Using the Nest E Smart Thermostat With Solar

Solar Plus Technologies
Last Updated on
Coupling the Nest E smart thermostat with solar

The Nest Thermostat E allows homeowners and businesses to take their energy consumption habits into their own hands. Combining these two devices helps decrease pollution, saves customers money, and increases self-sufficiency. It makes sense to add smart thermostats to homes that already draw most or all of their power from the sun.

How Smart Thermostats Work

Smart thermostats use technology to help detect when you have left the house and remember preferred temperature settings. Devices such as an app or web portal can also control it.

This technology allows the thermostat to adapt so it can reduce the energy wasted in the home. The thermostat can adjust to an eco setting while away and readjust to the preferred temperature by the time the homeowner gets home. To better understand how to use Nest E, let’s see how to install and use it and its compatibility with other smart home products.

Nest E Thermostat Installation

Homeowners can install their thermostats, or a Certified Nest Thermostat Installer can install it for them. Installation via a Nest installer has a 3-year warranty. Self or non-certified Nest installs have a 1-year warranty.

Nest E Installation Video

Nest E Thermostat Compatibility

While the Nest E works with 85 percent of 24V heating and cooling systems, it’s not compatible with all systems. To check for compatibility, remove the face of the current thermostat and look for thick wires connected with wire nuts, or check to see if the thermostat has a 110V or 120V label.  

Either of these may indicate that Nest E will not work with the current system. However, to make sure, it’s best to go through the Nest compatibility checker

How to Use the Nest E Thermostat

The Nest E Thermostat has a variety of features that increase the comfort and energy efficiency of the home. While some of these features no longer exist due to Nest’s integration into the Google store and away from IFTTT, it still has many usable settings. 

These Nest Thermostat features include: 

  • Setting a thermostat schedule
  • Automating home away mode
  • HVAC control
  • Tampering prevention
  • Voice control
  • Air filter reminders
  • Multi-user access
  • Humidity settings 

Smart Thermostat Savings

The potential savings associated with smart thermostats have made them a hot commodity. According to Nest, 44 percent of an average home’s electricity bill comes from heating and cooling the house. 

While programmable thermostats can save money, they don’t have the convenience and seamless features of a smart thermostat. On average, a Nest Thermostat can save between 10 and 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling a house, which means the average homeowner would save several hundred dollars per year.  

The four settings that make the most difference in electricity savings include the auto-away, auto-schedule, nest leaf, and energy history setting on the thermostat. Customers can program these settings either on the thermostat or through the Nest app.

Nest Thermostat App

The Nest Thermostat app increases homeowners’ control over their energy consumption. Below are some of the settings of this app.

Auto-Away Setting on the Nest App

Although manually adjusting the thermostat isn’t hard, when in a rush it’s easy to forget. The Nest smart thermostat detects the movement and location of connected phones with the app to determine when the thermostat should enter the home or away mode.

When first set up, the app asks whether the homeowner wants the home/away assist function turned on. If the homeowner changes their mind, they can change their home assist preferences in the settings of the app.

The Auto-Schedule Function of the Nest App

The auto-schedule keeps track of recurring patterns and then makes adjustments, so no one needs to change the thermostat later. It either detects temperature adjustments over several days by detecting when people change the thermostat throughout the day, or homeowners can create a schedule through the app.

The App and the Nest Leaf

Decreasing the temperature in the home by one degree can cut the electricity bill by as much as five percent. Homeowners who adjust the thermostat until the screen has a nest leaf have entered the money-saving game.

The nest leaf icon encourages homeowners to decrease the heating and cooling needs of their homes. The leaf icon appears when a homeowner minimizes the need for the conditioner or heater by a few degrees. After a couple of days of acclimating to the new temperature, it moves the energy leaf for the home by a few more degrees.

Using Energy History in the App

The energy history feature on the Nest Thermostat allows homeowners to see how frequently the heater or air conditioner had to turn on to keep the home at a set temperature. This feature shows homeowners why adjusting the temperature a few degrees saves money.

To see the energy history, tap the Nest Thermostat in the app and then the history icon. In energy history, the orange bars indicate when the heater is turned on, and the blue bars represent the air conditioner. On days when the home uses less energy, the app shows a Nest leaf for the day.

What Makes the Nest E Different

Several smart thermostats have entered the market, which makes determining which one to buy difficult. While it’s tempting to choose the most inexpensive thermostat, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. While some smart thermostats offer the same package at different prices, oftentimes this isn’t the case. Each thermostat has different looks and features to consider.

Nest Thermostat E Versus Nest Learning Thermostat

While the look of the original Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E differs, the more economical Nest Thermostat E only misses out on a couple of features. Out of the features that differ between these devices, the only non-aesthetic downgrades include Farsight and decreased HVAC compatibility.

Reviewing the Nest Farsight Feature

Farsight allows the homeowner to view the time, temperature, and weather on the thermostat screen. While the Nest Learning Thermostat comes with this feature, the Nest E doesn’t.

Nest E Decreased Compatibility

The Nest Learning Thermostat works with 95 percent of 24 Volt HVAC systems, and the Nest E works with 85 percent. While not a large difference, it could prevent some homeowners from using a Nest E.

Nest Thermostat E Versus Competitors

When the Nest Thermostat came on the market, there weren’t any other smart thermostats. Over the last couple of years, however, other smart thermostats have popped up with different features best suited for different needs.

Nest E Features to Reckon With

The sleek design of the Nest E outmatches all of the smart thermostats on the market. While this smart thermostat doesn’t have a touch screen, individuals can control it by using the app, portal, or turning the ring on the outside of the thermostat.

The Nest E meets the needs of most homeowners with its thermostat scheduling, Home/Away Assist, safety temperature so pipes don’t freeze, and energy history report.

Combining Solar With the Nest E

While the Nest E conserves energy consumed by heating and cooling devices, on its own, that’s where it stops. However, combining this and other energy-saving devices and appliances with solar can provide more savings.

Residential solar turns each home into an energy factory. It allows every homeowner to have control of their energy source.

Solar panels combined with the Nest E amount to savings which are worth paying attention to. Both of these devices save money by reducing the need for fossil fuels.

Increased Solar Savings

Residential solar already saves homeowners thousands of dollars on electricity bills. The ROI of solar, however, increases when homeowners install both a smart thermostat and a solar array. When combined, the Nest E increases how much the solar array on the home can power.

Maximize Efficiency

Homeowners who want to maximize their efficiency can with solar plus products like smart thermostats. They can also increase their efficiency by implementing positive post solar installation habits and solar storage devices, like battery backup.


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