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Introducing the Nest Thermostat E programmable WiFi thermostat. They say the “E” is for everyone.
Well, if price is the consideration, then the Nest Thermostat E is definitely a lot more appealing. This unit is $80 cheaper than the Nest Third Generation smart thermostat.
To get the price down, Nest gave the E a smaller screen and a more dialed-down, minimalist design that does introduce some quirks.
So: is the Nest Thermostat E just as easy to live with – and save as much energy – as earlier-generation Nest thermostats do?
- An intelligent thermostat that learns from your habits and sets your comfort preferences automatically.
- Saves energy with smart scheduling and automation.
- Easy remote control and monitoring through the Nest app or web portal.
- A 10-day energy history and monthly energy usage assessment to help you monitor your energy savings.
- There are no buttons, so you have to turn and press the ring to control the thermostat.
- Design is really simple, almost cheap looking. Unlike the Nest third-gen.
The Nest E has most of the same smart features as the Nest Gen 3 thermostat. It automatically adjusts the temperature when you are not around, has a smart schedule that saves energy, and can be controlled from anywhere and works with various smart systems and devices.
The difference is mainly in the design and the size.
The Nest E has a simpler more utilitarian look. So if you don’t mind a smaller, less luxurious thermostat, then the Nest E is a great choice.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know, in 2 minutes.
HVAC System Functionality
Like the Nest 3rd generation, the Nest E is compatible with most HVAC systems including gas, radiant, electric and oil systems.
It works with 1- and 2- stage heating and cooling systems as well heat pumps, solar-powered systems, and geothermal HVACs.
The Nest E will work with almost any low-voltage (24V) HVAC system, but NOt with a high voltage systems. If your current thermostat is labeled ‘high voltage’ or 110V or 120V, it is not compatible with Nest E. Some other proprietary and international systems may not be compatible with the thermostat, either.
If your old thermostat has a C wire, that’s great. The Nest E will be easy to install.
If it doesn’t have a C wire, don’t worry. The thermostat will still work with your system, but you may need to get a Nest Thermostat E wire professionally installed.
Nest provides a helpful compatibility check tool, too. You will be asked to select which wires are present in your current thermostat. The tool will then determine whether your system is compatible.
If you need more help determining compatibility, contact Nest’s customer support.
Installing the Nest E is easy. Most people do it in half an hour.
Everything you need to install the thermostat will be in the box – including the base, an optional trim plate, screws and an installation guide.
If you need more help with the installation, check their website or call their 24/7 customer support.
You can also check YouTube and smart home forums for tips from other users.
Not all installations will be easy and straightforward, however. If your system lacks a C wire, you may need to hire a professional to install one. Nest also recommends you get a pro if you have a dual fuel system.
You can find a professional on your own or get one of the Nest Pros to do the installation for you. You can also find a local professional on free marketplaces like Amazon or HomeAdvisor
While the Nest E can work without WiFi, you will not get the full experience unless it’s connected to your home LAN. For example, you will not be able to control it remotely or connect it to other devices.
Nest strongly recommends that you keep the thermostat connected to WiFi. In fact, you’ll need a WiFi connection (and a Nest account) just to set up the thermostat.
When connected to WiFi, you can do a whole lot from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This includes changing the temperature, checking your energy usage history, setting a schedule and monitoring the health of your HVAC system.
Note that the Nest E works on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. It is compatible with most types of routers.
The Nest E also has a Bluetooth Low Energy connection, too. This is used as an alternative to WiFi when you are in range. The thermostat can send notifications to your phone via Bluetooth.
We’re pretty sure that Nest is planning to use this Bluetooth connection to integrate with other devices, in the future.
Nest E’s wireless connections are secure, although you do need to take extra precautions. Do not use a public or an unknown WiFi network (like your neighbor’s). And make sure your router has the right security and access settings.
Refer to the manual or Nest’s official website for help on setting up a wifi connection.
The Nest E’s user interface is simpler compared to the Nest third gen. When you first set it up, it begins with a basic welcome screen.
It will then guide you through the setup process which includes connecting your Nest account and WiFi. You can either register a new account or connect an existing one.
When fully set up the round 1.76-inch screen displays just the current temperature setting. This is unlike the main Nest thermostat which can also display the current time and weather report.
As with other Nest thermostats, there are no buttons. Instead, you turn the outer ring crank up or lower the temperature. Press the thermostat inwards to bring up the menu for additional settings and preferences.
All this may feel strange and tedious in the beginning, but you will quickly get used to it. But in most cases, you don’t even need to touch the thermostat. You can control it remotely from your smartphone or tablet.
The Nest app provides the same functionality as the physical thermostat albeit in a more intuitive user interface.
You can also control the thermostat from a web portal accessible through a laptop or desktop.
Remote Control (Via Smartphone App)
The Nest E retains all the remote control capabilities of the Nest third gen.
You’ll need to download the free Nest app first. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices.
Once, you download it, create an account (if you don’t already have one) and connect your Nest E thermostat.
