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Nest Thermostat E Review

Table of Contents

You know the expression “you have to spend money to make money”? It’s not just something I use to justify spending money aimlessly (although it is also that). It’s also true, especially with smart thermostats. Now, if you already have a thermostat, you might be wondering why you should replace it, and the answer? By sensing motion and body heat, smart thermostats can be as energy-efficient as possible, only making you room comfortable if you’re actually in it.

Don’t believe me? According to an independent study, the Nest Thermostat E can save you anywhere from 10-12% on heating and up to 15% on cooling, making it pay for itself within a couple of years for many people. Not to mention the Nest Thermostat E is just easier to use than a regular thermostat, and I’m excited to show you how.

In this Nest thermostat review, I’m going over the Nest Thermostat E’s design, features, installation process, and app before helping you decide if it’s the right smart thermostat for you. I hope you’re staying hydrated, because things are about to heat up!

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Nest Thermostat E
Nest Thermostat E
Nest Thermostat E

Save an average of 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling with the Nest Thermostat E, which works with 85% of 24V systems. 

Nest Thermostat E Pro and Cons

Right off the bat, here are the best and worst things that you should know about the Nest Thermostat E.


  • Remote control: Using the Nest app, you can control your home’s temperature from anywhere in the world.
  • Learning capability: Just like the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest Thermostat E can learn your schedule after a few days and program itself.
  • Saves you money: You can save up to 15% on heating and cooling with the Nest Thermostat E, meaning it can pay for itself in a couple of years.


  • No Farsight: Unlike the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest Thermostat E doesn’t have Farsight which can display the time as well as the weather in digital or analog.
  • Compatibility: The Nest Thermostat E works with 85% of  24V systems, while the Nest Learning Thermostat should work with any low voltage, 24V system.

Nest Thermostat E Design

Nest Thermostat E

If you’re looking for a sleek and minimalist thermostat, the Nest Thermostat E is a great option. It’s white on white with a 24-bit color LCD screen showing your temperature in 182 pixels per inch. Only a few inches wide, the Nest Thermostat E will work with 85% of 24-volt systems and will probably not require a c-wire. Rather than touching the screen itself, you’ll control the Nest Thermostat E the old-fashioned way— by turning the rim. Of course, there are a bunch of other ways to control your thermostat, but I’ll get to those in a minute.

You can have up to 20 Nest thermostats in your home and three homes per account. It’ll only consume less than one kWh per month, and with a rechargeable battery, installation just got a lot easier. The Nest Thermostat E will connect to the Nest app over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Finally, the Nest Thermostat E is ENERGY STAR-certified, meaning that the Environmental Protection Agency deemed it energy-efficient. Sounds great to me!

Now, you probably want to know the temperature in all of your rooms, but having a separate thermostat in every single room would be a little excessive. That’s why Nest also offers the Nest Sensor Thermostat, a small white circle with a diameter of less than two inches operated by battery. You can place the temperature sensor either on a shelf or on the wall, and it’ll communicate with your Nest Thermostat E via a Bluetooth connection. Just place it within 50 feet of your thermostat to easily stay on top of the temperature in different rooms of your house.

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Nest Sensor Thermostat
Nest Sensor Thermostat
Nest Sensor Thermostat

To get the most specific information about the temperature in different rooms of your home, you'll need a Nest Sensor Thermostat in addition to your Nest Thermostat E or Nest Learning Thermostat. 

Nest Thermostat E Features

Taking a room’s temperature is really just the tip of the iceberg for the Nest Thermostat E. It can sense a bunch of other useful quantifications, including:

  • Humidity: Let’s be honest, humidity can have a huge effect on how the room’s temperature feels, so I’m glad that the Nest Thermostat E takes this into account.
  • Proximity: The Nest Thermostat E can tell if you walk in front of it, detecting motion.
  • Occupancy: Using infrared body heat, the Nest Thermostat E can check if you’re home and awake, home and sleeping, or away from home.
  • Ambient light: Is it the middle of the night or a bright sunny day? The Nest Thermostat E can sense light and will dim or brighten its screen accordingly.

By taking all of these factors into account, the Nest Thermostat E can tell when it’s appropriate to adjust the temperature to your liking and when it’s not, saving you some major chump change.

