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Does the Nest Thermostat replace my programmer, thermostat, or frostat?

A programmer, which is commonly used in the UK and Ireland, turns your heating system off completely during certain parts of the day or night, which could be a problem if it gets very cold and your home isn’t well insulated. So the Nest Thermostat saves energy like a programmer, keeps you comfortable like a thermostat, and protects your home like a frostat.

If you reside in the UK or Ireland, you probably control the heat in your home with some combination of programmer, thermostat and frostat:

  • Thermostat:
    Allows you to see and change the temperature in your home by turning the heat on and off according to the room temperature.
  • Programmer:
    Saves energy by shutting the heat off for hours of the day you’ve scheduled. This is efficient but gives you no way to track or control how cold it gets in your home.
  • Frostat:
    This boiler add-on turns up the heat automatically if there’s a chance your pipes will freeze in severe cold weather.

Programmer off-times save energy, but leave your home unprotected if it gets very cold. Instead, frostats are used to turn on the heat if your pipes are in danger of freezing. But you shouldn’t have to rely on two different devices to manage heat: one that puts your home at risk, one that saves it in an emergency. Your home should never be at risk in the first place.

How does it work?

The Nest Thermostat combines all these capabilities and improves on them. Everything is captured in one schedule, which automatically adapts to your life and can easily be adjusted in one place. After you install your Nest Learning Thermostat, you won’t use your programmer or frostat again.

So with the Nest Thermostat, you can add 9ºC temperatures to your thermostat schedule, rather than scheduling times that the heat will be off with a programmer. A 9º minimum means it’s unlikely that your heating will be on, but the thermostat will turn the heat on if your home gets too cold, which can help protect your pipes.

For example, say the temperature is set to 9º at night, rather than off. In normal weather, your home probably wouldn’t ever get colder than 12º. So with the heat set to 9º, your heating system won’t turn on all night and you’ll save energy. However, if temperatures drop dangerously low, the system will come back on to protect your home and your plumbing. No frostat required.




What is Auto-Schedule and how does it learn?

The Nest Learning Thermostat starts learning from you right away. It uses advanced sensors and algorithms to create a custom temperature schedule that saves energy and keeps you comfortable. We call this Auto-Schedule. Here's how it works.

With Auto-Schedule, you don't have to manually program the Nest Thermostat to save energy. Simply change the temperature to get comfortable whenever you like with the Nest app or on the thermostat itself, and it will learn from your preferences over time. To teach your Nest Thermostat to save energy, teach it good habits: turn it down before you go to bed, before you leave the house, or any time you would turn down a regular thermostat to save energy. Auto-Schedule will quickly learn your changes and add them to your schedule so you won't need to make them every day. You can see the results of teaching it good habits in energy history and in the monthly Energy report email.

How Auto-Schedule works

After your Nest Learning Thermostat has been installed, it will default to a temperature of 20ºC for heating and 24ºC for cooling. The Nest Thermostat will hold these defaults until you change the temperature. The first day, the Nest Thermostat will hold the temperature you choose unless you change it, just like a regular manual thermostat.

After midnight, the Nest Thermostat will add the changes you made the first day to your schedule. So if you installed your Nest Thermostat at 5pm in the afternoon, turned the heat on to 21ºC and then turned it down to 20ºC before bed at 9pm, the next day your Nest Thermostat will change the temperature to 21ºC at 5pm and 20ºC at 9pm.

No matter what, when you change the temperature, the Nest Thermostat will keep that temperature until the next scheduled temperature change - or until you manually change it again with the thermostat ring or with the Nest app.

After a few days, your Nest Thermostat will have learned your basic personal schedule. You'll have taught it what temperatures you like when you wake up, when you go to work, when you relax around the house.

What is Auto-Away?

Auto-Away saves energy by reducing heating and cooling in empty homes. Instead of having to turn the thermostat down every time you leave the house (and back up when you return), the Nest Learning Thermostat turns itself down automatically when it senses that you’re away.

The Nest Learning Thermostat uses Nest Sense™ (an exclusive combination of sensors and algorithms) to notice when you’re away and when you come home. With Auto-Away, the Nest Thermostat turns itself down automatically when you're away to prevent heating an empty home. Upon your arrival, the Nest Thermostat will return to your regular schedule.

Why Auto-Away?

Auto-Away is useful for the many times you’re unexpectedly out of the house for errands, appointments and trips. With Auto-Away, you won't have to worry if you've remembered to turn the thermostat down. You can check your Energy History in the Nest apps a day later to see how much energy your Nest Thermostat saved when you were gone.

How soon after installation will Auto-Away become available?

After you’ve installed your Nest Learning Thermostat, Auto-Away will need about a week to tailor to your home. A notification on the display will appear when the Nest Thermostat has learned enough to start using Auto-Away.

When does Auto-Away activate during the day?

First of all, a Nest Learning Thermostat installed in a home won’t go into Auto-Away during the night time. This will only happen if your Nest Thermostat is installed in a business.

Secondly, when Auto-Away activates entirely depends on you. If you are very predictable in the morning, for instance, and are always out of the door by 8:00am to catch a bus, then Auto-Away will activate as early as 8:30am. But if you are sometimes at home in the morning, and sometimes not, Auto-Away may take two hours to activate when you’re not there.

If you see your Nest Thermostat going into Auto-Away when you're home, just press the Nest Thermostat to return to your normal schedule. This helps the Nest Thermostat learn. The Nest Learning will adapt how long it senses inactivity before it goes into Auto-Away based on what it learns from you.

Learn more about the Nest app

You can control your Nest products and get information about them with the Nest app. You can use a phone or tablet running iOS or Android, or you can also use the Web if you have a computer.

From the beginning, we set out to design products to be controlled with a phone, tablet, or computer. Since we created all this new technology and provide data about your home, we want to make sure that you could access it wherever and whenever you want.

Creating a Nest Account and using the Nest app gives you greater control over your Nest products and deeper access to what Nest learns about your home, energy use, and safety. Both the Nest Account and Nest app are free.

In order to get started using the Nest app or accessing your Nest products on the Web, you will need:

  • A free Nest Account. If you don't have one yet,create one now. All you need is an email address.
  • At least one Nest Learning Thermostat and/or Nest Protect.
  • A Wi-Fi access point for your Nest products to connect to the Internet.
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