After weeks of putting up with two flaky Nest Learning Thermostat - 2nd Generation T200577 units, I gave up on Nest and decided to give this a shot. So far, it's been pretty decent.
Since the two are similarly-priced, and there are lots of reviews about each model, I'll offer a comparison.
Without question, this is harder to install than a Nest. In saying that though, some people are going to find the installation much easier than others.
First, the ecobee has a relatively large panel that needs to go "somewhere" between your furnace and thermostat. For my setup, my furnace and thermostat share different sides of the same wall. So, wiring could have been as simple as cutting the thermostat line somewhere in the middle, wiring up R/W/G/Y in the panel, and using the remaining wire to do +/-/I/O to the thermostat.
The tricky part is getting power to the panel. I decided I was going to run a common wire, and after changing out the physical wire, I realized that I didn't know as much about 24V as I thought. Now, I *could* learn some more about HVAC wiring, or I *could* check and see if I have a 12V wall wort type of transformer.
Sure enough, I had a 12V transformer from an old Linksys router, and my power problem was easily solved. Then I connected my humidifier to the first ACC terminals, and I was set.
The Nest, on the other hand, required no wire cutting, and draws power from the existing wiring. However, it's notoriously unstable. Om my particular system, it would complain about improper wiring for ten minutes or more, if the power had been cut. Others have reported the battery slowly discharging. Easy to install, not so easy to maintain.
The Nest tries to learn when you come and go, and when you adjust the thermostat, and creates schedules accordingly. In my experience, it creates them totally wrong -- not noticing for hours when the house is empty, arbitrarily turning on the heat to a temperature it had never been set to, allowing a wide variance on either side of the temperature you set it at.
The ecobee, on the other hand, tries to learn how your house and furnace work. It isn't going to learn that you like it to be 73 when you first wake up, but it is going to learn how long it takes to make sure your house is 73 when you tell it you wake up.
Both Nest and ecobee offer a web interface. Nest is bright, clear, and easy to use. It's like using Apple's iCloud service. On the other hand, ecobee is full of options that aren't necessarily clear to laypeople, was designed for someone data-driven, and is as inviting as reconfiguring your home router for fun.
On the IOS / Android side, Nest presents a smaller (though fully-functional) version of their web interface. Brilliantly, ecobee did just the opposite. Their mobile application presents an interface that looks just like your thermostat's interface. Very, very smart.
Nest shows you a cute daily bar that represents 24 hours in a day. When there's a red slash, the furnace was on. Blue for A/C. Some days, you'll get an arbitrary leaf.
Fire up Microsoft Excel 2010 if you want to get granular with the ecobee, because every five minutes, it logs:
*System Setting (heat / cool / off)
*System Mode (compressor, heating stage, etc.)
*Cool Set Temp
*Heat Set Temp
*Actual Temp (accurate within 1/10 degree)
*Humidity Set Point
*Cool Stage1 (seconds)
*Heat Stage1 (seconds)
So, you wind up with something that looks like this:
Date Time System Setting System Mode Calendar Event Program Mode Cool Set Temp (F) Heat Set Temp (F) Current Temp (F) Humidity Set Point (%RH) Current Humidity (%RH) Outdoor Temp (F) Wind Speed (km/h) Cool Stage 1 (sec) Heat Stage 1 (sec) Fan (sec) Humidifier (sec) DM Offset
12/3/2012 0:00:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.8 0 49 45 0 0 0 120 0
12/3/2012 0:05:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.9 0 50 45 0 0 0 0 0
12/3/2012 0:10:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.9 0 49 45 0 0 0 270 0
12/3/2012 0:15:00 cool compressorCoolOff Kevin Up 72 68 71.8 0 50 45 0 0 0 180 0
It's exportable as a CSV, or if you want to scour your info from ecobee's page, it looks like they've got some RRDTool implementation running.
The Nest is the one that's going to impress. It feels substantial, it looks beautiful, and any monkey can use it.
This thermostat is the one that makes people say "...but it has a great personality, and really nice hair". The interface looks and feels about a decade old, the touchscreen is more than a little temperamental about registering taps, and the unit itself ls flimsy plastic to Nest's steel and glass.
I'm reserving some judgement to see how my next bill looks. The Nest actually increased my electric bill, and kept my gas bill at the same usage as my previous furnace, which was rated at 15% lower AFUE. Like the Nest, and its eight updates, I plan to update this.
