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

Are you fascinated with installing a Nest thermostat in your rental or residence?

I’ve lately been on a Sensible House improve streak. I simply put in 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 offer it a try to see if
it might decrease my utility payments with the intention of rolling it out throughout my

On this article I will:

  • Inform you why a Nest thermostat is perhaps right in your house or rental
  • Speak concerning the potential points of putting in a Nest thermostat with no widespread wire (AKA C-wire)
  • Present you what’s included in the field and what additional instruments you may want
  • Offer you visual, step-by-step ideas and instructions for mounting the Nest thermostat
  • Present you find out how to take advantage of your Nest thermostat so you can save cash and improve your ROI
  • Inform you if it was well worth the funding for me

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

There are 3 principal causes to think about investing in a Nest thermostat on your rentals.

Financial savings For You Or Your Tenant

Perhaps the perfect purpose to put in a Nest Learning thermostat is for the potential cash financial savings. Saving working prices ought to be a precedence for each landlord. It doesn’t matter for those who pay for the utilities or not.  Both approach you’ll profit.

  • In case your tenant pays for utilities, saving them money is an enormous promoting point. It should show you how to lease your condo quicker and maintain tenants longer, both of which enhance your backside line.

How A lot Can I Save?

Based on Nest, their clients save a mean of 10-12% on heating and 15% on air con or about $131 – $145 annually.  This means you possibly can probably recoup the cost of the system in just over a yr.

Clearly your savings will rely upon quite a lot of elements. In the event you use a Nest thermostat for both your warmth and air-conditioning the financial savings will rack up all yr long. Different elements similar to sort of heat, native utility charges and how environment friendly your HVAC system is will even influence the financial savings you will notice.

Can’t I Get Comparable Financial savings From Programmable Thermostats?

Simple, Programmable Thermostat

You possibly can theoretically obtain comparable results with a primary programmable thermostat that costs round $50. This can clearly have a a lot better ROI. Nevertheless, it’s not all the time straightforward to remember to vary the programming as mandatory.

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

A sensible thermostat like the Nest Studying thermostat will truly make these changes for you. You don’t have to remember. It is aware of if you’re house or not.

With options like Residence/Away Help it even knows if you’re coming residence or whenever you’re about to go away. It takes the human issue out of the equation so it’s rather 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 help your rental’s bottom line.

Appeal to And Hold Better Tenants

Tenants using smart devices

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

In line with Buildium’s 2017 Renters Report, 30% of renters think about power efficiency to be essential when selecting a rental. carried out an analogous survey and found that a Sensible Thermostats like a Nest thermostat ranked among the most compelling sensible units to offer for these more likely to lease.

Although I’m not aware of any revealed studies, I strongly suspect that each one else equal, that an house advertised with Sensible Tech will receive extra, better qualified candidates and can lease quicker than an house without these features listed.  I’d just attempt a non-scientific experiment during my next emptiness so stay tuned!

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

Tenants Love (And Pay For) Convenience

Convenient Smart Home Control

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

Listed here are a number of of the convenient features of a
Nest thermostat that your tenants (otherwise 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 – simply turn the dial to regulate the temperature
  • Never fear about changing the thermostat temperature once you depart the house
  • Change the temperature anytime from anyplace together with your telephone
  • Create and regulate a temperature schedule from 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 changes mechanically
  • Nest thermostats inform you the temperature whenever you stroll by
  • A huge, brilliant show means you by no means need to squint to learn the temperature

Different Cool Benefits Of A Nest Thermostat

Listed here are a number of other cool options 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 nonetheless use the gadget however can’t change the temperature past the vary 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 when you have radiant warmth and it understands how long it takes your specific system to warmth 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 green leaf icon tells you if you end up saving power and cash
  • You possibly can pull up house power reviews at the touch of a button
  • Nest Sensor Thermostats may be positioned 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 without their drawbacks. You must perceive what points you may encounter earlier than installing one.


The most important disadvantage to a nest thermostat is the worth. At around $250 each they don’t seem to be low cost. Particularly when a easy programmable thermostat solely costs about $50 and other Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats may be found for about $150.

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

You may also be capable of get an enormous discount (or even a free Nest thermostat!) by way of your local utility company.  Visit your native power supplier’s web site or the Nest Rebates & Rewards page to see in case you qualify.

