The Ecobee 3
is not the first ‘smart’ thermostat I’ve tried. It replaces a cheap zigbee thermostat that has a much more traditional appearance. Well, I guess you get what you pay for. The Ecobee 3 cost four to five times the price of a basic thermostat, but wow! what a difference!
The key stand out feature I think is the availability of remote sensors. The basic kit comes with one sensor which is likely all you’ll need in a normal size house. The remote sensor is battery powered and sends temperature and motion detection information to the main thermostat. This means that the temperature in the house is set based on the average of at least two locations rather than the single location of the main thermostat.
The motion sensor detects room occupation which determines when the furnace runs and to what temperature.
Like any connected thermostat you can control temperature remotely and integrate temperature controls with things like alexa, smartthings and ifttt. So leave your home freezing if you want and have it set to only warm up when you leave work to save money (you may want to consider the comfort of pets and other home occupants in this instance of course).
If you are competent with basic home maintenance you’ll find installation of the ecobee 3
to be simple and straight forward in most circumstances. This thermostat is well packaged with very good installation instructions. Installation does require power, which means a common wire. The good news is that if your current thermostat lacks a common wire the ecobee 3 comes with a power adapter that can be installed at the furnace to provide power via your current wiring.
In my case a common wire was already run to the thermostat though it wasn’t used. Opening up my furnace and connecting that wire was initially a little scary, but easy enough to do since the instructions were so clear and there’s a lot of extra information available online to guide you through the process.
Before installing this thermostat the temperature in my home would fluctuate a few degrees hour by hour. Post installation temperatures have been consistent and steady while my heating bill has gone down. More comfort at a lower price is a hard deal to beat. Even with the extra cost of this thermostat it will likely pay for itself in energy savings over the course of this winter. Everything beyond that is gravy.