Update on the Nest Protect – smoke/CO detector

In the spring I installed a second Nest Protect in the basement, just shortly before they were recalled for problems with the hand-waving to hush algorithm. Everything worked fine… until earlier this week. I bought a new dehumidifier and had it running in the middle of the basement to check it out. It’s a Frigidaire, and pushes the dehumidified air out through top of the machine. 15 minutes into running the machine, the Nest goes off… and not an advanced warning yellow, full blown RED status for smoke. It goes crazy, and I hush it – clearly there is no smoke, but I figure the slightly warm air from the dehumidifier has set the smoke alarm off. I took the dehumidifier outside and ran it there for a day, dehumidifying the city, *just* to make sure it worked okay. Okay, so I call up Nest and they say that’s how it is suppose to react, and I should move the Nest to the stairwell, due to the low (finished) basement height etc. So I did that – shortly after which it told me its batteries were low. Okay, so I bought new ones, but at C$15 for 4, Energizer Ultimate Lithium aren’t exactly cheap – C$25 to replace the batteries every time this thing has a hissy fit? Okay – all good, or SO ONE WOULD THINK. At 4am the following morning it alerts all the devices I have it hooked up to that the sensor has failed. After all this hassle, you can guess what’s happening to this puppy – it’s going back to Nest for a refund. Yes, I could have cleaned the sensor – but I shouldn’t have to go through the hassle – thats too low a maintainability factor.

I’m keeping the 120V version, because it seems to work okay – there is just too much technology and power consumption for the battery version to operate efficiently. Back to old-school smoke detectors. I am somewhat of a luddite when it comes to technology (and I do it for a living) – and I gave it a chance – but I don’t think the battery version is 100% consumer ready. Why does the voice and auditory alarm drain the battery so quickly… maybe the battery version doesn’t need voice? As for the Nest Thermostat – well I won’t be buying one of those either – not because I don’t think it’s a good product but because of one feature – it doesn’t allow me to switch off (on the thermostat) my air-conditioner in summer. I only run it when it’s really hot/humid and otherwise I prefer to have it turned off. When they add this ability, I’ll consider getting one. Sorry Nest.

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