Now let’s talk about the different ways you can control the Nest Thermostat E, cause if you’ve read any of my reviews before then you know I love options:

  • Schedules: Let’s be honest: most of us do versions of the same thing every day, so if this is the case, why not match your Nest Thermostat E’s schedule with your own? It will learn your schedule automatically after a few days, or you can set it yourself!
Smart Thermostat Schedules
Smart Thermostat Schedules
  • Geofencing: Connect your Nest Thermostat E with your phone’s GPS so it’ll automatically adjust based on your location. Of course, this method only works if you have your phone with you at all times, which seems to be the case for most people in 2020.
Smart Thermostat Geofencing
Smart Thermostat Geofencing
  • Voice commands: With integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can tell your Nest Thermostat E whatever you want it to do, really useful for children or the elderly who aren’t super tech-savvy.
  • App: Finally, you can use the Nest app to adjust your Nest Thermostat E— we’ll talk about that more in a bit.

Now, aside from Alexa and Google Assistant, you’ll also be able to sync the Nest Thermostat E with other connected devices, having their actions trigger each other. From LIFX to Lutron, from Wemo to Logitech, there’s dozens of connected devices that you can connect with your Nest Thermostat E to make your smart home run smoothly. For example, I like having my heat turn up when my Logitech camera is disarmed, as it means I’m home.

You’ll also be able to add up to nine users to your Nest app so they can have full access to your Nest Thermostat E s well. Want to see how much energy you’re using? Check out Nest’s energy usage report (hint: a Nest leaf means you’re at an energy-saving temperature). For the environmentally-minded, a smart thermostat makes a whole lot of sense.

Nest Thermostat E Installation

Before you go out and buy the Nest Thermostat E, first make sure it’s compatible with your home. Even if you have a 24V system, it’s not guaranteed to be compatible, but you can check compatibility on their website. Once that’s confirmed and you’ve purchased the Nest Thermostat E, first download the Nest app, if you don’t already have it.

The Nest app provides step-by-step instructions, which include turning off the electricity, removing your current thermostat and replacing it with the Nest Thermostat E. Make sure that the wires are where they’re supposed to be and once everything is order, you can turn the electricity back on. Overall, the app makes the process really easy so you can do it yourself.

The Nest App

Like all of the Nest products I’ve reviewed, the Nest Thermostat E can be controlled through the Nest app. It’s also where you’ll add users and get alerted if anything is wrong, like if your home is so cold that your pipes might burst. While Android-users gave the app a nice rating of 3.8, iPhone-users were less than impressed, rating it only a 2.1. As a user-friendly app is tantamount to any connected device, I can’t recommend the Nest Thermostat E to iPhone users.

Recap of the Nest Thermostat E

At $169, the Nest Thermostat E is actually one of the more affordable smart thermostats that I’ve seen, which are usually closer to $200. All in all, I think it’s a great deal, with very few things to complain about.

I’d buy the Nest Thermostat E if you’re looking for…

  • 24-volt compatibility 
  • Integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant 
  • Humidity, proximity, occupancy, and ambient light sensing 
  • Auto-schedules

But it may not be the best choice for you because of the following reasons…

  • Low-rated iPhone app 
  • No touchscreen or display of time and weather
  • Won’t support high-voltage heater or some 24V systems 

Want to explore other options? Read my review of the best smart thermostats of 2020


What is the difference between the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E?

The Nest Learning Thermostat has a touchscreen with Farsight, meaning it displays time and weather in addition to temperature. It works with more systems than the Nest Thermostat E, and it costs $249 compared to $139. Plus, the Nest Learning Thermostat comes in multiple colors, unlike the Nest Thermostat E.

Is the Nest Thermostat E worth it?

The Nest Thermostat E is definitely worth it. Saving you an average of 10-12% on heating and up to 15% on cooling, it can even pay for itself within a couple of years.

What is a Nest Thermostat E?

The Nest Thermostat E is a smart thermostat from Google Nest. Working with 85% of 24V systems, it works with Google Assistant, Alexa, and many other IoT devices. It also allows you to set schedules, saving you money on heating and cooling costs.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.