If you put a gun to my head, I'd say the ecobee is the more serious thermostat. So far, I'd buy it again.
I noticed a request or two for an update, so here goes...
Now that I've had the Ecobee for a while, my gas usage is down 30% year-over-year. Part of that is a more efficient furnace from last year. But when comparing to the Nest I had, my gas usage went down in spite of the weather getting colder. So the actual Ecobee-vs-Nest savings is fairly substantial.
What I like the most, though, is that the Ecobee lets you get very granular. Want the fan to operate for 15 minutes out of every hour? No problem. Want to set up different temperatures every half hour? Done. Need the humidifier to operate independently of the heat? Just connect the wires to the brain board.
So in addition to saving gas, I'm also able to circulate the air -- keeping the temperature even throughout the house, and filtering it -- and make a nighttime schedule that drops from 72 to 65 so gently, you'd hardly notice. There's something psychological about hearing the air circulate, I guess.
As far as intelligence and reporting, there's so much, it's probably easier to type out what's on the HomeIQ page:
First, you get the crazy metrics I pointed out above, presented in a graph.
Then, another runtime report that charts how long your HVAC system ran, and another tab that adjusts the runtime to external temperature.
And then... insights (and I'm typing these out as they appear):
Your Ecobee saved you 4%
Your Ecobee rating: **** / ***** (This is a calculation of how your house retains heat)
Your system ran 7% less than the average for your state / province
In January, your heating ran for 124 hours. This was 43 hours more than the previous month.
Your performance is influenced by a number of factors:
1) Weather -- In January, your average weather was 27.1 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 5.7 degrees colder than the previous month.
2) Weekly Schedule -- In January, your average heat setpoint was 70.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 0.3 degrees warmer than the previous month.
It's all displayed as infographics, and looks really sharp. Compared to "You got a leaf for today", Nest really can't hold a candle to it.
All things considered, this is the thermostat for any true geek who wants to build an insanely custom HVAC system, or for someone who enjoys never having to check the thermostat, because the temperature is so well-balanced after investing some programming time. I'd absolutely buy this again.
on May 12, 2011
Yes, this is a pricey thermostat - there is no disputing that but, this isn't a clunky time clock that just adjusts the temperature set point a few times a day either. Plain and simple, it's a computer to monitor and control your home environment and it does this very well.
Prior to purchase...
The Ecobee website (ecobee.com) has links to download the installation and operating manuals and is well worth a look prior to purchasing the unit. There are no fewer than a dozen different wiring diagrams for various single or multi-stage configurations including heat pumps.
I purchased the EB-STAT-02 for my vacation home. I may use the home on the weekend, a couple of weeks in a row or, I may not visit for a month. A traditional "time clock" thermostat just doesn't fill the need - I may as well just have a conventional thermostat and deal with waiting for the system to adjust when I arrive.
Complicating my irregular visitation and use of the house, I have a somewhat unique 2 stage heating / 1 stage cooling system. Not that it's all that "unique", it's just not typical. I have a hydronic radiant floor heating system as stage 1 that is augmented by electric forced air as stage 2. Cooling is via a single stage forced air system. A radiant floor heating system is very slow to react to significant temperature changes. What this means is that if I just drop in unplanned for a winter weekend, the weekend may be over before the stage 1 temperature to comes up to its set point. The ability to adjust the settings remotely is *huge* for me. (I know, I know - radiant floor heating for a vacation home?? It's a future retirement home too!)
Given the fact that there is no industry color standard for control wiring for residential heating and air conditioning, the installation for my system was likely more difficult than most will ever experience. Did I mention that I also have sensors for the floor slab temperature and outdoor temperature adding 4 more wires into the mix? (I purchased the remote sensor module add-on for up to 4 external sensors.) This is where Ecobee's tech support comes in. Even though the Ecobee website is up front about urging you to find a contractor in your area to install your stat and the warranty contains the standard disclaimers to discourage DIY'ers, Ecobee's tech support was great. I communicated with them via email since I wasn't at the house and I was pre-planning. I emailed them diagrams of my previous stat wiring and what I thought was the correct new wiring, asking for opinions. They identified a jumper that I needed for proper staging. Email responses weren't instantaneous, it took a day or so but, if I was in a hurry, I would have called.
