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Keeping us comfy — the uber-modern way

Although we are visiting the house several times a week, you won’t be seeing many new pictures.  It just doesn’t seem fair to show you the work in progress when we are so close to completion.  The kitchen cupboards are already looking very impressive, but it’s not fair to the manufacturer/installer to show you the product with the doors and countertop missing.  Nor is it fair to the finishing contractor to show you a giant saw in the middle of a partly-floored room.

When we visit, we see the finished product through optimistic eyes, but photos will not bring you the same image.

For instance, where the thermostat will be, there is just a wire sticking out of the wall.  You can’t see the Nest thermostat — DH’s choice for the technical way to keep us comfortable. But it will be there.

Right now we are living in a rental with radiant floor heat.  And it is very nice, a good preview of what we will expect when we move to the laneway.  But it has a regular thermostat.  When I get up at 6 am during the week I turn it up.  Theoretically, when DH comes to bed after the late news he turns it down again.  But if he forgets I wake up in the middle of the night and get out of my now-sauna bed to turn it down.  And I don’t want it turning on at 6 am on the weekends when I want to sleep in.  And what happens if we leave the house for the day?  It’s a waste of energy and money to keep the house at human-comfort temperature when there are only two fur-covered cats there to enjoy.

So we purchased a Nest thermostat to be installed in our laneway.


The Nest learns how to keep you comfortable as you set it every day.  Or you can program it, say to turn on every morning at 5:45 except on weekends. You can program it remotely using an app on your phone if you leave the house without turning it down.  It will tell you when you are saving money.

It was developed by the guy who brought us the iPod, Tony Fadell.  Here’s an interview with him about how and why he developed it.

You don’t expect someone who brought us the iPod to think about thermostats.  But lucky for us, he did.  And he didn’t like what was available.

“It was 100 percent personal annoyance, not only at the product itself and how ugly they were but also at the fact that – in the case of the heating and cooling – it was annoying for my wife, and then it was very annoying for me we got the bills at the end of the month and had no idea about what we were doing right and what we were doing wrong.

Another take away from the interview is that only 40% of the homes in the UK have thermostats.  Whaaaaaat?  How do you regulate the heating in your homes?

And thanks to Ian of the Home Discovery Show, who originally turned DH onto the Nest.  Try as we may, we cannot keep up with all the new developments without help.


About ladywholivesdownthelane

Starting the adventure of building a laneway house in the real-estate jungle of Vancouver, BC

2 responses »

  1. Here in Holland, we have a computer thermostat. We can program it for every hour, day, week and month, and even program in the winter/summer times. Wonderful to come downstairs to set coffee in the morning in a warm cozy kitchen.

    • I think when we start paying European prices for our energy we will embrace this technology even more. It’s quite a coincidence that you are writing from Holland — I am writing a post right now about Amsterdam and Groningen.


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