Nest owners have reported that their smart thermostats have stopped working and as a result many woke up to colder than normal temperature in their house and unresponsive completely dead Nests. The fault lies in a software update (version 5.1.3 or later) that was pushed out to devices in December that drains the battery and ultimately shuts down the device.
Interestingly, the bug did not materialize until after two weeks for a larger majority of users. The bug affects all three generations of the smart thermostat, but in a statement to The New York Times, Nest says they’ve fixed the issue for 99.5% of users.
If you’re experience this yourself, the Nest support website has a nine-step guide on how to fix the issue that requires you taking the Nests off your wall and hooking it up to a computer via microUSB cable, pressing a button combination, and then charging it up again for an hour. If the issue still persists, Nest advises you to contact their support team. For those who cannot resolve the problem themselves, Nest is offering to send out an electrician.
The NYT column brings up a good point that smart electronics are not necessarily the easiest thing for everybody to fix. While Internet of Things appliances are remarkably convenient, their reliability has yet to meet that of an non-connected device. The technically unsavvy are the ones who end up paying the price the most.