Setting the thermostat up for internet access (wireless!) was completely painless. Typing on the thermostat's on screen "keyboard" was a lot like sending email on a smart phone - cumbersome to me but not too bad.
My thermostat is all connected now and working fine. I still have to review and tweak the program settings to decide things such as what the temperature differences between stage 1 and 2 should be. There are numerous customizable settings in addition to the typical wake up / away / return / sleep time settings.
After the initial installation and set-up, I seldom make any changes on the thermostat, I use my browser instead. I go right to my thermostat and monitor what the set point is and adjust it if I want to. I can review and download the temperature set point data, internal humidity and temperature readings and even have it email specific data to me such as temperature out of range and air handler filter change needed.
Smartphone Access too!
Although not as comprehensive as the web browser access, there is a free app for your Smartphone that you can use to make adjustments.
All in all, I'm very pleased with the Ecobee thermostat, the only drawback (if you can call it that) is price. However, it's not at all fair to compare the price of this unit to a traditional thermostat because feature-wise, there is no comparison. It's like comparing a radio to the HDTV - on either device at the end of the ballgame you'll know who won, but it's a very different experience getting there.
on February 18, 2013
Last fall I purchased two different "smart" thermostats to try out before we made a decision on which to use throughout our home. The ecobee was recommended by a local architect. We've used the thermostats for 5 months straight, and I think we will likely go with the other brand due to ease of installation and ease of use issues with the ecobee. That said, the ecobee is a good product.
-Reliable. While occasionally the ecobee seems to spontaneously go offline and display its flapping wings logo (is it updating itself?), it always comes back online automatically and has never required a reset.
-Reasonably good looking
-Programming using the web-based interface is easy
-Does what it is supposed to do and is controllable remotely if you create an ecobee account and link the termostat
-Allows for direct control of variables like temperature differential (i.e., do you want it to turn on and off at +/- 1 degree from the set temperature or +/- 2, etc.)
-Thermostat touch screen is a textbook example of bad user interface design -- i.e., they opted for a slick looking slider instead of simple +/- buttons. I do not have large fingers and I can almost never get the slider where I want it on the first try. It drives me nuts that the hardest thing to do on this user interface is set the temperature.
-The iPhone app is very limited and similarly frustrating. For example you can do a temporary override to any temperature but you cannot change the duration of the hold (it defaults to 4 hours). Or you can enter "quicksave" mode which indefinitely lowers the temperature by a preset amount (default is 4 degrees), but you cannot change the amount of the temperature change from the app. For most other functions you need to log in to the website to control remotely or program.
-Install requires someone reasonably knowledgeable about his or her HVAC system or else professional installation
-Because it requires installation of two boxes (interface module connects to heating and cooling systems while the thermostat connects to interface module) it might require a significant run of new wire unless the heating and cooling system controls are in the same location. For most people with forced air systems this is not an issue, but could be when combining AC with steam or hot water baseboard systems.
on July 4, 2011
Update: I wrote the below review in mid 2011. I have had a year of use with the ecobee and still believe it is an excellent product. I have however found some minor shortcomings and am also reviewing some other home automation products.
In hindsight I may have considered another option for a thermostat that could be accessed via a larger home automation scheme. If all you need is a good thermostat to access remotely this is a very good solution. If you are like me however and want to expand on the concept the ecobee is limited.
My first update indicated that the ecobee lacks Home Automation capability. In fact it can be extended to Zigbee module. I have not net investigated this capability so I do not know how it compares to other Zigbee or Z-Wave products.
I purchased the ecobee thermostat to remotely control the HVAC for our vacation property. We don't always know when we will be there, and it is also nice to be able to adjust the temperature after I've driven off and forgotten to do it.
The Ecobee is a fully Programmable Thermostat that lets you operate it remotely over the internet. The unit does require a WIFI connection so that it can connect to the Internet. Remote access is actually done via Ecobee's servers and website. After the unit is configured for your WIFI Router it then starts communicating with Ecobee directly. You will set up an account with an Email Address and Password via the Thermostat. Once done you can now log on to Ecobee.com and access your unit. You can also do this with an Application on your smartphone (IPhone?) but with more limited capabilities. Very cool!
I installed the unit myself but I'm not sure I would advise this as a DIY project unless you have some knowledge of HVAC wiring and controls. The vast majority of us do not. I have a Heat Pump and failed to initially configure the Ecobee for this, so I was struggling to understand why I had no cooling. I was having discomforting thoughts of having to call a Technician to bail me out before I baked to death in my Condo. Alas I figured it out.
