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OT: Ecobee3 HVAC Thermostat

ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,711
Anyone have any experience with the Ecobee3 thermostat?

I have a zone board on my HVAC with 3 zones. The main zone is used the most for the living area. A second zone for guest bedrooms which are rarely used. And a third zone for the home theater. All 3 have Honeywell thermostats right now. Those work fine but I am wanting to go wireless on the theater zone and most likely the main living area zone.

The theater is only heated/cooled when I plan to use it and that's usually last minute. Rather than going upstairs to turn it on, it would be nice to do it on the phone. Especially when out to dinner and then deciding to watch when we get back to the house. Rather than waiting the hour or whatever for the room to cool, it can be ready when we get home.

I know the Nest is the hot item right now and they sure charge for it. But the Ecobee3 seems like it would be great alternative. I am interested to see what people think of the remote sensors for it. You put the sensors where you are most of the time: kitchen, bedroom, living room and then it senses where people are and adjusts the temp to make that room comfortable. So if the thermostat is set to 72 in the living room but you are in the kitchen where it is 75, then the sensor in the kitchen recognizes that and makes the kitchen 72 like you wanted it. Or if nobody is sensed in any areas, it will save power and raise the temp by itself. Or at least that's the way it claims to work on paper.

So I'm interested in real world experiences with the unit and/or the sensors. Personal or professional experience is fine. I might go with voice control down the road and I know both the Nest and the Ecobee3 are capable of that with Alexa. The Ecobee4 has Alexa built into it if anyone is interested. 
Aledo, Texas
Large BGE
KJ Jr.

Exodus 12:9 KJV
Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

Comments

  • RedSkipRedSkip Posts: 1,340
    edited June 2017
    I have it.  My wall plate theromstat is always running high, by about 2-3 degrees.  It's placed in a central location on an interior wall, however the sun hits it in the afternoon causing it to spike.  It reads a true temp, but will kick on the AC or won't kick on the heat due to the sunlight, this the rest of the house will be cold or hot depending.

    Work around, I've turned the main thermostat off and only run it when it's in away mode.  When I'm home, the system knows via wifi and smartphone location being paired to it, and switches the remote sensors as the primary sensors for air/heat.  my sensors are in the upstairs bedrooms, kitchen, and main thermostat.  The more sensors he better job the system does at averaging out the heat/cooling.  

    At at night the downstairs sensors get kicked to "off" for comfort settings while sleeping. 

    You can program the schedule everyday for home/away/sleep and as many combos as you see fit.  Perhaps you at home at 8, leave at 8;30, back at 12, leave at 1, back at 5, sleep at 10, and wake up at 4am.  The system can be programmed to do such.

    Lastly, it has a learning mode to start and stop the heat/air once it learns how long and which sensors adjust quicker.  Thought being, it may take your AC unit 45 minutes to cool the house 5 degrees.  It will start up sooner as it anticipates your arrival at home.  So instead of starting at 5, and your house is hot until 6, it will start the AC sooner around 4:15.

    My only complaint thus far is the dual comort settings.  Meaning you can have both air and heat on for fall/spring type seasons.  In the morning you may want heat and afternoon the AC.  The temp spread is 5 degrees, if it goes below 70 it will kick on the heat, or over 75 in the house it turns on the AC.  You can widen the spread beyond 5 degrees, but not narrow it.  It's because the program is designed to protect the AC compressor from kicking in and off very quickly damaging the unit.  Idea would be if the spread was 70/71.  Heat would kick on and overshoot the temp, then at 71 the AC will kick on to lower the temp.  This Cycling will damage your units...5 degrees seems to be the buffer, I just wish it was 3 degrees.

    Ecobee is working on a hub system for wifi sensors that work with aftermarket register grates for folks that have one zone heating.  Seems cool, pretty pricey and I have no experience with the units.  I just know its Being developed.

    Side note, I've had my system for 3 years and the lithium batteries (watch style) are starting to need replaced.  Seems to be fairly good, especially when the sensor recognizes when you walk into the room and "occupy" it.

    hope this helps!

