There was a time when everyone saw the Apple iPod and thought to themselves: "What is that white thing with a single button and why is it called iPod? What is i pod? What a stupid name."
"I will never buy one of those, it's too expensive. Nobody will ever buy one of those. What does it do anyway?"
I may be way off, but I know I felt that way until I actually had an iPod in my hand and saw how fantastic and simple it was to use. Now, between that and the iPhone, I don't use anything else when listening to music.
So, will thermostats be the new iPod and change the HVAC industry?
I must admit I have never seen or used the new thermostat from Nest, a company founded by former Apple i-Pod co-creator, Tony Fadell. However, if this thermostat works like other Apple products, then anyone who is an Apple user knows this is probably a home run.
The simplicity and elegance of the case grabs you immediately when you look at the video and photos from Nest's website. Check out more HERE.
The issue for consumers with this new breed of thermostat is the price, coming in at $249. However, when compared to the more expensive and intuitive thermostats at Home Depot or Lowes and if the Nest performs like it says, then it's actually a reasonable cost. Splatf has a great post on the Nest, showing some of these comparisons. Check it out HERE.
Our company installs full duct systems for forced air heating and cooling applications. We have installed many thermostats, a good number of them are very high quality, look nice and are intuitive. However, not all of them are very easy to use and many of the calls we get from customers are in regards to the thermostat. Many have extensive instruction books and complicated ways to reset or fix minor problems, usually ending in the purchase of a new thermostat.
The Nest looks simple and easy to use in pictures and company write-ups, but can it deliver in the real world. That will be the test. But if it can be to HVAC what the iPod was to music, I think they may change the way HVAC and consumers look at thermostats in the future.
For more detail, check out these other sources:
Brave New Thermostat: How the iPod’s Creator Is Making Home Heating Sexy ( Wired.com )
Tony Fadell Demos His New Nest Learning Thermostat ( TechCrunchTV )