Nest Learning Thermostat vs. Trane ComfortLink II XL950

Nest Learning Thermostat vs. Trane ComfortLink II XL950

There are a lot of reasons to change out your thermostat. Two of the most common thermostats we install for our clients are the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Trane ComfortLink II. If you have already looked into replacing your thermostat then you’ve probably already heard about the Nest Learning Thermostat. Another popular thermostat is the Trane ComfortLink II. So to help you compare the two, we decided to put them head to head on a series of important factors:

  • Thermostat Aesthetics
  • Energy Savings
  • Compatibility with Furnace, Heat Pumps and Air Conditioning Systems
  • Bonus Features

Thermostat Aesthetics

The Nest thermostat and the Trane ComfortLink II really couldn’t look any more different.

The Nest is round with a small, color screen in the center that displays the current inside temperature and not much else. The design could be best described as absolutely minimalist.

nest thermostat

The Trane ComfortLink II, on the other hand, is a large, rectangular 7-inch touchscreen. The ComfortLink can display:

  • The current temperature in your home
  • The weather outside
  • As well as a 5-day forecast.

It can also transform into a digital picture frame when not in use, a feature many of our clients love.

trane thermostat

Whereas the Nest is small, minimalist and out of the way, the Trane ComfortLink is large and loud. Which is better really depends on your preference. Both have their pros and cons.

Energy-saving features

The good news for you is that both thermostats have features which will help you to lower your electric and gas bills.

The Nest thermostat’s biggest draw is its ability to save you money without you having to do very much. For instance, typical programmable thermostats must be manually programmed to adjust the temperature when you’re away, the Nest uses its motion detector to figure it out on its own.

Learn more about the Nest’s energy-saving features here.

The Trane ComfortLink II is essentially like a traditional programmable thermostat. Instead of learning from you, you have to program the temperatures you want it to use for each day and time. However, unlike the Nest, you can track your energy use over time as well as track how hard your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner are working to see if you’re actually decreasing your system’s use.

Learn how to use a programmable thermostat to save you money.


The Nest is compatible with about 95% of all heating and air conditioning systems on the market. There are some that it may not work with, for instance if your thermostat uses high voltage wires, but you can check for compatibility on their website.

Trane’s ComfortLink II can also control just about any HVAC system’s temperature, but to get the most out of it, you’ll want to hook it up to compatible Trane products. These products are built to communicate with each other and to improve energy efficiency. They will also tell you when something’s wrong with your system.

Bonus Features

Integrations with other apps/products
Nest has a growing list of products that it work with it to create a more connected, “smart” home. Check out the “works with Nest” section of their website.

Trane’s ComfortLink II also offers connectivity to a wide range of products in the Nexia line.

Zoning with a Nest thermostat requires the purchase of additional Nests for each zone. And then each zone must be adjusted from that thermostat. With the ComfortLink, you just purchase and connect sensors and then control your whole home from the one thermostat.

Remote access
Both thermostats allow you to control your home’s heating and air conditioning system from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Both the ComfortLink and Nest will remind you when you need to change your air filters. The ComfortLink will also remind you when you need regular maintenance and give you the number to call to get it done.

What we recommend

The thermostat that is right for you will likely depend on your situation. If you just want to replace your current thermostat, the Nest will serve you well.

However, if you’re getting an all-new heating and air conditioning system from Trane, we highly recommend the ComfortLink.

Want to install a new thermostat? We sell and install both the Nest and the ComfortLink, as well as a wide array of other thermostats. Contact us online today for more information.

Comfort Heroess, LLC serves homeowners in Sioux Falls, SD and the surrounding areas.