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3 Ways A Nest Thermostat Benefits Landlords (No Common Wire Guide)

Are you occupied with putting in a Nest thermostat in your rental or residence?

I’ve lately been on a Sensible Residence upgrade streak. I simply installed a Ring Floodlight Cam and Ring Doorbell but I hesitated to purchase a Nest thermostat.  They don’t seem to be low cost and I wasn’t positive it was suitable with my house or leases.

Nevertheless, I needed to provide it a attempt to see if
it might lower my utility bills with the intention of rolling it out across my

In this article I will:

  • Inform you why a Nest thermostat may be right on your house or rental
  • Speak concerning the potential issues of putting in a Nest thermostat and not using a widespread wire (AKA C-wire)
  • Show you what’s included within the box and what additional tools you may need
  • Offer you visual, step-by-step ideas and directions for mounting the Nest thermostat
  • Show you learn how to benefit from your Nest thermostat so it can save you cash and enhance your ROI
  • Inform you if it was well worth the investment for me

Does A Nest Thermostat Make Sense For Your Rental (Or Residence)?

There are 3 foremost causes to think about investing in a Nest thermostat in your leases.

Financial savings For You Or Your Tenant

Maybe one of the best purpose to install a Nest Learning thermostat is for the potential money savings. Saving working prices ought to be a precedence for every landlord. It doesn’t matter in the event you pay for the utilities or not.  Both means you will profit.

  • If your tenant pays for utilities, saving them cash is an enormous selling point. It is going to provide help to lease your condo quicker and hold tenants longer, both of which enhance your backside line.

How A lot Can I Save?

In line with Nest, their clients save a mean of 10-12% on heating and 15% on air con or about $131 – $145 annually.  This means you’ll be able to probably recoup the cost of the gadget in just over a yr.

Clearly your financial savings will depend upon quite a few elements. Should you use a Nest thermostat for each your heat and air-conditioning the financial savings will rack up all yr lengthy. Other elements resembling sort of heat, native utility charges and how efficient your HVAC system is will even impression the financial savings you will notice.

Can’t I Get Comparable Savings From Programmable Thermostats?

Simple, Programmable Thermostat

You’ll be able to theoretically achieve comparable results with a primary programmable thermostat that costs round $50. This can obviously have a a lot better ROI. Nevertheless, it’s not all the time straightforward to recollect to vary the programming as vital.

For example, when is final time you adjusted one for daylight financial savings time? Or have you ever briefly adjusted the thermostat off schedule? That adjustment can go on for hours when it’s not crucial.

A sensible thermostat like the Nest Learning thermostat will truly make these changes for you. You don’t have to recollect. It knows if you’re house or not.

With features like Residence/Away Assist it even knows if you’re coming residence or once you’re about to go away. It takes the human factor out of the equation so it’s far more environment friendly. Extra on this under.

Even in case you are diligent and all the time regulate your simple programmable thermostat to maximise financial savings, a Nest thermostat will do extra to assist your rental’s backside line.

Appeal to And Hold Better Tenants

Tenants using smart devices

In my current article masking the Ring Video Doorbell and the Ring Floodlight Cam, I mentioned how sensible know-how is turning into a gorgeous function for millennials.  Advertising your rental as a “smart home” will aid you appeal to and retain higher tenants. This will improve your backside line dramatically.

Based on Buildium’s 2017 Renters Report, 30% of renters think about power effectivity to be essential when selecting a rental. carried out an identical survey and found that a Sensible Thermostats like a Nest thermostat ranked among the most compelling sensible units to supply for those more likely to lease.

Although I’m not aware of any revealed research, I strongly suspect that each one else equal, that an condominium advertised with Sensible Tech will receive more, better qualified candidates and can lease faster than an condo with out those options listed.  I’d simply attempt a non-scientific experiment during my next emptiness so keep tuned!

Nevertheless it’s not simply concerning the cool factor. There are different options of the Nest thermostat that your tenants will recognize… and pay for.

