Ecobee SmartThermostat Review 2020

The Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control costs a lot, but it’s chock full of useful features.
ecobee logo
Comes with smart speaker and remote sensor
Doesn’t require subscription service
Costs more than regular thermostats

If you’re tired of standing up to change the temperature all the time, we recommend the Ecobee SmartThermostat. Because it uses voice control technology, you don’t even have to use an app on your phone. It’s also compatible with tons of different home protocols.  so it will work in almost any smart home setup.

Once installed, this pricey, sleek-looking thermostat from Ecobee watches over your home temperature, humidity, and energy use with less hassle. Let’s talk about how.

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What model is this?
Last time we reviewed the Ecobee SmartThermostat, we looked at the Ecobee3. This review features the latest and greatest: the Ecobee5. It’s got a glass front and a better speaker.

If you don’t need the most upgraded version, though, you can save money by going with the Ecobee3 Lite. You can also look for a refurbished Ecobee3 or Ecobee4 online.

Ecobee SmartThermostat price

The device is a little pricey, but you don’t have to subscribe to a service to use it.

On a standard, non-sale day, your Ecobee SmartThermostat will cost you $219.00. That’s a lot more expensive than a non-smart (stupid?) thermostat, but it’s less than thermostats from other well-known brands, like the Nest Learning Thermostat.

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Ecobee vs. Nest
Unlike the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Ecobee thermostat currently doesn’t have a geofencing feature for multiple phones. The system will automatically turn on or shut off when your phone enters or leaves the vicinity of your home, but it won’t do the same for other members of your household unless you set up that capability through third-party apps.

Unlike home security systems and cameras, this thermostat doesn’t require a paid subscription. You just hook it up to Ecobee’s residential app, and you’re good to go. (You can’t use more than 16 Ecobee SmartThermostats on one app, though. If you want one in every one of your 17 rooms, you’re out of luck.)

If you’re using one of Ecobee’s commercial thermostats or need more than 16 SmartThermostats, you have to pay for the SmartBuildings software. It cost $2 per thermostat per month.

Ultimately, if you don’t like your thermostat, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.

Ecobee SmartThermostat equipment

This thermostat has remote sensors and an Alexa-enabled speaker built right in.

Thermostats tend to be an eyesore. But this one doesn’t look bad as long as you don’t mind a slight space-y vibe. With its black plate set in a white frame, it looks like an astronaut’s helmet—especially with its unique shape, which Ecobee calls a “squircle.”

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What’s it made of?
As we mentioned before, the latest SmartThermostat model, the Ecobee5, has a glass faceplate instead of a plastic one.
Ecobee thermostat inside

Overall, while it may not go 100% with your decor, it’s not objectively ugly. That’s pretty good for a thermostat.

What about longevity? We’re happy to say that Ecobee offers a three-year limited warranty. If something goes wrong, you might be able to get the thermostat fixed or replaced, free of charge.

Remote sensors

Remote smart sensors

The Ecobee5 comes with a remote sensor to increase the thermostat range. If there’s a room in your house where you want more direct control, the remote sensor helps you out. It’ll sense the temperature and occupancy in that room and relay the info back to the thermostat itself.

Your smart thermostat will come with just one sensor. If you need more, you can easily pick some up on Amazon.

You can pair up to 32 remote sensors with your thermostat.

Also, while your thermostat unit itself will measure humidity in the room where it’s located, the remote sensors don’t have that feature. If you want humidity measured in a second room, you need to purchase another thermostat.

Smart speaker

If you’ve ever been like, “Wow, I wish I had an Amazon Echo that’s also a thermostat,” well, that’s basically what this is.

The Ecobee SmartThermostat features a speaker with Amazon Alexa. Unlike the remote sensors, the speaker is built right into the hardware. And it’s not just there to help you control the temperature. You can use this speaker for other typical Alexa functions, like drop-ins and phone calls.

Ecobee SmartThermostat features

This thermostat isn’t just for controlling the temperature.

The most unique SmartThermostat feature is the built-in Alexa access. But that’s not all it offers.

Using the Ecobee app, you can create a daily heating schedule for your device to adhere to. If you spend more time in one room during the day or are away for hours at a time, your Ecobee SmartThermostat has you covered.

You can also pull Home IQ energy reports generated by the device. These reports show how much energy Ecobee saves by controlling your HVAC systems.

Ecobee SmartThermostat home automation and mobile control

Automate and remotely control your home with Ecobee.

Home automation

An Ecobee thermostat is a good choice if you want to create a connected smart home. You can control the SmartThermostat by separate Amazon Echo speakers, not just the one embedded in the device.

It’s also compatible with the following:

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Connect your smart thermostat
Smoothly connecting your Ecobee to other home devices requires a strong Wi-Fi network. Check out the best ISPs to get the Wi-Fi you need.

Mobile control

The Ecobee app is free.

As we said, Ecobee’s residential thermostat app is free. You can use it to adjust the temperature and turn your thermostat on and off. You can even use the app to fiddle with your lighting settings if you have smart bulbs hooked to an Ecobee Switch+.

The mobile app will also guide you through installing your Ecobee SmartThermostat. Speaking of which . . .

Ecobee SmartThermostat installation

With an Ecobee thermostat, installation is DIY.

Since you’re buying a product, not a service, installation is on you. If you aren’t tech-savvy, the Ecobee mobile app can walk you through setup. There’s also a helpful page on the Ecobee website to give you extra guidance.

If you choose to install your thermostat on your own, it’s supposed to be easy and quick (about 45 minutes). According to Ecobee, you’ll need the following:

  • A drill with a 3/16-inch bit
  • A flathead screwdriver
  • A Phillips-head screwdriver
  • A hammer (optional)
  • A pencil (optional)
  • A wire stripper (optional)

Alternatively, you can hire someone to set the system up for you. Ecobee has a tool to make finding a professional easy.

Ecobee customer experience

You may not ever come in contact with Ecobee customer service.

If everything goes well, you’ll never have to speak to Ecobee reps. But if you need support during install or to troubleshoot an issue, help is available through the company’s customer care.

We’ve heard both really good and really bad things about Ecobee’s customer service. Unfortunately, it may just depend on who picks up the phone or responds to your chat that day.

Recap

We recommend Ecobee SmartThermostat, especially if you’re an Amazon Alexa enthusiast.

The Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control costs a pretty penny, but we think it’s a safe investment. As far as smart thermostats go, Ecobee meets and even exceeds our expectations. It provides both remote and hands-free access and is compatible with many other smart home brands. It’s an especially good fit for an Alexa-based smart home system.

If you’d like to learn about other smart thermostats, we’ve compiled a master list for you. Otherwise, thanks for joining us in our Ecobee thermostat review. We hope you find the smart thermostat of your dreams.