At a glance, the app displays the current temperature. You can increase or lower it from the app’s home screen. You can also control the fan, set and manage your schedules and see your home’s energy history.
Additional settings and preferences are easy to access via the settings button.
You can also remotely control the thermostat through Nest’s web portal. You’ll need to login with your email address and password on your laptop.
Note that remote control, whether on the Nest app or Nest web portal, requires a WiFi connection to your thermostat. If there is no active connection, the thermostat will still display the temperature, and you can change settings on the thermostat, but you cannot control it from your phone or laptop.
Nest E owners receive two types of energy reports.
The first is the energy usage history, available on the Nest app.
This history covers the last ten days with a summary of how much energy you have used each day. Tap on a day to view more details. You will see details on both heating and cooling.
Use the history report to give you an idea of which days of the week are energy-heavy and maybe adjust your usage to improve energy savings. If on a specific day you see a green leaf icon, it means you’ve saved energy on that day.
The second type of report comes in your email every month. Nest calls it the Home Report. It’s much more detailed than usage history.
The Nest Home Report displays energy kudos if you have saved a lot of energy that month, an energy summary showing how much energy you used in heating and cooling and a comparison with the previous month’s energy report.
These two reports are essential tools in improving your home’s energy efficiency. You can know exactly where and when wastage is occurring.
You can also make changes in your schedule and settings and easily observe their impact on your daily and monthly energy usage.
Scheduling and Automation
One of Nest’s biggest strengths has been in scheduling and automation. Not only can you set a schedule for the thermostat to follow, it learns from your schedule and automatically adapts itself to provide more comfort and to save more energy.
The Nest E has two types of scheduling: Auto-schedule or Basic Schedule.
Auto-schedule sets default temperature settings and adjusts them as it learns from your habits. When you manually increase or lower the temperature, you are teaching the thermostat your comfort preferences.
Nest recommends you teach your Nest E Thermostat good habits during the first few days such as lowering temperature when you go to bed and raising it in the morning. The thermostat will then learn more about your habits and will be able to set the temperature automatically in a few days.
The Basic Schedule is pre-programmed based on average comfort settings of most Nest thermostats in the country. It’s ideal if you want a schedule that’s ready to use out of the box. You can change the schedule settings at any time on the thermostat or Nest app.
When you are ready to create a customized schedule, switching to Auto schedule is easy. The thermostat will use the Basic schedule as a starting point and improve on it based on your habits over the next several days.
Both scheduling features are not just useful for saving you the hassle of manual scheduling; they help you save more energy.
The Nest Thermostat E uses 4 sensors to do its job, as follows:
- Temperature –The Nest E thermostat has two temperature sensors compared to 10 of the Nest third gen. But they are enough to provide an accurate reading of current room temperature.
- Humidity –A humidity sensor monitors the moisture level inside your home. You can get both temperature and humidity readings on the thermostat screen and the Nest app.
- Proximity/occupancy sensors –these sensors detect whether there is someone in the house and adjust comfort settings accordingly.
- Ambient light sensor –This sensor determines how brightly the screen lights up. It detects how much light there is in the room and adjusts the screen’s brightness automatically. It increases brightness when it’s daytime and dims when there is less light.
Smart Home Integration
Nest makes it easy to build yourself a simple smart home without buying a separate hub. As long as you buy all-Nest products, that is 😉
The Nest E thermostat works great with the Nest Protect smoke alarm. When the Nest Protect detects smoke, it immediately alerts the thermostat, which then turns off heat to reduce the risk of a fire.
The Nest E can also be integrated with the indoor Nest Cam. When the Nest E detects you have left the home, it can tell the Nest Cam to turn itself on.
With Alphabet being its parent company, the Nest E thermostat works with Google Home, too. You just need to tell Google’s Assistant what temperature you want and your work is done.
If you have an Amazon Echo, you can also use it to control Nest E. Just speak, and Alexa will set your preferred comfort level.
Other smart devices that work with Nest E include smart lights, door locks, and smart vents.
- Works with most HVAC systems.
- Easy to install. Most buyers can install the Nest E thermostat by themselves in just 30 minutes.
- It’s an intelligent thermostat. The combination of smart scheduling and automation through sensors means less of a hassle to you and increased energy savings.
- Robust energy monitoring with two kinds of reports available. This makes it easy to monitor and adjust your usage.
- The design is not as cool as that of the Nest Learning Thermostat. It looks basic and functional.
- Changing temperature settings and general preferences on the thermostat is a bit tedious at first. But you can always use the app. It’s much easier to use.
- 3.19 inches total diameter.
- 24-bit color and 1.76-inch diameter LCD screen.
- Languages: English, Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish.
- Has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery using less than one kWh per month.
- 2.5GHz and 5GHz WiFi connection as well as Bluetooth 4.0.
- Color: white.
Best Pick For
Anyone who wants a latest-generation Nest thermostat but who wants to pay less. The Nest E offers almost all of the features found in the main Nest thermostat.