Thermostats are a necessity for anyone who has an HVAC system at home. After all, we all want the temperature to be just right at home. The temperature thus needs to be controlled during different times of the day throughout the day. A thermostat that provides you the ease to do that is just what everyone wants.
The simpler round dial thermostats are now being replaced by programmable, Wi-Fi-enabled, and smart ones. Programmable thermostats allow you to create schedules for your upcoming day so that you don’t have to constantly adjust the temperature. Wi-Fi-thermostats allows you to connect with other Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Smart thermostats are usually a combination of programmable and Wi-Fi-enabled ones. However, they usually go a step further and can be operated with the help of voice assistants. They are also very good for people who are looking to cut down on their energy costs.
Smart thermostats help you save about 23% annually because of their intelligent functions. Smart thermostats also add to the aesthetics of the home because of their sleek, modern, and simple designs. Many smart thermostats have LCD touchscreens that modernize the home. They are simple, elegant, and convenient.
Some smart thermostats are “smarter” than others. They have advanced learning features and sensor technology that make them stand out from the basic ones. Similarly, some are more expensive than others, and each smart thermostat has different compatibility with smart home systems.
Therefore, you should pick your smart thermostat based on your requirements. Going for a smart thermostat on the recommendation of someone else may not bode well for you. I too initially got one that was not compatible with my HVAC system.
While I was looking for one that met my requirements at home, I came across the Ecobee smart thermostat. This review will help you decide whether the Ecobee is for you or not. It also recommends a few alternatives in case the Ecobee smart thermostat is not for you.
Who should buy smart thermostats?
Anyone looking to modernize their homes should invest in a smart thermostat. They can connect with your smart home system and both can be used in unison. If you have a smart home system then a smart thermostat is a good buy for you. You can give your thermostat commands by using your virtual assistant without having to get up or use your phone.
Most smart thermostats have their smartphone apps which is great if you travel a lot or are out of the house most of the time. You can thus make sure your house is the right temperature when you enter it.
Smart thermostats are also good for you if you have handicapped people at home. Instead of them having to get up to the thermostat, they can simply adjust the settings from their phones or with the help of a voice assistant. Smart thermostats are ideal for you if you are looking to cut down on your electricity bills.
They are energy-saving and also sometimes help you keep track of your energy consumption. In short, anyone with working Wi-Fi, smartphone, and smart assistant should invest in a smart thermostat. They are great for making your home more comfortable while still being eco-friendly and energy-saving.
Factors to consider before buying Smart Thermostats:
1. C – wire connection
smart thermostats often have a c-wire connection requirement. It ensures that there is continuous internet connectivity throughout. However, some don’t, while some come with c-wire adapters so that users do not have to go through the hassle of getting one installed first. Thus, if you do not have a c-wire connection already then picking one without a c-wire might be better for you.
Smart thermostats can be installed by yourself at home but some are more complex than others and need professional installation. Most people choose to opt for DIY installation, so if you are someone who prefers that then get a thermostat that is easy to install.
The geofencing feature makes sure that the thermostat knows when you are within a certain radius of the home. It detects your smartphone’s GPS signals, and if it doesn’t detect them then it automatically adjusts the temperature to a more energy-saving one. This feature is almost always found in the simpler smart thermostats.
4. Smart home compatibility
What usually makes thermostats smart is their ability to connect with other smart systems. Most smart thermostats are compatible with smart home systems such as Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Google Home Assistant, and Samsung SmartThings. Some also come with built-in smart assistants although, they are quite expensive.
5. Remote Sensors
The more expensive smart thermostats usually have smart sensor technology. Even if they don’t come with a sensor, you can still buy it if you want your thermostat to make adjustments based on the humidity, proximity, and motion in the room. These thermostats hardly require any adjustments from your end and are built in a way that optimizes your energy consumption.
6. Alerts and Reminders
Smart thermostats have technology that sends you alerts for when the filter of the system needs a replacement. They also alert you if the temperature drops to an unusual temperature that is not the norm for you. Some are also equipped to produce energy reports to help you remain on track with your energy consumption patterns.
The Ecobee is an expensive smart thermostat by a trustworthy and reliable brand. It has also earned a name as the “best smart thermostat” according to Tom’s Guide. Features a quad-core processor, far-field voice, glass finish, and a crisp touch display screen.
