Lessons of the Thermostat: Part Two.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

You are totally not going to believe this.  At all.  Honestly, I still cannot.  But it's true.  Totally totally one hundred percent true.

I got a free Nest Learning Thermostat.  Free.  Free!

I sh*t you not.

nest thermostat
Omg.  There it is.  Proof!  Omg.  Sitting on the tv console thingie.  Ours.  Yes!
And I am damn still in shock.  Me.  I never win anything.  My luck is terrible!

Although.  I think ever since working on Jupiter Ascending where I finally won for the first time ever in my life, the Meat Raffle (you must watch that, must.  You'll even see me!), those four or so months changed my luck a hair.

Fyi and btw, Mike has waned of my keyed-up self over the new Nest and my blathering on about it, poor guy.  Ah well, he'll survive.

So I'm lying in bed flipping through Apple News one evening when I see a headline, something or other about Nest Learning Thermostats* being given away for free, two days only, five hundred per day, in Chicago, follow their Twitter for clues as to the vending machine's location, figure it out, show up, get one free.  Bladdity blah blah.


I mean, c'mon.  Let's be real.  It's Chicago.  There are what, 2.7+ million city-limits residents as of 2015?  What percentage of people saw this info?  There's no way....Seriously.  But.  Ok, I gotta try, right?

Between you me and the fence post, a.) I have wanted one but at $250?  Uh, no, b.) I was going to get a new thermostat anyway because I dislike the one I did get, and c.) it will be a stellar asset come selling time.

As you know, I've been on a quest to make this joint more energy efficient, as best as I reasonably can, as evidenced in part here, here, and here.

Although.  We did just cave and get a window unit for our bedroom.  Despite having central air.  Yes, that's how badly the flipper did the ductwork, the whole system.  Sad face all around.

I set myself a reminder to check Twitter the next day.

I remember to check Twitter anyway because I'm thoroughly anxious.

Eventually the first clue pops up and I'm all, huh?  I internet search, gather vague notion.

Second clue pops and I think I've got it but I'm busy drafting, doing actual work, I can't leave.

I see the third clue and I am clueless.  Then I read they're handing them out from 3 pm until 6 pm.  Right.  They'll be gone in a flash, I think to myself, if they are where I'm guessing.  I give up.

About an hour into the giveaway, I'm done with work so I check Twitter and see someone got one eleven minutes prior.  Then I find out where they're at.  Not at all where I was guessing!  Holy cats and dogs people, close to home!

I drop everything, run out the door.  Practically quite literally.

Driving on a mission, I arrive in short order.  Safely!  Safely.

There's a line.  Oh crap a line.  Omg!  It's long too!   How many are left?!?  It's 4:30!  They started at 3!  Knowing my luck, I'll be number five hundred and ONE.  And I will weep.

Along comes a woman who is informing line-waiters of what they need to tweet to get their freebie.  She arrives at me.  I'm panicked.  Is she leading me on?  I hear the Nest camera crew mumbling, "getting close, almost done."  I pre-type up the phrase anyway.

About a half hour in of wait time, they reload the vending machine.  I do a quick count of what's in the cart....ok, seven across, three rows deep, three rows wide...calculator because my math sucks and I do NOT wanna be wrong, that's sixty three.  Try to count people in line ahead of me....omg, nooooooooooo.  My chances are good!!!

Don't get your hopes up though, don't get 'em up, ya never know....my poor brain.

Fifteen more minutes tick by, the line inching forward, the line behind me growing longer.  I've made a turn and the end of the line is nigh when a Nest guy walks straight up to me.  My heart collapses, I kid you not.

He hands me a piece of paper and says this is important, hold onto it.  Once I start breathing again, I look down:

What the...?
He's handing out numbers.  Ok.  Next number behind me was seventy one.

OMG!!  I'm in!!  OMG!!!  We're getting a free Nest Thermostat!!!!  Holy sh*t people!!!  OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After catching my breath and high-fiving with the woman in front of me, I nearly did a butt wiggle dance there in line.  Actually I think did when my turn came at the vending machine, I don't know, it was such a mad blur I was so feverish.

I pulled up my pre-loaded tweet, the lady gave me a hashtag code to add, the thermostat dropped in the machine.


Seriously almost tinkled my pants.

Mine!!!!!  Ha!

Told the vending woman I could hug her and she pretty much told me (nicely) to move along.

Grasping that little box like a brick of gold, I hurried back to the car without even looking at it.  Pop the trunk, carefully set it down, slam the hatch, hop in the car, deeeeeeeeep sigh of relief, almost cry.  Still wide-eyed, I text Mike; he's quite amazed and pleased with my accomplishment but thinks I'm nuts regardless.

