Smart Home

Your Nest thermostat can now help to identify potential HVAC problems

You already know your Google Nest Thermostat learns your heating and cooling needs and can automatically keep your home the perfect temperature. Now Nest has some new tricks in the works. Google Nest announced on Wednesday, January 29, that it is testing a new feature that can help identify problems with your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

google nest learning thermostat

“Based on information like your thermostat’s historical data and current weather, Nest will learn to detect some unusual HVAC patterns that might indicate something is wrong,” Google Nest product manager Jeff Gleeson said on Google’s blog. “If it’s taking longer than normal to heat your home, for example, there might be a problem with your heating system — even if you haven’t noticed anything.”

If your Nest smart thermostat detects something unusual, it will then send an email to you, giving you a handy heads-up. Unusual behavior that may set off an alert could be the heater taking longer than normal to heat or the air conditioner taking too long to kick on, for example.

If you are signed up for the Nest Home Report, you’re all set. No need to sign up for this new service. If not, you can sign up easily. First, go to the Nest app and tap the Settings icon (the gear in the upper right-hand corner). Next, tap Notifications > Nest Home Report. On the Nest Home Report screen slide the button until the slider and button turns blue.

What do you do if you get an alert and can’t figure out the cause? Google Nest has some ideas about that, too. “As part of this feature test, we are also partnering with Handy, a platform that connects qualified professionals with customers who need their services, to make it easy to find and book an HVAC pro with set pricing,” Gleeson said. “Booking through Handy will initially be available in over 20 metro areas, including Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Las Vegas, and San Diego, and expand to additional regions throughout the testing period.”

While Google emphasizes that it is still testing this feature and that it shouldn’t replace the diagnosis of a qualified HVAC professional, it’s still pretty nifty, especially for those of us that are so busy they may not recognize strange HVAC behavior.

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