Tenants Love (And Pay For) Convenience

Convenient Smart Home Control

Everybody appreciates convenience and most are
prepared to pay for it.

Listed here are a couple of of the handy features of a
Nest thermostat that your tenants (or you) might find properly well worth the premium

  • Nest thermostat learns your patterns in a number of days – after that you simply don’t have to regulate it until you need to
  • Nest thermostat is super straightforward to use – merely turn the dial to regulate the temperature
  • By no means fear about altering the thermostat temperature whenever you depart the home
  • Change the temperature anytime from anyplace together with your telephone
  • Create and modify a temperature schedule out of your telephone
  • Get a full climate report with a easy push of the Nest thermostat
  • You’ll be able to merely ask Alexa to turn up the temperature
  • Nest thermostats know the surface temperature and may make adjustments mechanically
  • Nest thermostats inform you the temperature if you stroll by
  • A massive, shiny display means you by no means should squint to read the temperature

Other Cool Benefits Of A Nest Thermostat

Listed here are a number of other cool features on a Nest thermostat your tenants will recognize:

  • Lock function permits you to lock in a temperature vary with a security pin. Roommates or tenants with out the pin can still use the gadget however can’t change the temperature past the range you set.
  • Early On function means you by no means have to return house to a chilly or scorching house once more
  • Air Wave know-how. This uses the cool air left over after the air-conditioner shuts off. This cuts the time the compressor is operating by 30%. Your programmable thermostat can’t do this.
  • True Radiant know-how. Nest thermostats know in case you have radiant heat and it understands how long it takes your specific system to heat up. It takes the guess work out of programming a thermostat.
  • Nest Thermostats know the indoor humidity degree and the Cool To Dry function will turn on the AC to take away extra humidity
  • The little inexperienced leaf icon tells you if you end up saving power and money
  • You possibly can pull up house power studies on the touch of a button
  • Nest Sensor Thermostats could be placed in rooms throughout the home to ensure optimum temperature in every room

What Are The Drawbacks To A Nest Thermostat?

Nest thermostats can benefit landlords and tenants alike but they don’t seem to be with out their drawbacks. You need to understand what points you may encounter before installing one.


The most important disadvantage to a nest thermostat is the worth. At around $250 every they don’t seem to be low cost. Especially when a simple programmable thermostat only prices about $50 and different Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats might be found for about $150.

Nevertheless, you don’t should pay $250. They often go for about $220 however I used to be capable of purchase mine during a Black Friday deal. It only value me about $180.

You may also have the ability to get an enormous low cost (or even a free Nest thermostat!) by means of your local utility firm.  Visit your local power provider’s web site or the Nest Rebates & Rewards web page to see when you qualify.


Software Glitch

Another disadvantage of a Nest thermostat, as with all different know-how, is that it may be glitchy. I don’t assume that is unique to a Nest thermostat however the more difficult the system the more issues that may go improper.

Some users have reported issues after having the system run software updates. Whereas it appears to be up to now, that doesn’t mean it gained’t happen again.

This stuff ought to be momentary as the businesses often repair them pretty shortly. Nevertheless, that’s little comfort in the midst of a snowstorm and it’s a must to clarify to your tenant that it’s a software program drawback and it’s out of your management.

Pro Tip. Hold your previous thermostat useful at each rental just in case your Nest thermostat experiences a problem associated to software or not having a Common wire (see under). You’ll be able to all the time change out the thermostats in the occasion of a weather associated emergency. This could maintain your tenant pleased.

Points When Installing A Nest Thermostat With out A Common Wire

Thermostat Wires C-Wire

The most important potential disadvantage to a Nest thermostat is the fact that it makes use of an inner battery.  That is both a plus and a potential adverse.

When you’ve got an older residence or rental, it’s
potential you don’t have the required widespread wire (aka a C-wire).  This wire supplies the facility mandatory
to run the additional features of at this time’s sensible thermostats.

Don’t worry although when you’ve got your coronary heart set on a Nest thermostat.  You possibly can truly set up a Nest thermostat and not using a c-wire but you have to be conscious of the potential points.

