Nest’s Thermostat E, the budget version of its thermostat that it released in the US last year, is finally making its way to Europe. Notably, it’s tuned to European heating systems and can be installed without the help of a professional.
The Thermostat E consists of two parts, a thermostat featuring Nest’s traditional dial interface, and a Heat Link E which is wired into your boiler (a staple of most European homes). In an ideal world this would make use of pre-existing wires that lead from your boiler to your thermostat, but if those don’t exist then you’re likely to need a professional installer to set them up for you.
The thermostat itself has a large screen that shows the current and target temperatures, and a dial that you turn in order to control the heating. As the budget member of Nest’s lineup, the E has a stripped down interface and lacks the full-color display and stainless steel exterior of the standard Nest (now in its third generation).
One of the key strengths of the Nest Thermostat is its ability to learn your heating schedule, and that’s present on the Thermostat E — albeit with a slight twist. While the company’s lineup has previously come with a blank schedule that’s ready to learn from your routine, for the European release of the Thermostat E, Nest has put together a pre-programmed schedule based on typical usage in Europe. It will still have a lot to learn based on your specific routine, but it should mean you’re up and running much more quickly.
Nest thermostats have never felt quite as at home in Europe as they have in America because they’re designed with centrally-heated homes in mind. While that’s great in the US where many homes are heated via ducts pumping warm air from a central furnace, European homes often rely on a water boiler that feeds radiators in each room for warmth. Without the ability to control these individual radiators (unlike, say, Tado or Netatmo), Nest systems can sometimes result in hot and cold pockets in your house. Although the company recently released remote temperature sensors in an attempt to solve this issue, it’s still forced to heat your whole home uniformly which isn’t very efficient or economical.
The Nest Thermostat E doesn’t quite solve this issue, but its cheaper price and easy installation should make it easier to accept the compromise. The thermostat is available for pre-order now for £199 / €219 (or £259 with professional installation in the UK) and is expected to ship in mid-October.