How to Save Money When Buying the Nest Thermostat

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The Nest Thermostat isn’t exactly cheap, but if you’ve been in the market for a smart thermostat for a while now and just don’t want to pay full price for one, here’s how you can save money when buying the Nest Thermostat.

One of the great features of smart thermostats is that they come with the ability to better manage your home’s heating and cooling, saving you money on your utility bills in the long run. However, the up-front costs can be a bit steep, with the latest third-generation Nest Thermostat priced at $250. And considering that you can get a basic thermostat for as low as $23, shelling out a couple hundred dollars for the Nest might seem a bit crazy.

The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to pay the full $250 to buy a Nest Thermostat, and there are a few ways you can save some money when you go shoppin–not just for a Nest, but any other smart thermostat as well.

Buy an Older Model

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While the latest third-generation Nest Thermostat looks tempting, you can easily get away with an older model and still get most of the same benefits, for a lower price.

In fact, the biggest differences between the newer and older models are mostly in looks and design. For instance, the third-generation Nest Thermostat sits a whole 0.05-inches closer to the wall for a flush look, plus a 40% larger screen. The newer model also has a better motion sensor, which is able to detect people from farther distances. However, you can get a brand-new second-generation Nest Thermostat for $215 on Amazon right now.

The first-generation Nest Thermostat is the cheapest of them all, but it has a thicker body than the second- and third-generation models, as well as a visible sensor grille at the bottom, which really isn’t a big deal unless you care a lot about looks.

Unfortunately, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a brand-new first-generation Nest in stores, as it’s a much older model, but this is where you can scour the various used marketplaces for a good deal on any-generation Nest.

Buy a Used Model

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No matter what generation you buy, you can save even more money by buying a used unit.

One of the best places to buy anything used is eBay, and searching for “Nest Thermostat” will land you hundreds of listings from people who no longer want the smart thermostat. Amazon also has a decent used marketplace, where you can find the third-generation Nest Thermostat for cheaper as well.

You’ll easily be able to find third-generation Nest Thermostats selling for less than $200, which is a really good price to pay, even if it’s been used. Thermostats aren’t as prone to wear and tear like smartphone and tablets are, since they just stay put on the wall out of harm’s way, so you should have an easy time finding one that’s in great condition.

I was even able to find second-generation models that sold for as low as $150, so if you want to save a lot of money, this is a great route to go.

Of course, it’s always a risk buying used stuff by only seeing the photos, but eBay has a really nice buyer protection program, so if you’re ever unhappy with a seller, eBay can usually help out. Just be sure to read the item description closely.

Set Up Deal Alerts

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If you don’t want to buy a used Nest Thermostat, it might be a good idea to set up deal alerts so that you get notified whenever the thermostat goes on sale anywhere.

Slickdeals is one of the most popular deal sites on the internet, making it a great website for setting up deal alerts on. It has such a large community that if there’s some sort of deal to be had on anything, you’ll hear about it on Slickdeals. In fact, there was a deal on the Nest Thermostat recently for $150, but you probably didn’t hear about it.

You’ll need to create an account in order to set up deal alerts, but once you’re all set up, creating deal alerts is quick and easy. Just enter in a keyword, store name, or brand name. You can even receive alerts for every new deal that gets posted to a specific category. Check out our guide to creating deal alerts o Slickdeals for more.

Take Advantage of Utility Company Rebates

You may already know that some of your local utility companies offer rebates on various home appliances if it means that it will save them energy. Products like LED light bulbs, water-efficient shower heads, and even toilets can be bought at a discount if your utility company offers it.

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However, what you may not know is that you can probably get a rebate on a new Nest Thermostat, too. By visiting Nest’s website and entering in your zip code, you’ll get a list of companies that offer discounts on the Nest.

For instance, Indiana Michigan Power customers in my region can buy up to two Nest Thermostats for $70 off each, but it will need to replace a non-programmable thermostat and be installed before December 14, 2016. In my area, ADT also offers a free Nest if you sign up for a security system. You get the idea.

You’ll see different offers depending on where you live, so give it a try and you might discover that you can save a lot of money on a Nest Thermostat with very little effort.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.