Software program

Software Glitch

Another disadvantage of a Nest thermostat, as with all other know-how, is that it can be glitchy. I don’t assume this is distinctive to a Nest thermostat however the more difficult the system the more things that may go mistaken.

Some users have reported issues after having the system run software program updates. Whereas it seems to be prior to now, that doesn’t imply it gained’t happen again.

This stuff must be momentary as the companies often repair them fairly 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 drawback and it’s out of your management.

Professional Tip. Hold your previous thermostat useful at every rental just in case your Nest thermostat experiences a problem related to software program or not having a Common wire (see under). You possibly can all the time change out the thermostats in the occasion of a climate associated emergency. This should hold your tenant completely satisfied.

Issues When Installing A Nest Thermostat Without 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 possible 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 offers the facility mandatory
to run the extra options of at this time’s sensible thermostats.

Don’t fear though when you’ve got your coronary heart set on a Nest thermostat.  You possibly can truly install a Nest thermostat and not using a c-wire but you ought to be conscious of the potential issues.

The Nest thermostat has an inner battery that fees itself from the HVAC system. The battery is used to power the display, wifi connection and other options. It could actually run out of juice if the HVAC isn’t in use for some time.

To charge itself, the Nest thermostat shortly activates and off the HVAC with out truly biking it. This provides it just sufficient juice to proceed operating.

Of An Concern With Your Nest Thermostat

Some individuals have reported points with their
Nest thermostat when it wasn’t hooked as much as a standard wire power supply. This
tends to happen throughout average weather when the HVAC isn’t being used and
subsequently the Nest thermostat is just not receiving a charge.

Common Signs Your Nest Is Struggling With out A Common Wire:

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

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

More on this difficulty might be discovered on this complete article on the subject.

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

What Can I Do If I Experience Points?

Even in case you don’t presently have a Common wire
out there you’ve a number of choices:

  • Examine contained in the wall and the HVAC management panel to ensure you truly don’t have a C-wire.  Sometime’s it’s simply tucked away because it’s not being used.
  • Set up a C wire and run it from the furnace to the thermostat. This requires inside wall access from the furnace to the thermostat.
Venstar Add-a-wire thermostat adapterVenstar adds a c-wire
  • Use a Venstar Add-A Wire system.  This can provides a wire to a four or 5 wire system with out having to tug the wires by way of the wall.  Sadly, it doesn’t work with fewer wires.
  • Use a 24v Energy Adapter
Nest thermostat USB port
  • You’ll be able to cost the Nest Thermostat by way of the USB connection on the again.  Individuals report that a charge can last two months.  This will probably be sufficient to get your by way of the in-between seasons when an HVAC isn’t crucial.
  • It’s also possible to protect battery energy by disabling the Farsight perform which turns on the Nest thermostat show every time it detects close by movement.

In The Box

The Nest Learning thermostat comes properly 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 pretty much the whole lot you want – even the screwdriver. I only needed a pair of wire cutters to wash up the prevailing thermostat wires.

Here’s precisely what you will see that within the field.

Nest thermostat packaging contents

  1. White cowl plate to cover the opening if the Nest thermostat doesn’t cowl 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 set up supplies booklet
  3. Installation information

Putting in
Your Nest Thermostat

I’m actually impressed at how corporations like Nest and Ring have made their units so easy to install 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 Learning Thermostat is suitable with 98% of HVAC methods however you need to
affirm this before you purchase one.

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

Right here’s what mine seemed like.

Simple thermostat wiringNo widespread wire here.

To find out compatibility, verify the Nest web site.

You may still have questions about how the wiring will work with the Nest thermostat versus your current thermostat. Don’t fear. Let Nest send you a customized customized wiring diagram.

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

Straightforward Peasy

All I did was send them the mannequin of my current thermostat and a picture of the wires coming out of the wall. That was all the knowledge they needed to inform me precisely which wire went where on the Nest learning thermostat.

Putting in Your Nest Thermostat

One – Flip
Off The Energy

Flip off the facility to your present thermostat
and furnace or air conditioner or each. 
You can do this by tripping the breaker that powers the HVAC in your rental
or house.

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

You possibly can make sure the wires are not carrying current with this system.