Traditional thermostats control your Furnace and Air Conditioning over only a few wires. In older homes that have thermostat wire with 5 or fewer strands this can present real limitations, especially for newer Two Stage Furnaces or Dual Compressor Cooling Units. Add to that Heat Pumps, Auxilary Electric heating, Dehumidification, or Humidification features, and there is no way to do this with only a few wires. Enter the concept of an Equipment Interface Module. Basically this is a separate control unit that is mounted directly to your Furnace/Air Handler and can be wired directly with a much larger selection of options. The thermostat no longer controls your Furnace directly but communicates digitally to the Equipment Interface Module using only the few wires you have in your wall. Many modern high end HVAC units now work this way. The Ecobee functions just this way.
Ideally you would just mount the Module to the side of your Furnace or Air Handler. In my case it was a very tight fit to be able to service it so I purchased some 6 inch 'L' brackets from the hardware store and mounted it that way. Next I had to wire it. I searched locally for some thermostat wire to connect the module to my Furnace but no one had anything with more than 5 strands. I ended up driving further than I would have liked and found some 7 strand. I then disconnected the existing thermostat wire from my furnace and tried to connect it to the Module. This would be my communication wire. Too short! I had to splice in an piece to make it reach. Next I installed the new piece of 7 strand wire between the Module and my furnace. Finally I installed a piece of 2 strand wire from the 24VAC supply inside the furnace to power the Ecobee Module, otherwise you will need to buy an AC Adapter. From there it was just turning the breaker switch back on and getting things configured.
Programming is best done from a web browser and internet connection. Use the mouse to drag the 7 day calendar, then select the mode Icon (Sleep, Awake, Away, etc.). Then select the Edit Icon to adjust the mode temperatures. Once you have figured out how this works it is a breeze. I was surprised also with how easily it connected to the internet and became accessible to me. It seems very well sorted out from that standpoint. I don't feel at all like a new adopter guinea pig. By comparison it took me hours recently just to get my E3000 Cisco WIFI router working, a technology that should now be very mature. The Ecobee is without a doubt one of the coolest gadgets I have purchased in a long time. The fact that I can actually see what the temperature is in my Condo and adjust it with a finger drag on my Iphone is really futuristic stuff.
on July 7, 2011
I love this! i can now control and program my thermostat from anywhere in the world. works as described. I just wonder if Ecobee goes out of business... will I still be able to control it since all communications go through their servers.
on August 11, 2012
I was looking for a home high-tech thermostat that I could control remotely, and my research led me to the Ecobee thermostat.
It was actually fairly easy to install. There is a control unit that you can mount close to the furnace. This is what hooks to the main air handler. I got some thermostat wire from Home Depot and my connection (simple 1 stage heat + 1 stage AC) only required 4 connections: R, G, W, and Y. The Common (C) connection isn't required with the Ecobee in this configuration. The control unit also requires a power source. You can either connect a 24V connection from the furnace, or use a transformer to convert 120V AC to 12V DC/1 amp and plug into the controller with a 2.1mm circular connector. I didn't know how to make the 24V connection, but did have a source of electricity nearby and extended a new outlet near the controller box.
The controller then hooks to the thermostat that you mount in a convenient location. I diverted the existing thermostat wire from the furnace to the controller box (possible because I mounted the controller box near the furnace), since it had already been strung through the wall to the appropriate location. The connection between the controller box and the thermostat interface requires only 4 wires (D+, D-, GND, and 12V), which I arbitrarily assigned Red, Black, Green, and Blue, respectively.
Overall, I was able to do the install myself within about 2 hours, and a lot of that time was spent verifying that I wouldn't be burning any bridges (I was being extra-cautious). Don't let the numerous diagrams scare you. My simple HVAC system was straightforward to connect.
There is a simple setup the first time it's turned on in order to make the connections to your house's WiFi, and setting up an account with Ecobee to monitor the unit.
