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Smart Home

5 tips for your new Nest Thermostat

These tips take you beyond the basics so you can get the most out of your new Nest Thermostat.

Jon Garnham/CNET

Is a Nest Thermostat ($52 at Amazon.com) your new smart home device? Here are some features you may not know about that can make it even more useful, from voice control and lowering your home's humidity to saving money on heating and cooling. 

1. Control your Nest Thermostat with your voice

There's no need to get up to adjust your Nest. You can control it using voice commands with most home hubs, including Amazon's Alexa speakers or the Google Home ($129 at Crutchfield). Here's how to set Nest voice control up.

2. Use Sunblock

If your thermostat is near windows, then you should probably turn on the Sunblock feature. It tells your Nest when it is in direct sunlight so it doesn't amp up the air conditioning or lower the heater because the thermostat is reading the room as warmer than it really is. This option can save on your utility bill because the heater or AC won't be overworking due to bad information from the thermostat. 

To turn it on, go to the app and tap on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear). Then, tap on Sunblock and toggle on the switch icon.

3. Control humidity

If you live in an area that is uncomfortably humid, you can use your Nest to keep your home's air drier with its Cool to Dry setting. This setting is found on the Nest Thermostat E ($169 at B&H Photo-Video), first-gen Nest Learning Thermostat ($210 at Amazon.com) and the second- and third-gen Nest Learning Thermostats. Here's how to blast humidity using your Nest.

4. Save money with Airwave

Airwave is an option that will automatically switch your AC compressor off after the room is cooled. Then, it uses your AC's fan to blow the cool air throughout the house. This saves money on cooling costs.

To turn the option on, go to the app and tap on the Settings icon. Then, tap on Airwave and toggle on the switch icon.

5. You can turn Auto-Schedule off

The auto-schedule option on the Nest learns how warm or cold you like your home throughout the day and automatically sets the temperature for you, using what it has learned. If you live in a crazy place like I do where one day it could be freezing and the next day a walk in the park can broil you like a piece of meat, your Nest can get confused, though. 

If you find that your Nest is consistently wrong when it's predicting thermostat temperatures, you can turn this feature off. Go to the app and tap on the Settings icon. Then, tap on Auto-Schedule and toggle off the switch icon

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