The Ecobee 3 thermostat is a pretty neat thermostat. I wanted to find something that was an improvement over my previous Honeywell wifi thermostat and integrated well with my ambitious Apple HomeKit plans.
Ecobee makes several options and when I purchased this unit a few months ago, it was either the Ecobee 3 (which I chose) or the Ecobee 4 that was announced but not available. Since then, the Ecobee 3 lite has started showing up in stores. The difference with the lite version is pretty minimal but in short it does not come with a remote room sensor included.
Speaking of remote room sensors – this was the most attractive reason for purchasing the Ecobee 3 system. The kit I purchased comes with one remote room sensor but you can add many of them – in fact up to 32 of them in your home. So why the big deal with remote temperature sensors? Well, the Ecobee collects the data from reach remote sensor that you have in your home and uses this information to balance the temperature to areas of your home currently in use. The remote sensors have motion detection amongst other features so if you have enough of them installed then the thermostat has a pretty good idea where to focus your temperature settings towards. This article on Ecobee website explains it in much more detail.
Remote sensors, motion detection, Apple HomeKit compatibility and the fact that it’s a nearby based company (Toronto, Ontario) all seemed to make sense and I couldn’t be happier to date! The system was super easy to install (about 10 minutes for the thermostat and a couple of minutes per sensor) due to the amazing instructions the app provides. I’m still tweaking the system with it’s Smart Home/Away feature and Follow Me feature but have noticed a significant difference in certain rooms already. At the moment I have 7 remote sensors installed plus the main thermostat built-in sensor.
A note about Ecobee remote sensors when installing them – I thought the best place to install them in my house would be right next to the light switches in each room. After all, this would give a good reading for temperature within the room and be quick to detect motion within that room normally. While it works just fine, I learned that often I was hitting the sensor with my hand when reaching for the light switch next to it – this was less than ideal! If I had one minor complaint about the sensors – they are installed on the wall with only one screw so if you hit them (while reaching for the light switch in my case) then they can get flipped around on the wall which can throw the sensors off. I thought of two sided tape and may change them around at some point .. again, just a minor complaint.
I have included some pictures from my installation along with some screen captures from the app.
Paul Stewart lives near Peterborough, Ontario in Canada. This blog is about all things not work related including home automation, home renovations and anything else that comes along that I feel like writing about!