Nest Thermostat plug-in

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abuttino
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by abuttino » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:37 pm

Do you have the setup for this? Sounds like an interesting addition.

Dragon470
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by Dragon470 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:34 pm

Unfortunately I do not have a humidifier, or have an auxiliary (secondary) heat source. But in the upcoming summer Nest has said they will be implementing a usage system to use the air conditioner as a means to help draw out humidity. This is done somewhat naturally, but you can use the humidistat in the thermostat to start the ac before it normally would based on the humidity setting.

All of the current additions are somewhat untested, but can at least confirm the correct commands are working.

If anyone has an odd setup on their hvac, like dual heat sources, multiple zones, or emergency (failover heat sources) I would like to see weeks/months worth of logs to see how different setups work.

I am thinking of zoning my house so the second floor would be separate, but the cost doesn't really justify the little extra comfort. I estimated the cost to be $1200 to $1800.

abuttino
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by abuttino » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:18 pm

Any word on the official api? I'd really like to develop for that.

Dragon470
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by Dragon470 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:16 pm

I thought I read back in January that it would be available late Q1. So I hope soon.

abuttino
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by abuttino » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:28 am

How is the event naming for multiple thermostats?

Does the event name show up as "Nest.1.humidity" and "Nest.2.humidity"?

Or does the plugin support multi load?

An idea, multi load would probably be easier, then just let the user pick the event name.. This way, each thermostat can be controlled individually, saving you from a programming nightmare..

I'll help out in any way possible if you want.

Dragon470
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by Dragon470 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:03 pm

The multi nest setup is something I have thought about. I can have two ways of doing it: One, rewrite the whole plugin to be able to pass the correct serial, device to everything. This in the end might be preferred. OR Two, on the plugin configure screen I will have a button for get nest devices. This would then populate a drop down list of available devices. This would then be a muti-load plugin.

Option Two sounds much easier to begin with, but some functions would then have to check if other instances of the plugin are loaded. This could be a nightmare.

That is why option One would be preferred, because I still could make each nest report separate info and naming scheme, without having to do checks.

As far as the setup, currently there is a "structure" information (per account), an section of "shared" information (per device), and a section of "device" (per device). So then with each additional thermostat there would be another "shared" and "device".

My current plugin would just ignore any thermostat except the first. It only takes the first serial number it finds. So I already know a fair rewrite is needed. I just asked Nest if they have test accounts (setups) programmers can use to simulate setups. So hopefully they respond.

abuttino
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by abuttino » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:05 pm

Well, that was fun.....

I had to change all my scripts for the new "Name call" instead of integer call for each object.

Didn't take that long, about 45 minutes. I presume you did this for a reason?

barnabas1969
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by barnabas1969 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:23 pm

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would want a Nest thermostat.

I have an inexpensive RiteTemp programmable thermostat that I bought from Home Depot more than 10 years ago for less than $40. My family's schedule is fairly constant. We leave for work/school in the morning around the same time every weekday, and come home around the same time too. On most weekends, someone is home all day.

The thermostat has 4 temp settings per day, a 7-day timer, a "Special Day" Program (SDP), and a temp-hold feature. This works for us just fine, except for holidays when we're home on weekdays, and other days when someone is home unexpectedly.

When someone is home for a holiday or whatever, I just press the SDP button in the morning. The SDP program is set to work just like a weekend, so the temps are set like someone is home.

When we leave the house for an extended period of time, I set the temp as if nobody is home, and press the Temp-Hold button.

The thermostat has an hour meter, and a filter-change reminder.

Several years ago, I used the hour meter to calculate the difference between using the timer vs. setting the temp at a fixed value. I found during the summer here in Florida, that the system ran 12% less time on the timer than it did when the temp was set the same all day long. By my calculations, that saves me almost $8.00 per month. So, my thermostat paid for itself in four or five months.

The Nest, by contrast, costs 8-10 times as much as my thermostat. I don't see how it could possibly save me more money than my programmable thermostat. So it would take 32-50 months to pay for itself. That's not a reasonable pay-back period. Is it really worth that cost just so you don't have to spend 10 minutes to program your thermostat?

I see the benefit of being able to change the setpoint from my phone (for the very rare occasion when I come home early), but there are other thermostats with WiFi capabilities available these days which cost far less than the Nest.

So, someone please tell me... what's the advantage of the Nest from a financial point of view.

Dragon470
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by Dragon470 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:48 am

barnabas1969 wrote:I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would want a Nest thermostat.

I have an inexpensive RiteTemp programmable thermostat that I bought from Home Depot more than 10 years ago for less than $40. My family's schedule is fairly constant. We leave for work/school in the morning around the same time every weekday, and come home around the same time too. On most weekends, someone is home all day.

The thermostat has 4 temp settings per day, a 7-day timer, a "Special Day" Program (SDP), and a temp-hold feature. This works for us just fine, except for holidays when we're home on weekdays, and other days when someone is home unexpectedly.

When someone is home for a holiday or whatever, I just press the SDP button in the morning. The SDP program is set to work just like a weekend, so the temps are set like someone is home.