The website is great, and presents the week the way I think all programmable thermostats should. There are four possible labels for any time in the week: Sleep, Awake, Away, and Home. It's perfect, because you might sleep with the temperature a little low, then want to bring the temperature up near waking time (Awake), back down while Away to conserve heating costs, and then bring it back to room temperature when you're back Home. It also keeps track of your local weather. But the biggest feature is the ability remotely view the temperature in your house, and to make changes to the programming remotely. Let's say that you'll be away for the week and forgot to put yourself on vacation mode. No problem. Just log into the website and make the appropriate changes. It really is that easy.
Overall it's pretty good. Just a couple suggestions to make it even better:
1) Provide an option for hard-wiring the network connection (ie, offer ethernet as well as WiFi options).
2) This is a $300 thermostat. Include the 12V DC transformer (I had to purchase one at a local electronics shop that fit the specifications).
3) Consider making the user interface a little larger. It's on the small side, but does manage to get the job done. And admittedly, there is the website which you can use to do the programming, so that offloads some of the requirements of the thermostat.
All in all, a great and innovative product.
on October 17, 2012
I am a pretty computer savvy person, but HVAC is not my cup of tea. After reading all of the reviews and researching I decided to get this model, and I am NOT disappointed. First I looked at my current wiring, drew a simple diagram on paper, and even took a few pictures/video just in case I need to get out of trouble faster than I got into it. Then I contacted their tech support to go over what I was doing and what I have. For me a high efficiency gas forced air, AC, and an Aprilaire 560 humidifier. I wanted this unit for wireless when away, AC, heating and humidifier in one unit, the ability to circulate fan in house for 5-10 min / hour (control dead air pockets). Needless to say it does so much more with reports, etc. I am SO glad I called their amazing technical support first. I went over my wiring as to what I have and what I was planning on doing. We made a few modifications to my plan and to what was even in the book. They were SUPER friendly, with a no rush call queue feeling. I was on the phone for over an hour, and he had no problem. This unit is first class, yes it may seem like "what another unit in the basement", but so worth it. Programming was easy, wireless was great! I thought I would have to modify the router for certain ports, etc, but nope, it calls home and communicates that way. BTW here is a clue to those of you who are programming almost everything from the ecobee web page, not all features are there. Some features are only on the physical unit for configuration. I stared at their web page till my eyes bled, and could not find certain features, so once again tech support to the rescue. Yup, get off the chair, walk over to the unit, and use your fingers. LOL!! Hope this helps everyone!
on February 8, 2014
I really wanted to like this thermostat. It's not as sexy as the Nest, but had the reputation for being more reliable. Unfortunately, I've been frustrated by its wildly variable temperature sensor, strange humidity settings, and apparent firmware quirks. After 3 weeks, it's going back. Most likely, the issues with this thermostat were exacerbated by the extremely cold weather we have had since its installation and the fact that our furnace could barely keep up. This caused me to fixate even more on the detailed statistics captured by Ecobee. I might have been largely satisfied otherwise.
Others have complained about the installation complexity. Actually, it is relatively easy, except that you have an interface box to mount near the furnace. The big advantage to this system is that it takes only four wires between the thermostat itself and the interface box -- something that virtually every modern furnace installation will have in place already. Most other WiFi thermostats require a minimum of 5 wires and then don't control the humidifier. Even a very complex system with multiple systems and accessories only need 4 wires to the thermostat. Ecobee's customer support for the installation was excellent, with convenient hours, and no long waits. However, they could have saved the call by providing an outline for how to power the interface using the 12VAC output from the furnace controller. In that regard, the instructions were insufficient, in my opinion.
Humidity control - Has a built-in humidistat in the thermostat. If you have a whole house humidifier, this will control it and will automatically adjust the humidity level based upon the outdoor temperature.
Flexible scheduler - Supports building custom period types beyond the standard "Sleep", "Home", and "Away".
Statistics - Lots of stats available and downloadable.
Touch Screen - As others have remarked, this is outdated technology. It's like my GPS from 2009. It can be maddeningly difficult to use. Some have complained about the slider mechanism for adjusting the temperature. This can be made much more tolerable by setting a more limited heating and cooling range so that the slider becomes less sensitive to small movements.
Humidity Settings - I have two issues with how this unit manages humidity. First, according to customer support and my experience, the thermostat doesn't use forecasted temperatures to affect its humidity settings. As a result, if you have a 30F drop in lows from one day to the next, which is pretty common here in Chicago, you're pretty much guaranteed to have condensation on your windows, if not frost. The humidity takes a lot longer to go down than the temperature, so anticipating the change is important to avoid condensation. Customer Service explained that they can't use the forecasted temperature because weather reports are often inaccurate. What a bunch of baloney! Weather reports are actually very reliable with regard to temperatures over a 48 to 72 hour timeframe. The thermostat already displays the extended forecast temps, so it's not that the information isn't available.
