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Nest Thermostats updated for better temperature control and energy efficiency

The heat is on

Nest is pushing out a software update that will improve its ability to make small changes to your home's temperature on the fly. This is based on more intelligent algorithms, Nest says, as well as better controls for more advanced heating systems.

Most thermostats are what they are from the day you buy them until the day you rip them off the wall for a home renovation project. But Nest works more like a computer company that sends automatic software updates out on a regular basis. Since the Thermostat's introduction in late 2011, it has been updated over 30 times with about a dozen new features.

Nest feels the draft now, too

This software update, which will make its way onto all three generations of Nest Learning Thermostats over the next two weeks, focuses on precision. Your Nest was already different than mine in how it managed temperature, and now it will become even more attuned to you and your home: considering things like how your home's temperature is affected by weather, how drafty your home is, and what your schedule is like.

With the update, Nest says its thermostats will keep your home's temperature 20 percent closer to the temperature that you set, thanks to those more advanced algorithms. It will also help make advanced heating systems more energy efficient. Nest claims gains of anywhere from 3.8 to 6.5 percent for equipment like multi-stage heating and cooling systems and heat pumps.

The Nest Learning Thermostat's existing predictive features — including Time-to-Temperature, Early-On, and Heat Pump Balance — will also benefit from smarter algorithms and machine learning, Nest says.