Google's lineup of smart thermostats are terrific for regulating your home's temperature, giving you remote control over your heating and cooling even when you aren't there. Thanks to convenient features like Home/Away Assist, they can even save you money on your electric bill, but these smart thermostats are also great for preventative monitoring over your HVAC system. Here's how to make use of HVAC monitoring on your Nest Thermostat.
Products used in this guide
- Smart heating and cooling: Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd gen) ($249 at Amazon)
- Newer and more affordable: Nest Thermostat ($130 at Amazon)
What is HVAC monitoring?
Because your Nest thermostat is essentially just a computer that's directly connected to your HVAC system (as a reminder, that's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), it's able to identify when something's gone wrong — or better yet, the preliminary signs of a problem — and send you an alert so that you or a trained professional can fix it.
By catching potential problems with your heating and cooling, this feature can save you a ton of money on maintenance and repairs, assuming you're in the U.S. or Canada where HVAC monitoring is currently offered for Nest users.
How to use HVAC monitoring
HVAC monitoring is enabled by default in supported regions, but if you want to adjust your email settings or even opt out of the feature, you'll actually need to do so through the Google Home app, rather than through Nest.
- Open the Google Home app.
Tap the Settings icon.
- Under Features, tap Notifications.
- Tap HVAC monitoring.
- Toggle the check boxes on or off next to each notification setting to enable or disable email and/or push notifications.
You can opt out of HVAC monitoring by disabling all notifications, but urgent alerts such as heating or cooling failures that require your immediate attention will always be displayed in the Nest app. Early warnings look for unusual or unexpected patterns in your heating and cooling, and notify you of potential problems. Depending on the issue, the Nest app may also provide you with contact info for a local technician.
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I've been using a Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd gen) in my house for years, and I got to experience an urgent alert from HVAC monitoring first-hand when the Rh cable (that's power) went out. Thanks to its internal battery, the Nest managed to stay alive for long enough to alert me of the issue, at which point I was able to contact my landlord and get the issue resolved.
More recently, however, Nest released a new Thermostat that retails for nearly half the price of mine, with a sleek design and a touch-sensitive bezel rather than a physically rotating one. It offers nearly all of the same features, making it a great alternative purchase with a more modern, minimalist look.
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