    Edit:  I read your post again, and the iPhone app works well.  It has a bug when you go to look for the local weather, the screen locks up, but I just re boot it. You can turn it on/off, switch sensors to run the system on the phone.  Turn on the fan, turn off the system, etc.   the iPad app has more function due to comfort settings and program history.  It will track your historical usage and compare to other ecobee in your area to see how energy efficient your home is.  The iPhone app doesn't have these extra features.
    Large BGE - McDonald, PA
  • HotchHotch Posts: 3,362
    My son had two, each with 3 remotes in his home. 2 story with one 5 ton with 2 zones, floor 1 and floor 2. Said he finally had control of temps and comfort.

    Then his10 year old 5 ton went out. Replace the whole system heater and all.
    Now has a 5 stage system and the install crew rework a few duct runs and returns. Put a 3rd zone in the stairwell (Really is a conditioned air dump location) Now system is at a .51. With the new system he got new stats.

    So I snagged his Ecobee3's and remotes. I need to order the C wire kits and then I can install it.
    Large BGE, MiniMAX BGE, 2 Mini BGE's, R&V Fryer, 36" Blackstone Griddle, Camp Chef Dual Burner 40K BTU Stove
    BGE Chiminea
    Prosper, TX
  • zosobao5150zosobao5150 Posts: 133
    edited June 2017
    I have an Ecobee 3 and would buy again in a heartbeat. I do not have multiple zones, but have a variety of different hot/cold rooms depending on the season. I have 7 remote sensors (really good deal at walmart a few weeks ago). The system works fantastic. You can easily tell the thermostat what sensors should or should not be involved when determining whether the system should heat or cool, even depending on time of day. So...my daughters room is always hot in the summer. I try to make sure her room and some other warm rooms are given more priority when they are occupied or towards evening when I know she will be there, more so than the other rooms. The other rooms are still taken into consideration by including a sensor or two from a cooler area of the house.

    I also have it hooked up to Samsung Smartthings. I have Smartthings monitor for large temperature deviations between rooms and automatically turn on the furnace fan to help equalize temp differences or if the basement (large reef tank) or daughters room get too hot.

    There is a lot of different things that can be done and like I said...totally worth it to me.
    XL BGE
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,770
    I don't have the ecobee3 but I have 2 Honeywell wifi thermostats in the house. The main zone is controlled with this:
    https://yourhome.honeywell.com/en/products/thermostat/wi-fi-smart-thermostat-rth9580

    The upstairs zone is run with this one:
    yourhome.honeywell.com/en/products/thermostat/wi-fi-7-day-programmable

    I think @nolaegghead and @Eggcelsior also have these. 

    The programming works well and I like them. The Nest would not have worked well because there isn't much traffic past the thermostat location . I had a similar issue like @RedSkip had with sun light hitting the thermostat and causing it to cool or heat inappropriately , so I hang a hat over it and the problem resolved.

    You will need a "common" wire to power the thermostats, which is often already there. You may have to get someone to run one for you, if you don't have one. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 2,663
    caliking said:
    I don't have the ecobee3 but I have 2 Honeywell wifi thermostats in the house. The main zone is controlled with this:
    https://yourhome.honeywell.com/en/products/thermostat/wi-fi-smart-thermostat-rth9580

    The upstairs zone is run with this one:
    yourhome.honeywell.com/en/products/thermostat/wi-fi-7-day-programmable

    I think @nolaegghead and @Eggcelsior also have these. 

    The programming works well and I like them. The Nest would not have worked well because there isn't much traffic past the thermostat location . I had a similar issue like @RedSkip had with sun light hitting the thermostat and causing it to cool or heat inappropriately , so I hang a hat over it and the problem resolved.

    You will need a "common" wire to power the thermostats, which is often already there. You may have to get someone to run one for you, if you don't have one. 

    I have the same thing (earlier gen, I think).  The wifi works well.  I have 2 units, one with 2 zones and one single zone, and my house holds temp pretty well.  We have crazy insulation, so other than one hallway that gets a ton of direct afternoon sun, we stay pretty comfortable.

    NOLA
  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 3,884
    Not to throw a wrench into this, but have you looked into a Control4 system?  You can build it around your theater and go from there.
    Large and Small BGE
    Morton, IL

  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,711
    Thanks for the input. I'll have to check out those other units. I actually have 3 hvac units in the house. Only the 5 ton upstairs is zoned and that's the main one I want to go wifi with. I might switch out the others if it works well.