Low voltage testerNormal & Low Voltage Tester

Step Two – Take away Previous Thermostat

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

Previous mercury type thermostat

Take an image of the wires on your current thermostat. Label them with the useful stickers offered by the Nest Studying 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

Simply 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 suitable holes.

Step 4 – 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 want for wall anchors.

Step 5 – Connect Wires To The Mounting Plate

This is really simple in case you acquired the custom wiring
diagram instantly from Nest.

Merely clear the ends of the wires and fasten the wires in accordance with the diagram.

trimming the thermostat wires

You’ll want to strip the wire simply sufficient to have a clean connection and never depart an excessive amount of uncovered wire once it’s inserted into the mounting plate.

Nest thermostat with wires attached

Observe that the wires are pushed into the mounting plate. To do that you simply the press the button to the aspect of the letter and push the suitable wire inside.

Also notice that the little gray 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 – Connect 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 turn on the facility and you’re able to set up your new Nest thermostat!

Up The Nest Thermostat

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

But don’t fear, the Nest Studying Thermostat walks you through the process step-by-step. All you want is to have your sensible telephones ready so you possibly can pair them with the Nest thermostat.

Nest Thermostat Set Up Steps:
  • Choose 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
  • Arrange the Nest app and connect the gadget to your phones

Has My Nest Thermostat Saved Me Money?

I’ve been using my Nest thermostat for a few months for warmth. 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 response to my first utility bill after
installing the Nest Thermostat, I used over 31% much less power than the same month
final yr.  The typical temperature
was 8° warmer in order that definitely contributed.

Nevertheless, I was additionally on vacation for about 10 days this similar month last yr in order that bill was understated.  Between the hotter weather this yr and the understated invoice last 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 sufficient?

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 approximately. 
Projecting this out for the subsequent 2 months, I might save another $180.

Based on my rough calculations, my Nest
thermostat is perhaps saving me $270 every winter!  Considering I solely paid $180 for mine, it’s already paid for
itself within the first two months. 
Every little thing else is pure profit.

Multi-Zone Nest Thermostat Hookups

My house has a number of heating zones so I went forward and installed a second one within the upstairs degree.  Right here’s what the Nest app appears like when you might have multiple Nest system.

Nest App with two Nest thermostats installed

I don’t assume it can end in almost as much financial savings as the primary Nest thermostat however assume it should only assist.

eight Ways To Save With A Nest Thermostat

Your Nest thermostat presents several ways to take advantage of its power saving potential.  Listed here are few issues to do if you set up your Nest thermostat.

Train Your Nest

In case you have an unusual schedule once you happen to put in your Nest thermostat, it’s going to study this.  Train it the right schedule by constantly adjusting it to your “normal” routine.  It’ll 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 method too difficult.  It’s truly quite simple.

Nest thermostat app with an empty schedule

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

Nest thermostat app with a full schedule

You possibly can “correct” your Nest Thermostat schedule by shifting
the dots round and altering the temperature values.

Set The Eco

Setting the Nest thermostat Eco temperature

Set the proper temp. 
Attempt something decrease/greater than you may usually set to see when you can
notice the difference.  Use this setting
when on vacation.

Look For The Leaf

Saving power and money with a Nest thermostat is a bit of like a recreation.  When you make power efficient changes a bit of 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 access your telephone’s location so it knows if you find yourself residence or away.  Nest will keep in mind to adjust the temperature even should you overlook.

It’s also a good suggestion so as to add different family telephones as nicely.  This manner your Nest thermostat gained’t by accident flip the warmth down in your wife and child once you depart for work!

Monitor Your Power
Historical past

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

When you’ve got multiple warmth or cooling zone, then contemplate
installing a second Nest thermostat. 
This manner you’ll be able to set totally different power environment friendly schedules that make
sense for every zone.

Set Power-Saving Triggers

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

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

A daring applet

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


Most landlords can understand massive benefits from putting in a Nest thermostat.  Whether you or your tenant pays the payments doesn’t matter because it is going to make your rental extra profitable either method.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to know the drawbacks of a Nest thermostat too.  Particularly in relation to compatibility with a system that doesn’t embrace a standard wire or C-wire.  It’s not a deal breaker, however it’s worthwhile to search for signs of a problem and know how you can right it.

My Nest thermostat has already started saving me huge
money.  I know I can get much more
out of it by benefiting from all of it’s power saving features.

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

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

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