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Stay Cool This Summer While Saving Energy

by Elke Erschfeld

Due to the latest heat wave, I have been thinking about how to feel comfortable while saving money and reducing my impact on the environment. I was surprised that according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 54% of residential energy usage is dedicated to heating and cooling, while only 13% to lighting, electronics and computers. As a design fanatic, I really like the beautiful self-programming Nest Learning Thermostat produced by a company Tony Fadell founded. Tony, former head of Apple’s iPhone and iPod divisions, helped design the iPod.

Nest’s elegantly simple design enables you to easily set your temperature by rotating it until you see the desired target. Over time, it learns how warm or cool you want to be and even automatically creates a schedule. It can sense when no one is at home during the day and switches itself automatically to ‘away’ mode. A full-color screen in the center displays the current and target temperatures in blue when cooling and orange when warming. The screen, which is normally off, turns on as you approach. My favorite part is that a small green leaf appears when you set the temperature to an eco-friendly level. By pressing the center, intuitive menus appear that allow locking the device, setting it to away, viewing energy history, and managing the schedule and other settings. You can control almost everything remotely by smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

A nice design feature is, that a solid stainless steel ring encases the Nest Thermostat reflecting your wall color so that it blends perfectly into any environment. But there's more to it than meets the eye since it’s fully compliant with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive). This means that it contains no hazardous substances commonly used by electronic products. It's also compliant with REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), which aims to protect the human health and the environment through managing chemicals correctly. With the Nest Thermometer you can be considered of the environment inside and outside of your home.



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