The Nest thermostat has an inner battery that expenses itself from the HVAC system. The battery is used to energy the display, wifi connection and other features. It may run out of juice if the HVAC just isn’t in use for some time.

To charge itself, the Nest thermostat shortly turns on and off the HVAC without truly biking it. This provides it just sufficient juice to continue operating.

Of An Situation With Your Nest Thermostat

Some individuals have reported issues with their
Nest thermostat when it wasn’t hooked as much as a standard wire power source. This
tends to happen throughout average climate when the HVAC isn’t getting used and
subsequently the Nest thermostat just isn’t receiving a cost.

Common Indicators Your Nest Is Struggling Without A Common Wire:

  • HVAC is making clicking or different sounds as whether it is turning on and off quickly
  • Heat or AC is all the time on
  • Your Nest thermostat says the HVAC is “delayed”
  • HVAC fan activates and off repeatedly
  • HVAC fan is all the time operating or gained’t activate

Some house owners have reported listening to their
furnace turn on and off briefly periodically.

Extra on this concern may be discovered in this comprehensive article on the subject.

Luckily, I’ve not skilled this
drawback yet.  Nevertheless, I only have
my Nest thermostat hooked up to my furnace and it’ll not be getting a cost
all summer time long.  I’m anticipating to
have issues in April when my furnace stops operating. Keep tuned!

What Can I Do If I Experience Points?

Even when you don’t at present have a Common wire
out there you have got a number of choices:

  • Verify inside the wall and the HVAC control panel to be sure to truly don’t have a C-wire.  Someday’s it’s simply tucked away as a result of it’s not getting used.
  • Install a C wire and run it from the furnace to the thermostat. This requires inside wall entry from the furnace to the thermostat.
Venstar Add-a-wire thermostat adapterVenstar provides a c-wire
  • Use a Venstar Add-A Wire system.  It will provides a wire to a four or 5 wire system without having to tug the wires by means of the wall.  Sadly, it doesn’t work with fewer wires.
  • Use a 24v Energy Adapter
Nest thermostat USB port
  • You possibly can charge the Nest Thermostat by way of the USB connection on the again.  Individuals report that a cost can final two months.  This might be sufficient to get your by way of the in-between seasons when an HVAC isn’t needed.
  • You may as well preserve battery energy by disabling the Farsight perform which activates the Nest thermostat display each time it detects nearby movement.

In The Field

The Nest Learning thermostat comes nicely packaged and properly protected.

Nest thermostat unopened boxNest Thermostat inside the boxNest thermostat mounting plate in packagingNest thermostat wall cover inside packaging

Your Nest thermostat comes with just about every thing you want – even the screwdriver. I solely needed a pair of wire cutters to wash up the prevailing thermostat wires.

Right here’s precisely what you can find within the field.

Nest thermostat packaging contents

  1. White cover plate to hide the opening if the Nest thermostat doesn’t cover it.
  2. Electrical field mounting hardware
  3. The Nest thermostat gadget
  4. Nest screwdriver. Why do tech corporations embrace these?
  5. Mounting plate
  6. Drywall / Wooden screws
  7. Electrical field mounting screws
  8. Nest thermostat booklet

  1. Nest thermostat booklet
  2. Pro installation supplies booklet
  3. Installation guide

Your Nest Thermostat

I am really impressed at how corporations like Nest and Ring have made their units so simple to put in that even a not-so-handy landlord like myself can do it.

Affirm Nest Thermostat Is Suitable With Your System

Nest claims that their third Era
Nest Studying Thermostat is suitable with 98% of HVAC techniques but you must
affirm this before you buy one.

To do that, simply take away your present thermostat from the wall and notice how many wires there are what they are related to.

Right here’s what mine appeared like.

Simple thermostat wiringNo widespread wire right here.

To find out compatibility, examine the Nest web site.

