorganizing menu settings so they're more user-friendly and the opening of the Nest online store.

The Nest team is definitely showing their Apple roots with their approach to incremental software updates. It's obvious they already had the ideas for these features up their sleeve, but they waited to get user feedback to implement them in the ways that users were asking for them, much like Apple does. It's also refreshing to see a company in this field listening to their customers and readily updating their software. It's likely to secure Nest as the smart thermostat of choice for the younger, Apple-using demographic.

Tags: Cooling | Electronics | Energy Efficiency | Gadgets