When we leave the house for an extended period of time, I set the temp as if nobody is home, and press the Temp-Hold button.

The thermostat has an hour meter, and a filter-change reminder.

Several years ago, I used the hour meter to calculate the difference between using the timer vs. setting the temp at a fixed value. I found during the summer here in Florida, that the system ran 12% less time on the timer than it did when the temp was set the same all day long. By my calculations, that saves me almost $8.00 per month. So, my thermostat paid for itself in four or five months.

The Nest, by contrast, costs 8-10 times as much as my thermostat. I don't see how it could possibly save me more money than my programmable thermostat. So it would take 32-50 months to pay for itself. That's not a reasonable pay-back period. Is it really worth that cost just so you don't have to spend 10 minutes to program your thermostat?

I see the benefit of being able to change the setpoint from my phone (for the very rare occasion when I come home early), but there are other thermostats with WiFi capabilities available these days which cost far less than the Nest.

So, someone please tell me... what's the advantage of the Nest from a financial point of view.
I think this is unacceptable that you would use a forum that is dedicated to tinkering (self home automation systems) to bash a product from a company just because of the product's price. I got mine based on the functionality and future hope of an official api. I looked at multiple devices and asked others in my region (Midwest US) if it does help save. $250 was a little high to justify but some told me a saving of around 5% - 15% over a year. I really only believed the 5% at best. Me personally, I have had it for around a year and total savings is about $80 per year (and even with this exceptionally cold winter). So my return on investment is really fast (a little over 3 years). It will actually be sooner now that LP fuel prices have gone up. I did go from a dumb thermostat that almost never was changed (I am lazy). At our house we do not have a normal work/home schedule, so it also sensing me away is nice. This would mean any schedule would be out-of-sync with us (costing us more). I created this plugin with the eventual hopes of logging and being able to create charts on LP fuel and energy consumption over time with outside weather data as well. I am glad to say I can and have done that with this thermostat. It wasn't until later that Honeywell offered a somewhat similar wifi thermostat. I really might have decided to get that if both were available at the time. So, I say let people by what works for them.

abuttino
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by abuttino » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:01 pm

barnabas,

By this using logic you wouldn't be using home automation because you'll never get a full return on your investment.

I, like dragon470, got the Nest for this plugin and the API. Matter of fact, this plugin is responsible for saving me more money than a thermostat with no API. As I leave home, my phone lets the thermostat know (automatically) that I've actually left home and sets the temperature higher. It will also return the temperature to normal when I arrive home.

Stuff like this wouldn't be possible without these API's which none other than the ecobee currently have, which is TWICE the price of the nest!

The funny thing is, as I was typing this reply, another great benefit arrived in my email, the monthly every usage reports from Nest. These are tallied to give power companies reasons to give discounts for users of Nest.

Your post was trolling and I would hope that mods see it and delete the entire conversation to let this get back to business.

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barnabas1969
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by barnabas1969 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:48 pm

I'm not trolling or bashing anything. I think I asked a valid question. Where better to get an answer than from a group of people who use the thing?

@Dragon470: You mentioned the fact that your family's schedule is not normal/repeatable. So, can you explain to me how the Nest figures that out? I understand what abuttino said about using his phone (presumably with Tasker) to notify the Nest of home/away status. That's pretty neat. But without the EG plugin, how could the Nest figure out when people are home or away if their schedule is random?

abuttino
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by abuttino » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:38 pm

The Nest has sound sensors/iR sensors and notices different things if you want to use AutoAway..

Matter of fact, there is a complete learning process for Auto-Away that happens automatically once you activate it. On the average, the Nest learning processes take up to 10 days, but it adapts to new things and you could say that it's always learning.

barnabas1969
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by barnabas1969 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:36 pm

Yes, I understand that it uses sensors. But (without the EG plugin and a smartphone app like Tasker) how could the Nest know that you're going to be home tomorrow if you're usually away on that day of week? I don't see how it could possibly learn when you'll be home/away if you don't have a fixed schedule.

abuttino
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by abuttino » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:41 pm

barnabas1969 wrote:Yes, I understand that it uses sensors. But (without the EG plugin and a smartphone app like Tasker) how could the Nest know that you're going to be home tomorrow if you're usually away on that day of week? I don't see how it could possibly learn when you'll be home/away if you don't have a fixed schedule.
If it senses that you are home, it won't go into away mode.

barnabas1969
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Re: Nest Thermostat plug-in

Post by barnabas1969 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:00 pm

My thermostat is in the middle of the hallway facing the wall on the opposite side of the hall from the thermostat. The hall is about 25 feet long. I have to pass the thermostat when I wake up in the morning and walk out of my bedroom, but it's possible for no people to pass the thermostat for several hours at a time. I'm trying to understand how it would know not to go into away mode. Let's say I get up at 8am on a day when I usually go to work, but I stay home that day because I'm not feeling well or whatever. Everyone but me leaves the house. I don't go back down the hallway until 3 or 4 hours later. Wouldn't the Nest think that everyone is gone until I walk by the thermostat again later in the day?

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