You should still have questions on how the wiring will work with the Nest thermostat versus your present thermostat. Don’t fear. Let Nest ship you a customized customized wiring diagram.

Right here’s what mine seemed like. Notice I only have
a two-wire system.

Straightforward Peasy

All I did was ship them the mannequin of my current thermostat and an image of the wires popping out of the wall. That was all the knowledge they wanted to tell me exactly which wire went where on the Nest studying thermostat.

Putting in Your Nest Thermostat

One – Turn
Off The Energy

Turn off the facility to your current thermostat
and furnace or air conditioner or both. 
You are able to do this by tripping the breaker that powers the HVAC in your rental
or residence.

Despite the fact that the voltage is low, you continue to need
to close off the facility. That’s because you’ll be able to truly do harm to your HVAC
system if you’re messing with these wires.

You’ll be able to ensure the wires are not carrying current with this gadget.

Low voltage testerCommonplace & Low Voltage Tester

Step Two – Take away Previous Thermostat

My home isn’t that previous however apparently this thermostat was state-of-the-art in 1983.

Previous mercury fashion thermostat

Take a picture of the wires on your current thermostat. Label them with the useful stickers offered by the Nest Learning thermostat materials. This manner you gained’t lose monitor later.

Step Three – Mark Holes For The Mounting Plate

The Nest thermostat comes with a useful degree on the mounting plate so you’ll be able to simply mount it straight.

Nest thermostat wall plate and wall mount

Merely pull the thermostat wires which are within the wall via the opening in the middle of the mounting plate.  Put the mounting plate up towards the wall and mark the appropriate holes.

Step Four – Attach Mounting Plate And Wall Cover

This step is fairly simple.  Put the mounting plate into the wall cowl and screw it into the wall the place you marked the holes.

Attaching the nest thermostat mounting plate

The Nest Studying Thermostat wall screws are
self-tapping and may go immediately into drywall. No need for wall anchors.

Step 5 – Attach Wires To The Mounting Plate

That is really simple in the event you acquired the customized wiring
diagram immediately from Nest.

Simply clean the ends of the wires and connect the wires in accordance with the diagram.

trimming the thermostat wires

Make sure to strip the wire simply enough to have a clean connection and never depart an excessive amount of exposed wire once it’s inserted into the mounting plate.

Nest thermostat with wires attached

Word that the wires are pushed into the mounting plate. To do that you merely the press the button to the aspect of the letter and push the appropriate wire inside.

Additionally notice that the little grey buttons do not
snap again as soon as the wires inside as you may anticipate they might. Give them a mild
tug to ensure the wires are holding firmly.

Step Six – Attach Nest Learning Thermostat

That is the simplest step of all. Merely line up the nest thermostat connection plug with the receiving finish of the mounting plate and push it in.

Nest thermostat connection

NestMounting Plat Connection

That’s it!  Now activate the facility and you’re able to set up your new Nest thermostat!

Up The Nest Thermostat

You will spend more time establishing your Nest thermostat than you’ll spend truly installing it.

But don’t worry, the Nest Learning Thermostat walks you through the process step-by-step. All you need is to have your sensible phones prepared so you possibly can pair them with the Nest thermostat.

Nest Thermostat Set Up Steps:
  • Select your language
  • Hook up with your WiFi
  • Enter your location
Nest Set up Equipment Detected screen
  • Detect the HVAC gear
Nest thermostat eco temperature set up screen
nest thermostat system test screen
Nest thermostat app set up complete screen
  • Set up the Nest app and connect the system to your phones

Has My Nest Thermostat Saved Me Cash?

I’ve been utilizing my Nest thermostat for a few months for heat. Listed here are the results I obtained.

Energy savings after installing Nest thermostatMy January Fuel Bill

Energy use by month before and after Nest thermostat was installed

In line with my first utility invoice after
installing the Nest Thermostat, I used over 31% much less power than the same month
final yr.  The typical temperature
was 8° hotter in order that definitely contributed.

