A 404 Page For Your Thermostat

We’ve all had the irritating experience of surfing to a web page, and discovering it was no longer there. Or the server was down. Or our Wifi has crapped out. And those of us with smartphones have, likewise, experienced the joy of having our carrier push out a new software release which breaks some essential app until its developers can scramble to find a fix.

With a computer, it’s annoying. But what would happen if the same error occurred with your thermostat, on a sub-freezing 18- degree day? In a recent article, Michael Miller of PC Magazine shared a story about installing a Nest Learning thermostat, only to have it crap out during a software update. As he points out, having your system go down for a few days is annoying if you’re dealing with something non-essential. But if that something is keeping your pipes from icing up and your family from freezing to death, it’s a bigger issue.

Michael’s article highlights some of the downsides of creating a smart home. In his words, sometimes having too much “smart” automation can be “pretty dumb.” Of course, if Michael had designed his heat control system himself, he probably would have an easier time fixing it without waiting days to get a software update or electrician. So perhaps diy home automation is the answer to Michael’s woes?

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