The second issue I have is with the absurd settings they provide for automatic humidity adjustment. Essentially, you have three settings available which describe how energy efficient your windows are -- low, medium, or high. The higher the efficiency of the window, the higher the relative indoor humidity can be before condensation forms. Sounds great, huh? Well, I live in a circa 2002 custom-built home with fairly efficient (for that time) wood-frame thermopane casement windows. They're definitely not low-efficiency windows. Logically, I would set the humidity for medium-efficiency windows. The problem is, though, that as you make these adjustments, the thermostat displays how each of the settings would affect the relative indoor humidity. So, for example, it shows that if the outdoor temperature is 12F and the indoor temperature is 72F, the thermostat would adjust the indoor humidity targets as follows: High-48%, Medium-40%, Low- 21%. I don't argue with the High or Low settings, but why in the world would Medium be 40% instead of say, 34%? Medium actually works for us, if the temperature doesn't vary too much from day to day, but as soon as the temperature drops too fast, boom!, wet windows and wet woodwork. Maybe the problem is really just the failure to use the temperature forecast. The bottom line? We keep it set to "low" and regularly have more static and dry skin than when we were controlling the humidity with our simple manual dial humidistat.
Temperature sensor - the temperature sensor on my unit can very by three degrees within a 5-minute span. Given that it's on an interior wall of a room at the very center of the first floor of a 3100 SF 2-story house with a basement, this should not be. When I spoke to Customer Service about this, they asked if there was a hole in the wall behind the thermostat. I explained that yes, of course, there was a hole where the wires came through the wall and that, per the installation instructions, I had stuffed some insulation into that space. In addition, I mostly covered the hole with aluminum tape used for sealing ductwork, but since there were wires coming through the wall, I had to leave a small gap. So, I had gone a step BEYOND what was specified in the installation instructions, but the Customer Service rep was STILL blaming the temperature sensor swings on that minuscule air gap. It sounded like he was making excuses for not replacing the unit. Either that, or the installation instructions are inaccurate. By the way, I wondered if the backlight might somehow be affecting the temperature sensor, so I pulled out my infrared temperature sensor and found that the right side of the thermostat was several degrees warmer than the left. I wonder how they account for that?
Firmware - During this extreme cold, our furnace could barely keep up. This is our first winter in this house and I'm just now learning that a 120K 95% furnace isn't really big enough for a 3100 SF 2-story house with an additional 2000 SF of finished basement. When it was -20F, it was only able to raise the temperature by about 1.5 degrees per hour, so setting the thermostat back 7 degrees overnight was a bad idea. I really dove into the excellent statistics that were provided by the thermostat and found that it acts strangely at time, shutting off far below the set temperature. There were times that the thermostat SHOULD have been requesting heat when it didn't. For example, there was a period on 1/23/2014 starting between 4:10 and 4:15 AM Central when the thermostat was set to be at 66F until 6 AM. It was -2.9F outside with 22 mph winds. At the start of the 4:10 period, the heat was on, but it had turned off before 4:15 and at that time, the temperature was only 63F. Now the thermostat learns how much to anticipate the temperature will continue to rise after turning off the heat, so it's not necessarily wrong that it turns off before reaching the set temperature. But, this was 3 full degrees shy of 66F and it had just spent 35 minutes heating continuously to raise the temperature from 62.2 to 62.7F. There's no way it would coast to 66F. It then stayed off until shortly after 4:30 when it sensed that the temperature was dropping and hadn't reached 66F. The highest it ever reached, supposedly, was 63.9. Over a period of two weeks, I found 130 5-minute periods where the temperature was more than 1 degree below the set temperature and no heat was requested. This suggests a logic error to me, given that I have the temperature differential threshold set to only .5F. Further analysis revealed that once the furnace was turned off before reaching the set point, it would stay off until it sensed that the temperature had stopped rising and had started to fall. That part is okay, but it seems that the thermostat had expected a far larger rise in temperature than was actually achieved. So here's the end result... the heat stops early and stays off while the temperature in the house rises. But once the temperature starts to drop and the furnace turns back on, it immediately drops the temperature to essentially where it was at the time the furnace was turned off, so for about 20 minutes, the furnace was off, leaving the house 3 degrees below the set point. Is 3 degrees going to kill me? Of course not. But I expect that a "smart" $250 thermostat won't do something that dumb.
on November 16, 2013
Well, I've had this unit for a while now, but i can't shake the feeling that I should have chosen a different one.
