Ecobee vs Nest vs Any other Smart Thermostat

I ask for your advise. Here is the situation, I live at a 2 story end unit townhouse while it is nice to have a lot of natural lights; it can also make my ac unit run a lot. Florida is sunny all year round, and the thermostat is on the second story, and the sun comes in straight into the thermostat thru a big window. Needless to say, my electric bill seems to be high. We do have a medium size dog, and I am not sure how much she will trigger the ecobee sensors.

Since it is a 2 story home there are some rooms that take longer to cool down too.

As I type this, I keep realizing that the ecobee might be the better option for me, but is it as good as it sounds? Are there any other option options out there that can satisfy my needs (auto features to adjust temperatures when away or present, do this feature make a difference when it comes to electric bills?)

The biggest set back for getting either the nest or the ecobee is the price, $250 sounds like a lot. However, I would bundle the ecobee with the dot since I was going to buy a dot anyway (actually, I already pre ordered it). I also have some amazon GCs that will definitely offset most of the cost.


I just have two dumb zigbee thermostats, a zen and a perl.
St runs the both of them, setbacks and temps are managed via routines and thermostat director, routines are changed based on presence. There are no schedules in volved.
I used to own two ecobees, and while nothing wrong with them, they were too smart…
There’s many ways to skin the proverbial cat here.

A thermostat alone cannot fix this problem, no matter how smart it is. It’s about air flow. You need to let more/less air in your rooms to balance the temperatures. Ecobee can tell you it’s cold in one room and could increase the temperature in other rooms until the colder room reaches your desired setpoint. But you can actually achieve that without spending 250 plus how many sensors you need. Look at smart vents and/or zoning panels for your home. I use Honeywell zoning panel (with Honeywell z-wave t-stats) and am very pleased. On top, I use the Keen Vents to regulate the air flow. A smart thermostat is smart to program itself based on your habits. But you are a lot smarter than that, you are already into Home Automation. Get cheaper t-stats and have fun with your contrller, whatever that may be (SmartThings or not).

I have 2 Ecobee3s, a German Shepherd and a Chow/Golden retriever mix, and they’ve never triggered any of the 4 presence sensors (2 in the thermostats themselves and 2 remote sensors).

That certainly seems like a smart way to cut the costs of both items, assuming you’re not in a hurry for the thermostat.

Just got the ecobee moving from the honeywell wifi.

The sensors are said to be placed 5 ft or so up the wall…so I wouldn’t think the dogs would immediately trigger that if aimed the right way.

I like ecobee’s portal and dashboard of usage data over time to help me get a handle on whats happening especially with lots of west windows baking us out in the summer in MN.

But sometimes a simple zwave thermostat would be better since ST controls most everything. For me, we wanted one that worked both HomeKit and ST, thus the Ecobee choice since Honeywell Lyric has issues. My wife simply can change temps through her iPhone control center, but otherwise it all runs scheduled by ST.

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I read Honeywell cuts down the warranty on those z-wave self-installed thermostat, and another community member also said that their customer service/support unit is not helpful when the device is not professionally installed, and that worries me.

If ST were more reliable and the thermostat integrations not cloud-based I’d agree with that. But I really don’t want to come home during August to find that my house is 100° F inside and my dogs are dead from heat stroke.

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What happens if your internet is out? Does your ecobee still knows how to control the temperature?

It all comes down to what you want or can afford to do.
The best option of all would be to install zones in your house, which would let you have the two floors at different temperatures, and you could add smart vents as well, and be even more precise. Obviously it is expensive.

If you want a smart thermostat you have two options:

  1. Get a Nest/Ecobee or similar. For your purpose, the Ecobee would be better given the sensors. It is obviously expensive, but these thermostats also continue to work as a regular thermostat would, even if there is no internet. They have a schedule and they will continue to execute it.

  2. Get a Z-wave or Zigbee thermostat you can control via ST. This is a cheaper option, but you will mostly rely on ST. You can add any sot of temperature sensor to it and play with all the ST apps. The problem is, if ST has a glitch, your whole setup won’t work.

In the end, it comes down to your particular situation.

Yes. Internet access is only needed for remote control/data retrieval (via the app on your phone and the Ecobee web portal), firmware updates and the data retrieval that Ecobee performs themselves for generating reports for you. The smarts for controlling your HVAC unit are built into the thermostat itself. A thermostat that required internet access for its primary functionality would be a very, very poor design, to say the least.

That is very true. The t-stats were among my first zwave devices and I had no idea what I was doing then. Contacting their support scared me even more. Very, very bad support. But once I figured out how to deal with zwave devices everything became easier. Have had no issues with my t-stats in 2 years. Rock solid!

For a list of pros and cons of ecobee vs. other thermostats, see the link below: