Ecobee – a new generation home automation company, launched their first thermostats in 2007. Just like Nest, Ecobee is a company which was founded only recently (just 10 years old) and made a mark of its own with flagship thermostat models – Ecobee 3, Ecobee 4 and Ecobee 3 Lite. Ecobee thermostats are the most energy efficient ones available in the market right now. Their products integrate with Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Haiku Fans, IFTTT, Logitech Harmony, Vera, and Control4. You can either rely on the touchscreen (available on Ecobee thermostat) or your smart phones/tablets to control them from anywhere in the world. They also help to set reminders for HVAC maintenance, UV lamp or furnace filter replacement, alerts for low/ high temperature or humidity. They offers you a feeling of comfort in no time.
A little bit History!
Ecobee’s flagship product Ecobee3 was launched in September 2014 which can work with upto 32 remote temperature/motion sensors. Ecobee3 was updated later in 2015 so that it can work with Apple Homekit. Ecobee3 Lite was launched in October 2016 which was less expensive as it incorporate no remote sensors but resembles Ecobee3. Ecobee3 Lite with remote sensors came up in March 2017. Their 4th generation product, Ecobee4 came up on May 3rd 2017 with a feature of built in Amazon Alexa voice service.
Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat Review
Ecobee4 – is the fourth generation smart thermostat from Ecobee, which was first launched in May 2017 with built in voice control feature. The Amazon’s Alexa is built into Ecobee4 – which means just talking to the device from anywhere in the room is all you need to do to control – like setting the timer, or turning it OFF or whatever! . Ecobee4 can work on real time basis when connected to internet; and the energy saving is up to 23% on heating and cooling systems (as claimed by the company). This model comes with a mobile app which you can install in your smartphones to control the device from anywhere (anywhere in the world provided your thermostat is connected to internet). Ecobee4 comes with a very attractive design and the room sensors (that comes with Ecobee4) helps you to manage hot/cold spots. In addition, the company provides excellent customer support and a long three-year warranty. The following are its main features:
# Built in Alexa: – This makes Ecobee4 more than a simple smart thermostat. All you need to do is just talk to your new friend, Ecobee4. Accordingly it sets the temperature, timers, alerts and reminders. The best thing here is you can avail all features of Alexa along with the thermostat, like you can integrate it with almost all your home appliances and control them. The integrated alexa can also read news, make changes in temperature, turn on/off the lights, play music, book uber etc.
# Design: – Ecobee4 has a beautiful design with a classic touchscreen that displays the mode, humidity level of indoors, current temperature settings and various updateand alerts. There is a blue LED line at the top which indicates when Alexa responds to your queries. The product dimension is 1x4x4 inches.
# Ease of installation: – While most other smart phones take up to 40 minutes to install, the Ecobee4 takes less than 15 minutes as it comes with a built in leveler making it ready to install.
If your home doesn’t have a C wire, installation can take a little longer because you need to install the included Power Extender Kit. It works with nearly every kind of HVAC system (except baseboard heaters/line voltage systems) and there is a detailed walkthrough in the manual that comes along with it.
Note: If you don’t know which is your current thermostat or which is your present heating/cooling system, read our guide to – Identify your heating/cooling system.
# Far field technology: – This feature enables you to talk to the thermostat from anywhere across the room.
# Sensing and operating: – These smart thermostats save energy by learning your habits and thereby adjusting to maximize your comfort (and max energy savings).
# Geofencing: – This feature tracks the location of the owner and the thermostat automatically acts to make the temperature at the most comfortable level when owner arrives home.
# Room sensor: – It helps the thermostat to become better in understanding and controlling the room temperatures throughout your home. They helps to manage hot/cold spots in different rooms.
The Good Side of Ecobee4:
- Beautiful, minimalist design
- Wide compatibility with many HVAC systems
- Simple installation and easy interfacing possible
- Built in Alexa
- Brilliant remote control capabilities
- Full-featured app
- Wide range of programmable and scheduling options
- Ultra efficient use of outdoor weather conditions
- Extra sensors help balance out the home temperature uniformly
The Bad Side:
- Won’t work with line voltage systems (2 wire/4 wire systems)
- Lack of echo spatial perception
The Ecobee4 is truly a smart thermostat with Alexa built in making it very user friendly. The Ecobee4 is hence a true friend to your smart home, giving the ability to control everything from its voice activated assistance. Apart from it, the excellent app makes the remote controlling very easy.
