In addition to the NEST thermostat in the living area, I recently added an Ecobee3 with one sensor in the rear bedrooms. This area is a separate zone and for LEED we are required to have a thermostat in every room. This Ecobee provides a wireless thermostat sensor to place in a different room than the thermostat itself. Since these read home and away motion it is important to have a sensor in the bedroom we are currently using, but the wiring is in the guest bedroom so that is where the master Ecobee thermostat is located.
The Ecobee wiring information is extremely clear, however, I still messed up the wiring and had to call customer service. The customer service wait was moderately long, about 20 minutes, but the help was very efficient when I was finally connected. The service rep instantly understood that I was using an electronic valve controller and understood there are three connections, R W and C. The C connection is important for these digital thermostats because it provides the power. The R is positive and the W is neutral. But for some reason I hooked the W up to G which is probably Ground. So I was not getting a heat reading. That was my mistake–admittedly an easy one to fix. So soon I was connected and now I’m able to read the usage for the rear of the house.
Unfortunately unlike the Nest, the usage is not part of the iphone app. I have to log onto HomeIQ on the ecobee site and download the spreadsheet.
I deleted a couple of columns that my boiler heat system doesn’t use. The data from the spreadsheet is very detailed which is good but it would be nice to have a snapshot of usage on the iphone app.
The temperature screen is not as inviting as the Nest screen. The heat icon allows you to turn off the heat and the sliding temp scale allows you to hold the temperature or change it. The menu icon brings up the main menu of options. The weather icon gives current weather based on address. The settings sets Home or Away manually and also can hold the temperature.
System tells what the thermostat is controlling. Sensors show temperature and home/away setting (Occupied/Unoccupied). The thermostat has three configurable “Comfort” settings; Home, Away, and Sleep and these are the settings that are programmable in the schedule area. Vacation/Away time can be set so that the Home sensors won’t register during that time, for visitors that water plants etc. Reminders can be set to change filters and high low temperature alarms are available.
The remote sensor capability is really the selling point for the Ecobee3 over the Nest. Ecobee has a Lite version that does not use sensors too. Ecobee is less popular than the Nest so it is easier to find lower than list pricing on the devices. I bought the set with one sensor for $60 under list.