- I love that the unit will allow running of the fan only for set periods (and you can customize how much of each hour it will run). I find this helps even out the temperature in the house, without having to heat/cool. This is a great feature and it really helps in my house.
- Free Android app which is quite easy to use. Programming on the website was easy.
- No hiccups in operation over the last several months.
- Once I spent the time to install the unit into my hvac system (see below in negatives), the installation wasn't horrible. Being able to use the existing wiring to the thermostat is great. I only had to purchase a short length of 7-conductor hookup wire to complete the install.
- The thermostat is actually quite small; a lot smaller than I was expecting. It was smaller than the cheaper unit that I was replacing. Personally, I find the unit to be too small and I have to actually stoop in order to view the unit correctly.
- Responsiveness of the unit seems poor. When I want to change the temperature, I attempt to click and drag the icon to a new setting, but often times I find that the cursor jumps around, as if it can't register my touch. I find this to happen often enough that I actually no longer rely on the unit, I use the Android application to change the temperature.
- You cannot directly access the unit over your local network, it has to go through the Internet. Personally I find this to be a huge issue and practically a deal breaker if I had known it going in. First off, in the unlikely event that Ecobee goes out of service, your unit will likely become a brick. Secondly, I find that the Android app shows you the current status of the unit and temperature to be 'within the last few minutes'. So, you want to check your app to see if the Heat is on or if it's just the fan running? Or what's the current temperature at this very minute? Too bad, the app isn't likely to give you the latest information.
- You cannot program the unit from the android app. You can change the temperature and a few settings, but if you cannot change temperature points.
- I often like to run the fan instead of turning on the heat/cool cycle. Although I mentioned in the Pros that this unit can cycle the fan, and I like this, they could have made it easier to simply turn on the fan from the thermostat. Instead of having the fan toggle on the top-level of the user-interface, it takes several clicks into menus to toggle it. A minor complaint, but one nonetheless.
- There are only 4 time periods (Wake, Away, Home, Sleep) for programming. I know most people will only use 4, but I really would like the ability to have more fine-grained control over the temperature in my house. In this respect, this unit isn't any better than other units that cost considerably less.
- Difficult installation for those unfamiliar with furnace equipment. I'm a computer guy, and I've wired my entire basement before, but I don't work on HVAC systems... I found it took me an entire day of research followed by about 2 hours to install the unit properly into my furnace. At first I tried asking my HVAC installer if he could do it, but he had never even heard of the company or the unit. He spent a few minutes looking at the manuals that Ecobee provided, but I guess they aren't even in the format that installers expect - he quoted me a high price to install. For those hoping for an easy installation, guess again.
- Occasionally, when I've overridden the temperature for a bit and want to reset it, I try to use the android app and it fails to register the resume command. I mash the resume button a few times, but it doesn't seem to occur. If I go to the thermostat unit and resume from there, it works fine. Not a big deal, but it is an annoyance - I don't what to blame, local wi-fi, android app? Who knows.
If I had to do it over again, would I buy this Ecobee unit? I'm afraid my answer is no. I probably would choose the Honeywell wi-fi units that you can even buy at big box home improvement stores. In the end, I wanted a bigger LCD, local programming (direct access to the unit from my network), and an easier setup. I feel like this is three strikes and out for this unit. I suggest you do careful research on the negatives before selecting this unit.
on February 10, 2011
This smart thermostat is great! It looks great on my wall and the touch screen is very responsive. I am able to adjust my temperature while I am away from home using any computer with an internet connection or through my iPhone (yep, there's an app for that). It is great for when you forget to turn your heat down after leaving the house or going on vacation. It has a very flexible program for all times of the day and week, and a vacation setting. You can set it up to receive an on-screen, audible alarm and email if your heating or cooling stops working. You can also attached a leak monitor to get an alarm and email if you have any in-house flooding. It will remind you when your furnace filter should to be changed and when to get a check-up. It's a great product! The price is the only down side.