No Wi-Fi thermostat review could be complete without including one of the best options available, the Ecobee3. Here in this page you will find a detailed Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat Review.
Ecobee, following the example set by the Nest 2nd gen thermostat, have been thinking outside the (conventional white, rectangular) box with the design of the ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat with Remote Sensor. The result is a stylish black square with rounded edges. However, the innovation does not stop with the look, there is plenty of technologies to help you efficiently manage you home heating and cooling demands efficiently.
A remote sensor (there is one supplied with the kit) detects the temperature where you place it and then adjusts the temperature so that the optimum temperature is achieved in that location rather than where the thermostat is located. The Ecobee3 can handle several remote sensors (up to 32) around you house.
As with most smart Wi-Fi enabled thermostat this need a ‘C’ wire for installation. If your existing system does not have one, also included in the box, is a power extender kit. This can be used to supply the necessary power as an alternative to running a new ‘C’ cable from your heating / cooling control system. There is a work around not having a ‘C’ wire which may work for you.
In addition to being able to be remotely controlled from a computer, smartphone or tablet, this latest version is also compatible with Apple Home Kit, so now you can tell Siri, to adjust your settings for you.
- Stylish design
- Complete with 1 remote sensor (each thermostat can control up to 32 sensors)
- Remote sensor senses which rooms you are using and will adjust the temperature so that it is the correct temperature where you are, not just where the thermostat is.
- Compatible with up to 95% of North American Heating and cooling systems
- Detects when you are away during a heat / cool ‘on’ time, or home during an ‘off’ time and switches the system accordingly
- Can be remotely controlled by a computer, smartphone or tablet.
- Compatible with Apple Home Kit
- Monthly energy use reports
- Email alerts of routine maintenance
- Email alerts for temperatures outside of your set limits
- PIN lock to prevent unauthorized alteration of settings
- 3-year limited warranty – see here for details
- Like nearly all smart Wi-Fi thermostats, this needs a ‘C’ or Common wire to operate (or using the included power extender kit. The Nest can theoretically operate without one, but this can lead to some erratic connectivity problems. The Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF is one of the very few that does not need a ‘C’ wire
Ease of Use 4.7/5
One the system has been setup, the ecobee3 can operate with minimal input from you. One of the problems with having preset times for your heat and cooling is when you are not operating to a standard schedule. The sensor will remove a lot of those inconveniences by turning itself off and on when it detects whether you are there or not. If you have pets it can also detect whether it is sensing a person or animal.
As with all the smart thermostats, the installation very much depends on what your existing installation is like. If you have a ‘C’ wire already, the install is quick and straightforward. If you don’t have a ‘C’ wire there are 2 alternatives. Running a new wire from your heating / cooling controls or using a power extender kit. If you want to choose the PEK, often this means having to buy one separately (at about $20), however, one is already supplied with this thermostat. For more details, click to see their page.
All changes or alterations can be either made through the touchscreen or via a computer, smartphone or tablet. This comes complete with a preset program that will suit many people, but by using the free apps, it is very easy to alter to a routine that suits you. When you have a different routine you can either override the system at the press of an icon or rely on the remote sensors to alter the heating or cooling for you.
Energy Saving 4.6/5
The original Ecobee was designed primarily to save the user energy use and therefore money. This is very much the ethos behind this model. How much you will actually save depends on how you use this system against how you used your existing system.
Ecobee estimate that the average user saves about 23% on their energy bills. This happens through a combination of features.
The ease of programming a weekly schedule means that you are more likely to only use the heating or cooling when you need it rather than just turn it on and leave it. The sensors detect when you are there so if you system is operating and you leave, the system will switch off.
The accuracy of the temperature control means that excessive heating or cooling is minimized.
The thermostat learns how quickly your system heats or cools your house and turns switches on so that your set temperature is reached when you want it – no more switching it on in advance to make sure you have the right temperature.
If the outside temperature changes, the system will automatically adjust to make sure that it is operating at the most efficient settings for the temperatures that you have set.
Every month you get a free IQ Energy Report. This shows in detail where you have been using energy, the average temperatures on your house and the outside temperatures. Also estimated savings over the month.
Email alerts will also tell you when your system need maintenance to keep it operating at its most efficient.
Depending on the area in which you live, some energy companies offer a discount off your bills if you have a device like this installed.
Bottom Line 4.6/5
The Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat with Remote Sensor is, rightly so, considered one of the best Wi-Fi thermostats available. Although it is one of the higher priced models, users believe that it is well worth the premium due to what it delivers.
Firstly, although many other thermostats will operate with remote sensors, these have to be purchased separately at additional cost. If you want to use a PEK to power your thermostat, again, with others that is an additional expense.
Easy programming – unlike some thermostats, this is very easy and intuitive to set up the heating and cooling schedules. Just as importantly it is also very easy to cope with a change to your routine. If you are home unexpectedly, you can either rely on the sensors to switch your system on, do it via your computer, smartphone or tablet, or, if you have an iPhone or iPad, just say ‘Siri, I’m home’
The IQ Energy Report is one of the most detailed and user-friendly analysis of your energy use (and estimated savings) available. Without much effort, you can easily see what you have been using when you have used it and compares it to previous months. It also includes weather details which obviously heavily influence heating and cooling use. We hope you find our Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat review useful.
And then it has a little style, it is not just a white rectangular box, sat there on the wall.