Two of the industry’s most robust thermostats is the ecobee 3 and the Honeywell WiFi Smart. Designed to be installed with ease, these two thermostats are able to be installed in most homes, and they offer a far more robust interface and function than a standard thermostat.
But small differences between the two need to be considered before making a purchase.
You really can’t go wrong with either thermostat, but there are a few differences that give the edge to one of these two thermostats.
Which model has the edge?
Let’s find out.
Honeywell WiFi Thermostat
Smart and sophisticated, the Honeywell thermostat has been an iconic feature in the industry since the 1850s, and the WiFi adds in smart technology that allows the user to be able to control their unit via WiFi.
Customizable and simple, this model allows you to download an app and change the thermostat’s function anywhere and at any time.
If you won’t be home for a week but forgot to turn down your heat, all you have to do is open the app, and you’ll be able to gain full access to your home’s heating. It’s the freedom to control your home’s temperature whenever and wherever you are.
But it gets a lot better than this.
- Programmable Settings: The unit is able to be programmed, and it will offer advice on how to set the thermostat. You can choose different times for the unit to activate or shut off to save you money on your electric bills.
- Locking: Never worry about kids playing with your thermostat’s settings again. Users can lock the thermostat with password protection if they want.
- Learning: The unit is smart. After some time, the unit will learn your heating and cooling habits to deliver the perfect temperature all year long.
- Remote Access: Use a smartphone, tablet or computer to monitor and change your thermostat’s settings at any time. This unit can also tell you your energy habits and usage to help you save money on your electricity bills.
- Weather Forecast: Wonder what the weather will be like when you rush outside for work? The unit keeps track of the weather forecast for up to 5 days, and will even tell you the temperature and time.
There is a lot to love about this unit, and you can read our entire Honeywell review that covers every feature in detail for more information.
Ecobee Thermostat Review
The ecobee 3 is a small, unique thermostat. And while this model is great, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the Honeywell, which we just reviewed briefly. The third generation of the ecobee comes with a remote sensor that will read the temperature of any room in your home.
What this sensor does is it is able to sense the temperature in a given room.
For example, if your room is always cold, the sensor can be placed inside of your room and the thermostat will adjust the setting based on the room where the sensor is located. This is the advanced function that high-end thermostats offer.
- Temperature Adjustment Based on Weather: You’re sitting at your desk, look outside, and all of a sudden, you see snow falling. Temperatures fluctuate in hours, and with the ecobee, the unit will adjust the home’s temperature based on the weather outside.
- Remote Sensors: Place sensors in different rooms, and the sensor will adjust the temperature based on the sensors’ temperatures. One sensor is provided for free, but you can also purchase additional ones.
- Mobile Function: Use an app to control your HVAC system remotely. You can also view the IQ energy report from the app to see how much energy your unit is using.
The one thing that the ecobee thermostat doesn’t do well is allow you to adjust the temperature control. An adjustment slider is present – not a digital control – so, you’ll need to play with the slider quite a bit when trying to adjust the temperature appropriately.
We cover this nuance and a few others in our ecobee3 complete review.
Honeywell vs Ecobee3
Head-to-head, it’s a real close call when trying to compare the Honeywell and Ecobee3. We’re going to break down some of the most detailed differences between the two:
- Price: If you’re on a tight budget, the Honeywell is the clear winner in terms of price. This model costs $70 – $80 less than the ecobee3 while offering some features that we found to be better overall.
- Ease of Installation: Honeywell’s unit is easier to install overall. Ecobee’s unit doesn’t require a c-wire, but users may have to make adjustments to their HVAC system’s wiring in some cases.
- Sensor Options: Ecobee3 comes with a free sensor that will adjust the temperature of the furnace based on the temperature in a specific room. And the unit adjusts the temperature based on the outside temperature.
- Temperature Control: Honeywell beats the ecobee3 in the terms of fine grain control. Ecobee includes a slider, which is a bit clunky.
- Energy Savings: In terms of pure energy savings, it’s difficult to determine which model will save you more money. The Ecobee has the advantage because it controls the temperature based on outside temperatures and sensors, but the Honeywell also allows for high-level programming, so you can control the unit precisely based on different conditions and times. Both units also provide advanced energy reports, which is a nice feature.
And the addition of apps is a really neat feature that both of the units provide. It’s a whole new experience when you’re able to take complete control over your HVAC unit from work or even when you’re on vacation. Both units provide great app functionality and control to users.
Honeywell also allows you to view weather and set a temperature schedule. At a cheaper price point, we have to choose the Honeywell as the clear winner over the ecobee3. While the ecobee3 is a great thermostat overall, it’s not able to offer the same level of control as the Honeywell.
Our winner: The Honeywell WiFi Smart.