Nevertheless, I was additionally on vacation for about 10 days this similar month last yr so that bill was understated.  Between the hotter weather this yr and the understated bill final yr it was in all probability a wash.

All in all I might say the Nest thermostat is saving me huge bucks however is it enough?

Let’s see.

Potential Financial savings With Nest Thermostat Put in

If my bill was 30% larger it will have value
me an additional $90 roughly. 
Projecting this out for the subsequent 2 months, I might save one other $180.

In line with my rough calculations, my Nest
thermostat could be saving me $270 each winter!  Contemplating I solely paid $180 for mine, it’s already paid for
itself within the first two months. 
The whole lot else is pure revenue.

Multi-Zone Nest Thermostat Hookups

My house has a number of heating zones so I went ahead and put in a second one in the upstairs degree.  Right here’s what the Nest app appears like when you’ve gotten multiple Nest gadget.

Nest App with two Nest thermostats installed

I don’t assume it is going to end in almost as much savings as the first Nest thermostat however assume it’ll solely assist.

8 Ways To Save With A Nest Thermostat

Your Nest thermostat provides a number of ways to take advantage of its power saving potential.  Listed here are few issues to do once you arrange your Nest thermostat.

Train Your Nest

If in case you have an uncommon schedule if you occur to put in your Nest thermostat, it should study this.  Train it the right schedule by constantly adjusting it to your “normal” routine.  It should shortly keep in mind these adjustments and get it right.

Regulate The Schedule

Once I first opened the Schedule function I was a bit overwhelmed at first.  It seemed approach too difficult.  It’s truly very simple.

Nest thermostat app with an empty schedule

At first your Nest Thermostat could have a clean schedule
just like the one above.  Over time it
will look extra like this.

Nest thermostat app with a full schedule

You’ll be able to “correct” your Nest Thermostat schedule by shifting
the dots around and altering the temperature values.

Set The Eco

Setting the Nest thermostat Eco temperature

Set the proper temp. 
Attempt something decrease/larger than you may normally set to see in the event you can
notice the difference.  Use this setting
when on trip.

Look For The Leaf

Saving power and money with a Nest thermostat is slightly like a recreation.  In case you make power environment friendly changes just a little leaf will appear.  See if a 1° adjustment makes the leaf seem.

Enable Auto Away

Nest thermostat App with Auto Away enabled

Let the Nest App entry your telephone’s location so it is aware of if you end up house or away.  Nest will keep in mind to adjust the temperature even in the event you overlook.

It’s additionally a good idea so as to add different household phones as properly.  This manner your Nest thermostat gained’t by accident flip the warmth down in your wife and baby once you depart for work!

Monitor Your Power

Nest thermostat App Energy History report

See how much you’re saving with the Power Historical past
report. Might you be doing even better?

Use Multiple Nest

If in case you have multiple heat or cooling zone, then think about
putting in a second Nest thermostat. 
This manner you’ll be able to set totally different power environment friendly schedules that make
sense for each zone.

Set Power-Saving Triggers

You should use your Nest Thermostat to set off different energy-saving actions by integrating it with Applets from (If This Then That).

There are a selection of “Applets” to make use of the Nest Thermostat Away function to set triggers that save power.

A daring applet

That is in all probability my favorite that somebody created.  I haven’t tried it (nor do I dare!).


Most landlords can understand huge advantages from putting in a Nest thermostat.  Whether or not you or your tenant pays the payments doesn’t matter as a result of it’ll make your rental extra worthwhile either approach.

Nevertheless, it’s necessary to know the drawbacks of a Nest thermostat too.  Particularly with regards to compatibility with a system that doesn’t embrace a standard wire or C-wire.  It’s not a deal breaker, however you want to search for indicators of a problem and know the way to right it.

My Nest thermostat has already began saving me massive
cash.  I do know I can get much more
out of it by profiting from all of it’s power saving features.

Give it a attempt in your personal residence after which roll it out across
your rentals.  It’s going to make your
properties extra competitive and worthwhile!

Depart a comment under and let me know your experiences with the Nest thermostat.

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