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Ecobee3 WiFi Thermostat Review 2017

ecobee3 thermostat review

The ecobee3 WiFi thermostat with remote sensor is a smarter, more advanced thermostat that goes above and beyond to make sure your home is always the right temperature. Most thermostats – even smart ones – will only read temperatures in a single room. The ecobee3 uses a remote sensor to measure the temperature in the rooms that you’re in most. It’s sleek, minimalistic and highly intuitive. It also happens to be one of my favorite WiFi thermostats.

Pros

  • Really Smart: ecobee automatically adjusts your home’s temperature based on the weather outside, and your home’s energy profile.
  • Motion Sensors: Equipped with motion sensors, this smart thermostat knows when you’re home and when you’re away. When you leave, the system will automatically adjust your home’s temperature to save you money and energy.
  • WiFi Connectivity: WiFi connectivity allows you to adjust your home’s temperature anytime and from anywhere using your computer, smartphone, tablet, or Apple Watch. Upon purchasing, you can access to settings from the website, app or the wall unit itself.
  • Usage Reports: Detailed reports let you know how much energy you use, so you can adjust your usage.
  • No C-Wire Required: The ecobee comes with a special power extender kit that eliminates the need to use a C-wire.
  • 3-Year Warranty: Feel safe in knowing that your purchase is protected by a 3-year warranty.

Cons

  • Not-so-smart Temperature Controls: The ecobee system uses a slider to adjust the temperature, which isn’t the most intuitive method. I found it a little challenging – and frustrating – to change the temperature a degree or two.
  • Installation Hiccups: There’s no need for a C-wire with this thermostat, but even the power extender kit will require you to make adjustments to the wires in your furnace.


My ecobee3 Review

The ecobee3 was introduced in late 2014, and there’s a lot to love about this smart thermostat. Its sleek and minimalistic design is similar to Nest, while it’s complex functionality and control over your HVAC system is comparable to Honeywell. The ecobee3 is, easily, one of my favorite WiFi thermostats out there.

With a rounded square design and elegant touchscreen, the ecobee looks great on your wall. Looks aside, this thermostat has quite a few advantages over its competitors. From an easy installation process to remote motion sensors and data-tracking functionality, the ecobee has a lot to offer.

 

Smart Motion and Temperature Detection

What’s one thing that Nest and Honeywell could improve on? Their thermostat’s temperature and motion detecting abilities. If your thermostat is located in an area of your home that people rarely visit, you may find that your system is constantly switching to “away” mode.

That being said, motion detection is a smart way to make automatic adjustments to your home’s temperature. It’s the one feature that a lot of people love about Nest. But the ecobee3 improves on this concept by offering remote sensors that will detect the temperature and the activity in whichever room you place it in.

So, if your family spends most of its time in the living room, it only makes sense to place the sensor in that room. Once you leave, the ecobee3 will sense that you’re away and make adjustments accordingly.

It’s surprisingly simple, but brilliant.

The basic kit comes with one sensor, but you can purchase additional ones. The ecobee3 system will focus on making sure that the temperature in that room is exactly what you want it to be.

The sensors can be propped on the included stand, or hung on the wall with either a sticky pad or a screw. They run on batteries, so they’re completely portable and so simple to use.

 

Easy-to-Use Interface

One thing that I loved about ecobee3’s interface is that the developers stayed true to the wall unit’s UI design with both the app and the website. Once you get used to the wall unit’s interface, making adjustments through the website or app will be a piece of cake.

The wall unit itself is also easy to use. With an intuitive 3.5” color LCD touchscreen, you can easily access the thermostat’s settings, schedule and more. The 320 x 480 display features smart controls and iconography for easy use no matter who is adjusting your home’s temperature.

 

Home/Away Feature

The ecobee3 sensors are constantly checking for activity in your home. If it finds that you’re away from home when you’re scheduled to be home or home when you’re scheduled to be away, it will automatically override your schedule to maximize your energy savings and ensure that your home is comfortable.

 

A Smarter Thermostat

The ecobee3 comes with a lot of great features that make it easy to not only save money on your energy bills, but ensure that your home is as comfortable as possible.

