Smart Thermostats: Trane ComfortLink II vs. Nest

It seems every piece of technology in your home is getting more and more intelligent – from smartphones to smart televisions – and the thermostat for your heating and air conditioning system is no different.

In the last few years several smart thermostats have emerged that bring the basic thermostat into the modern era of inter-connectivity. Here we look at two of the most common – the Trane ComfortLink II and the Nest – to find out which one is right for your Atlanta-area home.

Nest Thermostat

The Nest thermostat was launched last year by a team that includes a couple of ex-Apple employees.

The Nest’s design focuses on simplicity, design and making the programmable thermostat more user friendly.


  • Design – The Nest thermostat focuses on minimal and simplistic design with a clean interface and bright circular display. The stainless steal goes well with just about any type of décor.
  • Ease of use – This is the Nest thermostat’s selling point – it’s ease of use. After installation, the thermostat walks you through a couple questions to get started. From there, all you have to do is turn the dial to raise or lower the temperature and it learns your habits.
  • Connectivity – With built-in WIFI and a web interface, you can control the thermostat from anywhere on just about any web-enabled device.


  • Compatibility – While Nest claims it works with 95% of heating and cooling systems, the real issue with compatibility is its inability to control variable-speed blowers furnaces, which are quickly becoming the norm for energy efficiency.

Trane ComfortLink II

The Trane ComfortLink II is more than just a thermostat – it is a control panel that communicates with your entire HVAC home comfort system. Popular Mechanics listed the ComfortLink II “One of the Most Transformative Products of 2010” and awarded it the Breakthrough Award.

Where the Nest focuses on simplifying the thermostat, the ComfortLink II’s focus is on creating a simpler home HVAC system as a whole.


  • A holistic approach – The ComfortLink II connects and controls your heater, air conditioner, humidifier, dehumidifier and indoor air quality equipment so that everything works in harmony together to reduce your energy consumption.
  • Design – You can customize the background color of your ComfortLink II and choose different colored frames to match your Atlanta-area home’s décor.
  • Ease of Use – The ComfortLink II boasts a large 7-inch touchscreen display that makes setting up and using the thermostat a breeze.
  • Add-ons – One of the biggest advantages of the ComfortLink II over the Nest and other smart thermostats is the many additional features such as weather forecasts. You can also add indoor and outdoor temperature sensors and control your home heating and cooling zones.
  • Connectivity/Home Automation – Control your thermostat from any room in your home or pair it with Nexia Home Automation so you can control your ComfortLink II anywhere from a web-enabled device.


  • Compatibility – While the Trane ComfortLink II can control the temperature for most systems, you’ll get the most out of the thermostat when it is connected to compatible Trane devices.


Which smart thermostat is right for your Atlanta-area home – the Nest or the ComfortLink II – depends on what you are looking for in a thermostat. Want a simple and easy way to save money on your energy bills? Either thermostat may fit the bill.

Want a more feature-rich thermostat that can tie into your complete home automation system? The ComfortLink II may be a better option.

Have more questions? We’d be happy to help – just contact us online. Coolray is your Atlanta-area home comfort expert with specialists in heating, air conditioning, air quality and plumbing.

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