Ecobee3 Lite Review
Ecobee3 Lite Programmable learning smart thermostat was launched in October 2016 and it resembles Ecobee3. The lite version of Ecobee is less expensive as it was devoid of remote sensors. Later in March 2017 Lite version came up with remote sensors and motion sensors to know the occupancy and thereby saving energy. It is the cheapest of all Ecobee models but possess all important & essential features of a smart thermostat. So go for it if you are on a budget. The following are the main features of Lite model :
- Remote sensors for adjusting temperature and finding occupancy and thereby activating ‘Away’ Mode if no movement is detected.
- Lower Priced when compared with other Ecobee models.
- Monthly energy reports can be obtained to study about its performance and even gives you tips to improve savings.
- Integrable with IFTTT, Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Apple HomeKit, Wink and SmartThings.
- Smart recovery feature can track your local weather throughout the day with the help of internet and heats/cools your home accordingly.
- Easy to use and has a very fast responsive touchscreen.
- Vacation mode can be activated when you are away from home for an extended period of time.
- Alerts and reminders help you by notifying at the correct time when something goes wrong.
- Easy installation and are hardwired.
- Effortless control at your finger tip as you can adjust the temperature and comfort settings from anywhere around the world using your android and IOS devises including apple watches.
- Minimum time taken for heating or cooling your home as per the required temperature.
You can add upto 32 sensors for obtaining maximum comfort and energy savings. The display size is 3.5 inches. The product dimension is 4.05×4.05×0.84 inches
The Good Side:
- Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit
- Occupancy sensor present
- Easy installation
- Remote sensors for better controlling
- Reduced price
The Bad Side:
- Lacks geofencing
- Lacks terminals required to control advanced HVAC components such as humidifier, dehumidifiers and ventilators.
Ecobee4 Vs Evobee3 Lite – Comparison
To exactly know how they are alike or differ, let us discuss some of the most critical aspects of the Ecobee thermostats
# Setup Process – Even if installation of Ecobee is not as easy as Nest, it comes up with a fantastic guide that explains the whole process in detail. So it can take only 10-15minutes for installing Ecobee4 and lite versions.
# Design and interfaces – Both models look almost the same. Ecobee4 has a glowing LED bar on top which shines when Alexa is activated. There is only few variation in the dimension. Ecobee3 lite is 4.05×4.05×0.84 inches and Ecobee4 is 1x4x4 inches.
Interfaces of both are mainly the same with only few minor unnoticeable differences. Both models display current temperature, alerts, reminders and features for various manual adjustments. Ecobee4 has a new button to activate Alexa manually. Ecobee4 has better sensors that enables it to function at higher level. Both models have same display size of 3.5 inches touchscreen. Mobile apps and web apps are available thus making it user friendly.
# Integrations – All Ecobee models are third party integration friendly. Ecobee4 has built in Alexa making it smartest of all thermostats. You need to buy Amazon Echo or Echo Dot separately to pair it with Ecobee3 or Lite versions. Ecobee4 eliminates the need for this separate purchase as it has Alexa built into it. Except for this all Ecobeessynchronise perfectly with IFTTT, wink, smartThings and Apple HomeKit.
# Operating patterns and sensing – They save upto 23% of energy by learning habits and routines and there by maximizing your comfort. Ecobee4 have room sensors to attain better control.
Unlike Ecobee4, Ecobee3 doesnot support geofencing which helps to automatically track you and make your home comfortable when you reach near. Ecobee4’s mobile app has geofencing feature. All Ecobee thermostats can check and change temperature of your HVAC using mobile application or through web.
From the above observations it is clear that Ecobee4 version is the smartest. So if you have enough budget, then go for it without second thought. The smarter ones for a smarter home.
Lets Wind up!
By learning about Ecobee, one can thoroughly understand that the Ecobee thermostats are an unavoidable product for your smart homes. They help to save upto 23% on heating or cooling devices. They have sensors to understand and study in detail about the owners habits or the weather outdoor and therby making necessary changes in the settings. Ecobee products comes with various alerts and reminders which help you in your day to day life. The Alexa and other interfaces makes it highly user friendly and unavoidable. They can be operated efficiently and effectively from anywhere around the globe. So smart they are, isn’t it. Go get it.
The only wifi thermostat which offers smart operation at a fair price. It comes with a warranty of 3 years. These thermostats can be powered via a C wire or a PEK if you don’t have one.