Being able to control the temperature in your home is a blessing, and so a thermostat can be a great device at home. Having an HVAC system at home means you need to invest in a thermostat as well. However, now that thermostats have shifted from the manual ones to automatic and smart ones, picking one is not that easy.
Thermostats nowadays come in a variety of features such as programmability, Wi-Fi connectivity, and compatibility with other smart devices. Not all thermostats will have the same functions and thus, they all are unique and come in different price ranges. Let’s look at some of the benefits of having smart thermostats installed in homes.
Smart thermostats are great for someone who is looking to save up on annual energy costs. While the initial investment may be hefty, it is still worthwhile in the long run. Many smart thermostats are also energy-star certified which guarantees that they will help save your electricity costs. They have simple touchscreens that make navigation a breeze and programming easier.
Additionally, the feature that sets smart thermostats apart from the simple programmable ones is their ability to connect to the internet. By connecting the thermostat to the Wi-Fi, you can control the thermostat from your smartphone, PC, or tablet, by simply downloading the smartphone app. Additionally, smart thermostats offer compatibility with a variety of smart home systems so that you can control the temperature without even using your phone.
Essentially, you just have to make sure the thermostat is compatible with your smart home system to be able to give it voice commands. Some smart thermostats are smarter than others.
For instance, some also come with smart sensor technology, which can detect things like humidity, proximity, and motion. Some smart thermostats, that are high end, are also equipped with advanced learning abilities, where the user’s involvement with the thermostat is even more minimalized.
Since smart thermostats vary so much, it is a good idea to find one that is perfect for your needs. I also made the mistake of buying one that was not compatible with my HVAC system and then I had to look for another one.
This is a review specifically for the Ecobee4 smart thermostat, and it will act as a buying guide for anyone interested in it. However, it also includes alternatives to the Ecobee4, in case it is not a good fit for your home.
Who should buy smart thermostats?
Smart thermostats are for anyone looking to automate their temperature control process. If you are tired of having to constantly adjust the thermostat at home, then you have come to the right place. Smart thermostats are for people who are especially looking t reduce their electricity costs at home.
Smart thermostats have functions that monitor and keep track of energy consumption. They are also equipped to make adjustments on their own that minimize energy consumption. Furthermore, if you want to be able to make a schedule instead of manually changing the temperature then a smart thermostat is a good option.
People who travel a lot should opt for smart thermostats as they are equipped to know when you are home and when you are not. Moreover, to make sure you don’t come to an extremely hot or freezing house, a smart thermostat will let you switch the HVAC system on through your smartphone. Thus, anyone looking for more convenience and comfort in their homes should buy a smart thermostat.
Factors to keep in mind before buying a Smart Thermostat:
Your smart thermostat and HVAC system must have the same voltage requirement. While most have a 24 V requirement, some HVAC systems are multi-stage systems that have furnaces or ACs. These systems have more than one level of heating and so require thermostats that support more than one kind of heating too. Thus, before you buy a thermostat, make sure it supports the HVAC system you have at home.
2. Ease of Installation
While most smart thermostats can be installed at home with the help of the manual or YouTube tutorials, others require professional installation. If your thermostat comes with a c-wire and if you don’t have a c-wire connection already you will have to get one installed beforehand. Hence, if you do not want to get a new connection or professional help, then make sure you go for a smart thermostat that does not have these requirements.
3. Advanced features
smart thermostats not only offer smart home compatibility and Wi-Fi connectivity but are sometimes more complex than that. Some smart thermostats are built on algorithms that learn the user’s temperature patterns that are then used by the thermostat o create your schedules. This is mostly found in more expensive thermostats as they use advanced technology.
This feature let the thermostat know if your smartphone is within a given radius or not. If it detects the phone’s GPS signals, the smart thermostat knows that you are home and if it doesn’t, it automatically adjusts the temperature to conserve energy.
5. Monthly Reports and Reminders
Some thermostats also come with usage reports that help track energy consumption. They are quite useful for someone who wants to know the energy consumption patterns of their HVAC system. They also sometimes give reminders and alerts for when the filter needs changing or the thermostat reaches low or high temperatures.
Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat and its Alternatives
The Ecobee4 is a smart thermostat that has built-in Alexa technology as well as compatibility with other smart systems. It has a sleek, all-black design featuring a flat touchscreen that glows on the wall. Its remote sensors make it worth the price that it comes for. While it comes with only one more can be bought separately for each room. It has a 3.5-inch touchscreen with an LED strip all around the edges. It glows blue whenever Alexa is activated. Compatible with humidifiers, air ventilators, heating, and cooling systems.
It is essentially an improved version of the Ecobee3 where it comes with a built-in Alexa. It also mimics the design and display of the Ecobee3 but has minor differences as well. For instance, the screen is slightly larger than the Ecobee3. However, the remote sensor technology is available in both the thermostats.
1. Google Nest Learning
Perhaps the most direct competitor of the Ecobee4 is the Nest Learning Thermostat. The Nest and Ecobee4 thermostats come for the same price and offer more or less the same features. The Nest thermostat has a round gleaming display that stands out and has very smooth touchscreen buttons. However, the Ecobee3’s display screen is simpler but shows more useful information than the Nest thermostat. The Nest offers smart home compatibility as well but the Ecobee4 has much better integration.
2. Ecobee 3 Lite
The Ecobee 3 Lite is a cheaper version of the Ecobee3 in case your budget is lower than the Ecobee4 one. It is simpler and does not come with a remote sensor but still offers compatibility to smart sensors that can be bought separately. Moreover, unlike the Ecobee4 it does not come with a built-in Alexa but is still compatible with it.
3. Emerson Sensi thermostat
The Emerson Sensi thermostat is a much more budget-friendly thermostat compared to the ones mentioned above. It is compatible with most HVAC systems much like the Ecobee4. Apart from that it is compatible with many smart home systems and also sends usage reports. However, the display is not as sleek and stylish as the Ecobee4, but it still easy to navigate and use.
- Integrated with Amazon Alexa
- Compatible with Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT
- Remote room sensor
- Auto-on feature
- 23% saving annually
- Compatible with line voltage HVAC systems
- Easy to install
- Digital display
- Requires a c-wire
1. Remote Sensor
The Ecobee4 features one remote sensor, additional sensors can be purchased separately. They are made for the detection of humidity, temperature, proximity, and motion. The sensors add to the comfort of your home and make the thermostat become one of the best thermostats ever. You are also given the option to choose which sensor will be activated at what time.
The Ecobee4 comes with many modes for setting schedules such as “away”, “sleep”, and “home”. Thus, helping you save time creating custom schedules. You can also set custom vacation dates in addition to setting your reminders.
It has a glow in the dark touchscreen which shows the indoor and outdoor temperatures as well as the date and time. A blue light blinks when you speak to it. A strip of blue LED light covers the edges and blinks when given a voice command to Alexa.
4. Compatibility to smart home systems
The Ecobee4 is not only just compatible with Alexa but also has it built inside it. Apart from that, it is compatible with Google Home, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings.
5. Alerts and reminders
The thermostat is smart enough to remind you when the filter needs changing. It also sends push alerts for when the temperature drops unusually high or low.
What users think of the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
While I was conducting my research on the Ecobee4 smart thermostat I came across a lot of positive feedback. Many users found the installation to be extremely easy especially with the labeled wires at the back. Its built-in Alexa offers the convenience of voice assistance without owning a separate Amazon Alexa device. Customers also found that it is quite informative because of the weather forecasts and temperature that it provides.
Many users installed additional sensors for more comfort around the house, especially during the night. Users also raved about their fast and helpful customer service if they wanted some help. Moreover, its various modes help save them time and can choose from a variety of situations instead of having to manually set schedules.
Final thoughts on the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Overall, the Ecobee4 is an expensive but deserving smart thermostat. It is often compared to the Nest Learning thermostat for its similarity in features. While its display and aesthetic are not as fancy as others in the market, the features it offers are quite useful. Its remote sensors, numerous modes, and built-in Alexa make it stand out. It is also compatible with most HVAC and smart home systems so it is usually a good fit for most homes. Apart from that, it offers other kinds of features such as a keypad lock to make sure the kids don’t mess with the thermostat.
However, it requires a c-wire and is quite expensive so it does not fall under everyone’s budget. You also need to buy additional sensors separately which is an additional expense. Thus, if you want other options then this review mentions a few that are good alternatives to the Ecobee4. At the end of the day, it comes down to your budget and how smart you want your thermostat to be.
Click here to shop for the Ecobee4 Smart thermostat.