I bought the Windward IV Ceiling Fan from Home Depot to replace the old, slow ceiling fan that came with my house’s master bedroom about 12 years ago. I have been very comfortably blown-away ever since. The old fan, for some reason just never did move much air. The other problem with the old fan was that the remote would receive interference and the light would randomly go off and on in the middle of the night. For that reason it stayed off. Having suffered 12 years of warm, uncomfortable summer nights in the upstairs bedroom, I thought it was finally time to do something about it.
Installation of the Windward IV Ceiling Fan
I won’t waste your time explaining how to install the Windward IV fan. There are plenty of good instructions. I put the video below on my laptop and followed it one step at a time.
Electric Induction or an induction cooktop uses magnetic currents to directly heat your pots and pans. Because the energy is directly focused on the metal of the cooking surface rather than an entire surface, electric induction provides perhaps the fastest and most efficient way to cook. Only the pan is heated and not the surface surrounding it.
How Induction Stove Works
An induction cooktop uses magnetic energy to create electric currents which heat metal pots and pans. With induction, only the metal surface area of the pan is affected, so there is little or no wasted heat or energy. Hence, the benefit of electric induction cooking is ultra-fast heat-up times, and better control of cooking temperatures. While there are pros and cons to any technology, electric induction does have its advantages and disadvantages as mentioned above. Here is a bit more about the pros and cons of electric induction. Let’s get the cons out of the way, first.
Induction Cooktop Cons
If electric induction sounds like the greatest invention since sliced bread then why doesn’t everybody own an induction cooktop? The biggest, initial drawback to the induction cooktop or induction range is probably cost. An induction range costs 4 – 8 times more than a traditional, electric cooking range. Fortunately, there are great deals to be had which I will share with you a little bit later. The 2nd factor that pushes some people away from electric induction is that they require induction-ready cookware. Basically, that means your cookware needs to be magnetic. So, any pan that will attract a magnet will work on your induction stove. To be sure, bring along a magnet with you next time you shop for cookware. Many new cookware will have a label on them stating that it is ‘induction-ready’. Stainless steel and cast iron are the two, most obvious choices when it comes to choosing induction cookware. One important consideration is that there are still many choices which are non-stick such as ceramic and porcelain which are made with magnetic cores and are induction-ready. Really, the only other con I can think of to electric induction is that controlling the heat may not be as intuitive to us. Mostly, this is just a matter of getting used to the ultra-fast and efficient way in which induction works. This brings us to the induction cooktop pros.
Induction Cooktop Pros
Induction cooking is ultra fast. I can boil 500 milliliters of water (see below) in less than half a minute. Because induction only works when there is a magnetic current, this means it is very efficient at controlling the temperature. You can heat things up and cool things down much more quickly than you can with a traditional electric cooktop. Electric induction saves energy over traditional, electric cooking. The other benefit of this is safety. If you leave a burner turned on without a pan touching it, there are no worries about anything burning. Why might you want an induction cooktop over a gas stove?
Induction vs. Gas
Fire is a very natural way to cook and gas provides you with a real, flame. However, gas stoves have their own problems. From my experience, gas stoves tend to be very difficult to find the lowest flame setting. An induction cooktop provides you with precise, numbers to gauge the temperature. With induction, there is no guessing of your dialed-in temperature. Since gas stoves can be left on without a pan they are not as safe. Even when the flame is out, gas stoves continue to push natural gas fumes into your kitchen and home. Of course, gas stoves also require natural gas to be piped into your kitchen. On the flip-side of that, gas stoves are less expensive, so the extra cost for natural gas installation is more than a wash. Finally, most head-to-head performance tests reveal that you can boil water faster on an induction stove than a gas stove. Electric induction is more energy efficient than gas. With induction 80-90% of the energy is directly focused on the food. With electric stoves the efficiency is just 70%, and only 38% for gas.
It’s a fun and cool technology gadget, but does Nest thermostat save money? Truth be told, I had my heart set on buying one of these regardless of the answer to the money-savings question. There are lots of things I already knew I liked about the Nest thermostat. Before we talk about the possibility that Nest might save money on my energy bill, let me delve into these:
What I Like about the Nest Thermostat
For one thing, I like the looks of the Nest. I like the large, round display. I like the round appearance with easy-to-grab, hand dial for turning temperatures up and down. I also like how I can change the display to analog clock, digital clock, weather, actual temperature, or set temperature. I like that I can adjust the temperature from any room in the house. Installation of the Nest thermostat was very logical and straightforward with the included instructions. The Nest company took every care and precaution to make sure all steps are followed. They even were smart enough to recommend taking a picture of the wiring before removing anything. I installed mine without having to turn off my main breaker. I simply took Nest’s advice, turned off only the switch to the thermostat, then verified the power was off by attempting to turn up the heat. I was very comfortable removing and reinserting wires and the installation was simple. Using the basic features of Nest was equally simple to learn. I grabbed the large outer dial and turned it to 70 degrees and voila. I was set. Next, I downloaded the app to and set it up for my iPhone. No problem there either. It is also very clear how to program a set schedule for the Nest. What isn’t so clear is instructions that tell me how Nest is actually going to learn my habits and program itself? How many days must I turn he heat down and up before it recognizes the pattern? After a week thus far, my Nest is still not adjusting temperatures by itself. What is also not clear in the instructions is whether or not I can use the manual programming setting and auto-learning feature at the same time. I setup a schedule and the Auto-Learning is still on and informing me that it is learning. Will the manual schedule disrupt it or will it continue to learn adjacent to my manual schedule that I have already set? This leads us right back to the question: How does Nest thermostat save money?
Does Nest Thermostat Save Money?
I have always used a manual schedule to program my thermostat. My thermostat adjusts according to our habits. I turn it down to 62 when I go to bed at night and warms the house back up to 70 by the time I get up at 5:00AM. At 6:30AM the temperature goes back down to 64 while I’m at work for the day. The house is warm once again when I get back home in the afternoon. That’s me. Well, after talking to a few people, I was surprised to learn that not everyone has a manual schedule setup for their existing thermostats. For this reason, the Nest company can probably truthfully claim that it saves a lot of people a great deal of money. For someone who already has a specific and effective temperature schedule, I see very little ways Nest’s auto-learning can improve upon that. Having the ability and convenience to set temps away from home and in other rooms in the house might play a small role in helping with the energy bill. So, my conclusion (yet to be prove) is that the Nest thermostat can save a household owner some money depending on how they were using their previous thermostat.