It also includes Ecobee’s smart sensor for the rooms to have temperatures according to their preferences. It also helps save 23% of energy costs annually especially because of its eco+ software. Moreover, it comes with a built-in Alexa, so that it can be controlled with voice commands. Its mobile app allows you to control the thermostat with your Apple watch, smartphone, tablet, or PC.
However, much larger than both. It has remote sensors much like both the Ecobee3 and Ecobee4 and has built-in Alexa much like the Ecobee4. Although it is in the same price range as both of these. If you want something cheaper then the Ecobee3 Lite is also a good option. It is compatible with a wide range of smart home systems much like the ones mentioned above but doesn’t come with sensors. Although you can buy them separately.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is a thermostat is equipped with self-learning algorithms that alleviate you from the duty to even create your schedules. It learns your patterns for the first few days and then makes automatic adjustments later. It does not require a c-wire and is only a few bucks more expensive than the Ecobee smart thermostat. The Nest thermostat does not come with smart sensors like the Ecobee one, but the sensors can be bought separately.
If you are looking for something in more budget-friendly than the Ecobee then the Lux Geo Smart Thermostat is a good option. However, it requires a c-wire and does not offer features like sensors and built-in Alexa like Ecobee. If you are an Amazon Alexa user then the Lux Geo is a good option since it only has support for it. Its functions are simpler than the Ecobee but it is a reliable thermostat.
The Emerson Sensi thermostat is also much cheaper than the Ecobee smart thermostat. It is compatible with many smart home systems including the Google Home Assistant. Its simpler display gives the Ecobee in comparison an edge. It is otherwise a reliable brand for smart thermostats and more budget-friendly as well.
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT
- Remote room sensor
- Built-in Alexa
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Controllable with Apple Watch
- Easy to install
- Alerts and reminders
- Saves energy costs up to 23% annually
The speakers for the Ecobee smart thermostat are beefy and are a great device to listen to music on. It can also connect to Spotify. Although it’s not a replacement for an actual speaker, it is still good to listen to songs in the background. It’s ideal for when you carry out your everyday activities and have music on in the background.
2. Smart Sensors
These remote sensors are great for detecting occupancy and temperature. The sensors allow you to warm up the oldest areas of the house given that there are people there already. The sensors are newer than before. They are smaller, have a longer battery life, and a long-range.
Much like other models by Ecobee, this one too is a curved square with a touchscreen LCD, but instead of plastic, it’s made of glass. It is also larger than other Ecobee models.
4. Security monitoring
The Ecobee smart thermostat can be connected to Ecobee’s SmartCamera, and home security camera. The thermostat can connect to the camera in “away mode” and activate itself when it knows no one is home.
5. Compatibility to smart home systems
The Ecobee smart thermostat has built-in Alexa in addition to being compatible with a wide range of smart home systems.
What users think of the Ecobee Smart Thermostat
According to my research, I discovered that users liked the Ecobee smart thermostats more than the Nest one because of its large glass display screen. Many users also find that these new sensors are not only easier to install than the ones in the previous models. The setup and installation were also very easy and was easily done with the smartphone app. Users also like that its touchscreen is colored and extremely responsive.
Many customers think its built-in Alexa integration and speakers make it a great buy. Not only can you adjust your thermostat without investing in an Alexa device but can also play music on it. The sensor’s 5-year battery life is also impressive to many. Its “smart recover”, “follow me”, and “away mode” also make it unique. Overall users give positive reviews which is why it is one of the “best smart thermostats” out there.
Final thoughts on the Ecobee Smart Thermostat
Overall, the Ecobee smart thermostat is an expensive and highly smart thermostat. It is in direct competition with the Nest Learning thermostat. It has everything you can want from a smart thermostat. Equipped with many algorithms that help it conserve energy as well. Its built-in Alexa and smart sensor technology along with speakers make it a great package for the price it comes in. Its sensors are also very good because of their 5-year battery life. Largely, it is a great smart thermostat with very few negative things.
Some people find its display to be too big, but others also prefer it because it is easy to read and navigate. However, it is true that it is an expensive thermostat, but lies in the same price range as many other top smart thermostats. Therefore, this review also consists of other alternatives that you might be interested in if the Ecobee smart thermostat is not a good fit for you or doesn’t fall in your budget.
Click here to shop for the Ecobee Smart Thermostat.