    Yes, 3 units is a lot. But when one unit goes out, I'm not cooking in the Texas heat because the other 2 units can hold me over until the repair guy comes... And then have to wait for the home warranty people to approve it. 
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • DaveRichardsonDaveRichardson Posts: 2,324

    Nest won't run a zones system.  Nest uses a thermometer that is part of the device, and I am not aware of remote sensors that "Work With Nest". 

    My friend works with Mingledorf's, a major HVAC supply house and they really like the Ecobee devices.


    LBGE #19 from North GA Eggfest, 2014

    Stockbridge, GA - just south of Atlanta where we are covered up in Zombies!  #TheWalkingDead films practically next door!

  • Kent8621Kent8621 Posts: 528
    edited June 2017
    i called my dad who has been in HVAC for 40+ years and he stopped by the supply house.  the Ecobee is really popular and they have seen great results with the ones that the sell.  My FIL needed a new system so we helped them out and installed 2 nests one up and one down and it seems to do a really good job working together. just thought I would throw in my 2 cents, I know dad doesn't get a deal on ecobee but I can get  a good price on the nest and ship them if you decide to float that way, just send me a PM.

    2 Large Eggs - Madison, AL

    Boiler Up!!

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,052
    Ecobee is great, but if you are wanting to Zone you will need 1 Ecobee for each zone, you can use the remotes for "averaging" but the remotes will not control a Zone by itself
    Visalia, Ca
  • SamedaySameday Posts: 40
    Check with your power company.  Sometimes they give rebates.  In Atlanta Georgia power has a $100 rebate on the ecobee. 

    https://www.georgiapowermarketplace.com/collections/featured-energy-saving-products/products/ecobee4-wifi-thermostat
  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,711
    The unit is already zoned. I am just replacing the thermostat for 1 or 2 of the zones. According to what I have read, there should be no problem changing out one of the thermostats and leaving the other 2 old ones.

    I know I have gotten fliers from the power company for a Nest. I might have to see what they are charging for them. But honestly, the Ecobee seems like the better system.
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • DaveRichardsonDaveRichardson Posts: 2,324
    If the GA Power thing sounds good, I can be your middle man since they are my power company!

    LBGE #19 from North GA Eggfest, 2014

    Stockbridge, GA - just south of Atlanta where we are covered up in Zombies!  #TheWalkingDead films practically next door!

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,052
    Toxarch said:
    The unit is already zoned. I am just replacing the thermostat for 1 or 2 of the zones. According to what I have read, there should be no problem changing out one of the thermostats and leaving the other 2 old ones.

    I know I have gotten fliers from the power company for a Nest. I might have to see what they are charging for them. But honestly, the Ecobee seems like the better system.

    That is correct
    Visalia, Ca
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,635
    We have had the ecobee 3 for about a year.  Love it, living in the desert we have one sensor in our bedroom and this helps a ton it heats up more then the rest of the house in the afternoons so it is nice and cool st bedtime.  The iPhone ap is user friendly.  Check with your gas and power company we got $100 rebate on it (could have got nest too but I liked the sensor idea more).  Some brands didn't have a rebate offer like the Honeywell comes to minds.  I think they sent me an email about a new model coming out that is Alexa ready (4?).
  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,711
    If the GA Power thing sounds good, I can be your middle man since they are my power company!
    I might have to take you up on that if you are serious.
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,711
    U_tarded said:
    We have had the ecobee 3 for about a year.  Love it, living in the desert we have one sensor in our bedroom and this helps a ton it heats up more then the rest of the house in the afternoons so it is nice and cool st bedtime.  The iPhone ap is user friendly.  Check with your gas and power company we got $100 rebate on it (could have got nest too but I liked the sensor idea more).  Some brands didn't have a rebate offer like the Honeywell comes to minds.  I think they sent me an email about a new model coming out that is Alexa ready (4?).
    The Ecobee3 is Alexa ready. The Ecobee4 has Alexa built into it. 
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • GlennMGlennM Posts: 883
    edited June 2017
    I have two, an ecobee 3 and a 3 lite in our Florida vacation home. They work great, I don't really use the sensors, only have one because our home has an open floor plan. Using the phone or iPad is the big advantage, the app works great for me 19.5 is celcius. It controls the humidifier as well.  We have blink cameras at our vacation home as well, great to monitor temp, humidity and activity from home


    In the bush just East of Cambridge,Ontario 
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