ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included
Last updated date: December 17, 2019
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We looked at the top Smart Thermostats and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Smart Thermostat you should buy.
In our analysis of 164 expert reviews, the ecobee ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included placed 9th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note January 2, 2020:
Checkout The Best Smart Thermostat for a detailed review of all the top smart thermostats.
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From The Manufacturer
With built-in Alexa voice service, ecobee4 can listen to your voice commands and respond. Have it set a timer, read you the news, adjust the temperature, and more. It also works well with other Alexa Devices by supporting ESP, so that only the device closest to you responds to your commands. It also comes with a room sensor that helps manage hot or cold spots in your home, delivering comfort in the rooms that matter. And because they can detect occupancy, they can automatically enable the right mode on your ecobee4 for energy savings when it senses no one is home.
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An Overview On Smart Thermostats
When they first came along, programmable thermostats seemed like a great way to save money on electricity when you weren’t at home. However, many consumers find that they don’t keep the same hours day after day, week after week. When schedules do change, adjusting things takes extra work that they may not want to put in.
Enter learning thermostats. These innovative devices monitor the activity within your home and automatically adjust the temperature as needed. As you start shopping, though, you’ll find that many learning thermostats also have the option to control the temperature using an app or controls on the wall box itself. But as “On The Fly…DIY” writer, producer and narrator Vicki Liston says, this automation can be tricky, so it’s important to choose the right type of smart thermostat.
“I recommend shopping for a smart thermostat that uses both a motion sensor and geo-fencing input to determine settings,” Liston says.
Accuracy also relies heavily on where the thermostat is placed inside your home. Like other types of thermostats, a smart thermostat should be mounted on an inside wall, approximately five feet above the floor.
“Install your smart thermostat in a place where there is no direct sunlight from nearby windows or doors and where it is not in the path of a vent,” Liston says. “Sunlight and drafty locations can cause false temperature readings and the thermostat will not be able to operate as efficiently as it should.”
Liston also reminds shoppers that some thermostats let users set up alerts. You can set your thermostat to notify you that it’s time to change your furnace filter or schedule maintenance with a local heating and air provider.
Before you start shopping, though, note the type of unit you have. Not all thermostats will work with all systems, so you can save time by buying the right product from the start. You’ll find most often you see thermostats that are compatible only with electric heating, which means they won’t work with furnaces. Still other thermostats are universal in nature, but even with those, check to make sure they’re compatible with your system before making your purchase.
DWYM Fun Fact
When many consumers think of smart thermostats, they automatically go to learning thermostats, which gather data on your temperature preferences and household habits to automatically adjust throughout the day. However, smart thermostats fit in a broader category that encompasses all thermostats that hook to your home’s Wi-Fi. That means you can control your home’s temperature remotely, which can come in handy while you’re traveling. Learning thermostats expand that capacity, learning your preferences over time and adjusting the temperature automatically to match. Some learning thermostats also build in motion-sensing technology to detect when people are inside the house. That means if you’re home sick from work and moving around, your thermostat will remove itself from its usual schedule and adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.
The Smart Thermostat Buying Guide
- Your thermostat’s display will likely serve as the primary source of information for your household. Some thermostats have larger displays than others, but also look for a higher resolution and easy-to-read text.
- A thermostat will typically blend with your home’s décor, but make sure you choose one that has the look you prefer. Some have the round design found in pre-digital thermostats, while others take on the boxy look that has become popular in more recent years. You’ll also find some let you change up the color of the screen or come with colored rings.
- With rare exceptions, you’ll probably need help or wiring expertise to install your thermostat.
“Traditional thermostats could maintain operation on a small battery or low voltage wires, but smart thermostats need a constant source of power from the ‘C wire’ or common wire,” Liston says. “If you are unsure if your current wiring set up has the C wire, please check with a qualified HVAC person. Incorrect wiring can result in damage to both the thermostat and your heating and cooling system.”
- Voice control is one of the best “extras” included in smart thermostats. If you have an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker, make sure you choose a smart thermostat that works with it. You’ll be able to raise or lower the temperature by simply speaking the command.
- Smart thermostats can get a little complicated, so pay close attention to the design of the thermostat you choose. The more minimal the design, the better, especially if you choose a thermostat that monitors your household activity and adjusts accordingly. However, if you prefer to be more hands on with your temperature control, make sure you have a thermostat that makes it easy to set a schedule or adjust throughout the day.
- Smart thermostats aren’t inexpensive, but be sure as you price them, you consider whether you’ll need multiple thermostats for your home. Some thermostats let you set up separate zones, which could save you money.
- Most smart thermostats let you control your home’s temperature remotely using an app. You’ll need to choose a thermostat with an app for the type of devices you’ll be using for this control, whether it’s an iOS, Android or other mobile operating system. Some thermostats will even let you control them from a computer.
- Scheduling is an important part of any smart thermostat. If you don’t want to bother with setting up a schedule, consider a thermostat that automatically adjusts temperature based on your household activity. If you do plan to use the scheduling feature, look for one that comes with a schedule built in. Then you’ll just have to adjust based on your own household needs.
- Energy savings is one of the perks of using a smart thermostat. Some thermostats can even pull data from your local utility company and adjust the temperature to avoid using too much electricity during peak usage times, when costs are at their highest. Other thermostats will guide you to setting a temperature that is the most environmentally friendly, helping both your bank account and the environment.