If your home has a whole house ventilator or fan, the ecobee3 will use outdoor air to cool your home on those cool summer evenings.

If your home has a humidifier, the system will regulate indoor humidity levels to prevent high humidity indoors and frost buildup on your windows in the winter. If you don’t have a humidifier, the ecobee can use your home’s air conditioning system to lower indoor humidity.

Another great feature that I personally love is Smart Recovery. What this does is monitor the outdoor temperature and determines the most energy efficient way to bring your home’s temperature to a comfortable level. It will then continue to work to maintain your desired temperature while minimizing the amount of time your HVAC system runs.

 

Reminders and Alerts

The ecobee3 keeps a close eye on your equipment and will send you an alert if your HVAC system isn’t working properly or efficiently. The system will also send you reminders whenever it’s time to service your equipment.

 

Detailed Usage Reports

The ecobee3’s Home IQ feature provides you with detailed reports on your energy usage. You’ll learn how much energy you saved and insight into your HVAC system.

 

DataRhythm

Every ecobee3 unit has DataRhythm technology built-in. What this technology does is monitor the current weather conditions, your schedule and your home’s energy profile to know when to turn on your heating or cooling system. This intuitive feature ensures that your home is always a comfortable temperature.

 

ecobee3 Specifications

  • Compatible with conventional, heat pump, electric, gas and oil systems.
  • Compatible with ventilators, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, ERV or HRV.
  • Encryption technology to ensure that your data is secure.
  • Desired temperature range of 45 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sensitivity of +/- 5% real humidity; display 20%-90%.
  • Thermostat sensors detect temperature, humidity, motion and proximity.
  • Remote sensors detect motion and temperature.
  • Width: 3.93”; height: 3.93”; depth: 0.9”.
  • 5” LCD display; 320×480 resolution.
  • PVC-free; arsenic-free; ROHS compliant; mercury-free; recyclable packaging

 

What I Love About the ecobee

There are so many things that I love about the ecobee3. For starters, I love that the system’s DataRhythm technology constantly monitors the weather outside and your schedule to make sure that your home is the right temperature at all times. It makes heating and cooling your home virtually hands-free.

While I don’t have a whole house humidifier, I appreciate the option to take full advantage of it in the future if I should have one installed. Plus, it uses my home’s air conditioning system to regulate indoor humidity and keep my home comfortable.

The ecobee may seem like a complicated system, but I’ve found the interface to be very user-friendly. Because the same design theme is seen on the web interface and app, it’s easy to make adjustments no matter what device I’m using.

The one feature that really sets the ecobee apart is its remote sensors. Most thermostats have sensors on the thermostat itself, which can make it difficult to keep all areas of the home a comfortable temperature. With ecobee, you can place the remote sensors in the rooms you use most, so those areas of your home are always comfortable.

 

What Could Have Been Better

Remote Sensors Are Misleading

Don’t get me wrong, the remote sensors are one of the best features that the ecobee has to offer. But it’s not without its flaws. Some users may be misled as to what these sensors are actually capable of.

Yes, you can place the sensor in any room of your home you choose, and your HVAC system will work hard to ensure that that room is just the right temperature. But it can’t redirect heat from other rooms. So, if your one room is particularly hot in the summer, the rest of your home may wind up being be as cold as an icebox once the system finally gets that room to the right temperature.

The Power Extender Kit Can be Confusing

I love that the ecobee doesn’t require a C-wire to install it. Instead, it comes with a power extender kit that supposedly makes it easy to install. However, you’ll still need to adjust some wires in your furnace to get it to work properly.

In truth, the process is still easy – unless your furnace is hard to reach. But it’s important to give a fair warning that there’s still some work involved when installing the thermostat.

 

The Final Verdict

The ecobee3 WiFi thermostat with remote sensor is smarter and more advanced than many of the smart thermostats on the market today. It’s intuitive, user-friendly and helps you save on your energy bills each month. The best part? You don’t need a C-wire to install it.

If you’re looking for a thermostat that offers detailed energy usage reports, smart scheduling and remote sensing where you need it most, I highly recommend the ecobee3.


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