Get home and seriously, I can't even look at the box I'm so jazzed.  It took me an hour to calm down enough to install the darn thing.

Which, yes, it's very easy.  All told, from power off to programming completion, it took me forty five minutes and that's after a few errors on my part due to not paying proper attention.

Downstairs I flip the furnace power switch, came back up and popped the cover off the now old dead-to-me thermostat.  Carefully, I remove the wires, unscrew the backing and happily wing that thing away.

Buh-bye loser!!
Time to unbox the Next.  Omg.  I know.  Am I getting annoying yet?  Surely Mike has stopped reading by now if he even started at all.

It's like opening an Apple product, it's so well packaged and thought out.  Even comes with a mini screw driver.
I dig up the directions.

Hahahaha, for real?!  Look how clear and easy.  Remember the last instructions?

So then this time Finn was no longer laughing at me:

Whatev's Mommy, I'm chillin'.  You go do your kooky DIY thing, I'll be riiiight here.
Ok, so carefully I hold the new backing up over where the old yucky thing was.

install nest thermostat

Yeah, sadly, more work than I'm currently willing to do to the wall.  The worst part is inadvertently hidden by my thumb there.  Screw it, there's a backing plate in this box here ok got it.  I can always paint it, right?

wire nest thermostat
Two screws, it's in. The cool thing here?  Those outer tabs next to the letters push down, you stuff the wire in, let go.  It's a clamp so no need to screw wires in.  Way nice, right?  Way speedy.  Wow.  Clever folk they are.
Ok!  Omg, time for the rest of the gadget.

Angels sing.
Next up?  Power everything back up.   Hold breath.  It comes on!  Omg!  It's on!!!

So it runs you through a whole set up.  You scroll through options by spinning the silver ring.  It took me a few to figure this out as it wasn't in the instructions and my brain was so scattershot with excitement it (my brain) wouldn't work.

Then to select your choice, push at the bottom.


nest thermostat installed
Holy crap.
And in short order, it's all set up.  Next, I download the app for my phone and set it up for the new Nest.  You can also access your thermostat from an online browser too.

But so yes, the thermostat will use my phone as an indicator of my presence -- it adjusts itself to home or away. !!!! This week is going to be steamier so I'll keep tabs on it heh while I'm at work.  Ha!  Crazy.  Smh. 

Anyway, it was toasty so I let the air run which heh, so if you look at the photo above, heh, the middle temp is what the a/c was set at, the number at the right of the dial-like graphic is what the first floor was at, 79.  As I turned the silver ring to adjust, it tells you how long it will be in minutes to reach your desired temperature.  I know, right?!?!

I am clearly all geeking out over this thing way hard.  Now you understand Mike's numerous and continuous eye rolls.  He's at the point now where he's picking on me over it.  Heh, that's ok, he'll thank me later.

Anywhoooo, it reached 75, a short snippet of time elapsed then the a/c started up again.  Much quicker cycling than our last thermostat so I was a bit concerned that we'll rip through electricity so I shut it off.  Took me a minute to figure out how, heh, but I got it.  Besides, the temperature outside dropped about twenty degrees, time to reopen windows.

I'll likely tweak the settings and follow the history it provides.  Nerding!  The whole premise here is it learns from us and our habits and will devise a schedule for us so no need to program it.  That creeps Mike out but hey, it's the twenty first century and all, ya know?!  The Jetsons have arrived.

Long silly story short, this thing should be ridiculously cool.  I haven't had the chance to really read up on it, all the neat things it does, all the features, but someday I will.  If only it'd cook us dinner too!

If you're interested in one, there are lots of rebates going on with utility companies so check yours on the Nest site by zip code and you could end up paying much less.  Considering all the rebates I am this >   < close to getting another one for future use though I suppose uncertainties keep that from occurring.

But watch, I'll get royally hooked on this thing that when we move, I will end up having to buy one.  Hand well played, Nest!

I'll definitely keep you posted on this fancy gizmo!

In super stellar giddy news, Flipping the Flip has been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog Award!  What a banner week, wow, huh?!  Stay tuned for more info!

And of course, look out, Happy Week of Mike!  He's having a banner week too!  Here's hoping it keeps getting better!  So proud, love ya babe!

*The Nest Learning Thermostat link is an Amazon affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!   Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. A friend of mine's husband is an environmental engineer, specializing in solar, renewable energy, efficiency, etc. They put a nest in their home and it has saved them an average of 30% on their heating / cooling bills. Even if you had paid $250 for it, it would pay for itself pretty quickly.

    1. Holy cow, really?! Wow. That's excellent news! Gosh, we'd love to go solar....But if they installed one, they're in the know!


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