2012 Useful Products for your Nest
Nest Learning Thermostat
A programmable thermostat reduces your home energy bill by adjusting temperatures to your needs. Only 11% of owners set them correctly, but Nest circumvents that problem: It programs itself. You adjust the dial, as you would on a nonprogrammable unit, and Nest learns these settings (it had our habits down pat in three days). Using sensors, it even figures out when you’re home — and not — and adjusts the heat and AC accordingly. You can modify temps and timing remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or Web browser. Plus, it retrieves weather reports via Wi-Fi to check whether the settings are energy-efficient. How cool is that? nest.com.
Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffeemaker
Single-cup coffeemakers are convenient, but at 25 to 50 cents a pop, you sure pay a premium for those coffee-filled pods. And yes, there’s variety, but you’re limited to the java brands sold for these machines (or stuck fussing with annoying accessories). A hot new solution: The Scoop brews a single serving with any ground beans — and can fill an eight-ounce cup or a 14-ounce travel mug.amazon.com.
Replenish Multi-Surface Cleaner
Thanks to a unique built-in cup, you can measure the concentrate to make four bottles of Replenish cleaner from one twist-on pod. And while many green cleansers don’t clean so well, this one is a powerhouse: The 99% plant-derived formula decimated our grimy mess of dirt and shortening. At 12 cents per ounce (half that when using refills), it costs 25% less than a leading premixed multi-surface cleanser. Also, Replenish doesn’t just save money and storage space; its manufacture uses 90% less plastic and oil, and produces 90% less CO2. myreplenish.com.
Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations
Replacing a worn laminate countertop with granite or another stone surface is pricey and decidedly not DIY. That’s why we see a need for Rust-Oleum’s new kit, which gives counters an attractive, durable stone-like surface in just a weekend of work. It’s an easy three-step process (see above), requiring just a few extra tools — about $25 for brushes, rollers, etc. — plus a helper (to make sure the coats are applied evenly, particularly over larger surfaces). Take your pick of five faux-granite colors. amazon.com.