Nest / EcoBee3 or just leverage Zwave Thermostat and ST logic

@yvesracine, sadly it does not appear the ecobee3 will work out for me. I have a whole house fan and live in a area that requires a switch which shuts off power to the entire HVAC system before allowing the whole house fan to run (I think this is to prevent backdrafting). I did buy the ecobee but found that when I have to turn on the whole house fan, my smart thermostat becomes completely dumb since it’s powered only by the c wire and losses power when the HVAC is shut off.

Now thinking about getting the ct100 which has batteries for backup when there’s no c wire power. Unfortunately there’s no one as passionate as you on the ct100 side. The two things I’ll miss are the smart recovery function and the ability to run the fan for x minutes an hour. Any thoughts on how to get some of this functionality back?

Also, is this enough for me to go against local building code and just remove the switch that automatically forces me to turn off the HVAC?

I don’t really have a big house and don’t have any humidifiers or ventilation devices so I’m not sure the ecobee 3 really offers that much more value.

The only other concern I have about a zwave thermostat is that it’s completely reliant on SmartThings. If the hub goes down, I really have no way to program the device and it again becomes dumber than my original thermostat.


Hi @WTLimitless,

I haven’t heard of such building code anywhere… Just curious where you live. Anyway, I’m afraid I don’t have a solution for you about the CT100. To reproduce ecobee3’s behavior with the CT100 (such as smart recovery and minimum fan time) would be difficult to do.

Even if you would be able to reproduce this behavior in ST (after some extensive coding), I doubt that it would be as reliable b/c of all the ST scheduling issues going on right now.

At the moment, I’ve to reschedule at least 1-2 smartapps/day as the ST scheduler does not reschedule those jobs as specified.

My 2 cents.

I live in Davis,Ca. Very Draconian. Do you think you’d be able to help me set up a smart app which turns off the HVAC on ecobee when I turn on a specific switch (I.e. turn on the whole house fan). That could somewhat circumvent my problem. Ideally, if I put a window sensor on a window, I could have the thermostat turn off and whole house fan turn on when I open a specific window.

Never heard of any such code here in north east! Hmmm!

Hi @WTLimitless,

Do you mean: when a switch is turned on, then turn off the HVAC via My Ecobee Device type or
when a window is open (check on a contact sensor), then turn off the HVAC?

For the second use case, I have a similar smartapp called WindowOrDoorOpen, after a threshold (let’s say
1 minute), it will turn off the HVAC to avoid energy loss.

You can use it for your specific use case.


Hi @yvesracine, I will probably try out your smartapp that turns off the HVAC when a window is open. Can you set it to zero delay?

Also are you able to add an action where opening the window turns off HVAC AND turns on a switch (turns on the whole house fan). Or, one that simply turns off the HVAC when I switch on the whole house fan (using a zwave switch). I don’t know how many people on here have whole house fans but you definitely wouldn’t want the AC and whole house fan running at the same time.


@WTLimitless, sorry my coding time is quite limited in the Summer time as I want to enjoy the sun as much as possible.

However, you can use my smartapp as an example for your specific use case.

You have all the basic ingredients for your use case, the switch (powerSwitch), the thermostat that turns off when the contact is open…


Alright, @yvesracine, god forbid you enjoy your free time! I haven’t programmed since using Basic like 30 years ago but I’ll either figure it out or wait until you’re back from your summer hiatus! Lol. Cheers and thanks for all the work you’ve done on the ecobee!


@WTLimitless, good luck… I can check out your code later on…

P.S. On top of it, my WAF is starting to be on the low side, so I have to be careful…


@yvesracine, I just looked up what WAF referred to lol. I like how people in the community are trying to be PC about it (I.e. spouse or family acceptance factor). Anyway, I tried out your windowsordoors app and found 3 problems I can’t figure out. 1) won’t work when I set time to 0 minutes, 2) won’t shut off the ecobee3, 3) won’t text me (I turned push notification off). No rush. I’d rather you get the WAF up first. Happy wife, happy life or if anyone else is reading this, happy partner/family, happy life.

Quick question, will this turn the thermostat back on after the door or contact is closed again? Thanks!

@gytrdun, not at the moment…

Please take note that due to the current ST scheduling issues, the smartapp may not work as intended…


@gytrdun, WTLimeless,

I’ve made some changes to the DoorOrWindowOpen smartapp to make sure that the thermostats are turned off if a contact is left open after a delay. Also, it will revert the thermostatMode back to what it was when the contact is closed.

P.S. I tested the smartapp and my tests are conclusive in my environment.


Hey! That worked for the most part! For some reason, I still can’t get it to text me when I open the window. Also, can I set the delay to 0 so that it turns off the thermostat immediately?


Hello @WTLimitless,

(1) please contact ST support about your texting issue, your operator may not be supported. I live in Canada, and mine is not supported either. I use the same sendPush code snippet that is used in all smartapps.

(2) My smartapp was designed to warn ST users after a specific delay. In general, I try to code smartapps that appeal to a majority of users out there.

Another smartapp will be required to do your specific use case. You may use mine as a foundation for yours.

Best Regards and thank you for your email to ecobee.

For those interested in ecobee3, I just picked one up at my local Best Buy store in Geneva, IL for $199. Even though the online site shows $229 it rang up as $199. I realize the homekit version is about to release but I have zero interest in Apple.

I’m really having a hard time deciding on what to do for a thermostat. Any advice would be great:

  • Only have a heater as there is no need for A/C.
  • Flexible volatile schedule for myself and active stay-at-home Mom & baby mean never a set schedule.
  • I think all I need is for something to leverage temp sensors and presence.
  • Want to remotely turn on while returning home.

Do I need a nicer Thermostat, ie EcoBee3? (I assume no)
What about Zen? Haven’t seen much here but looks nice in white for my place and wife’s approval.
And lastly, the real question I have, what happens when SmartThings is having issues, what thermostats will work and which ones won’t?

What you “need” and what would be nice to have are different things… :smile:

I went with an ecoBee for downstairs and left standard programmable Honeywell thermostats on both upstairs zones when I moved, and haven’t had any reason to doubt the decision yet.

The ecoBee offers some nice features like you said, and being able to view stats to see when the system has been running over the last few weeks, dead easy “follow me” functionality and support for multiple sensors made it a no-brainer for me.

Remote access is a given with basically any option that you go with, so you probably should concentrate on ease of use (so that your wife won’t complaint about how it sucks and that you have to rip it off the wall :slight_smile: ), but I’d say other than that anything you go with will give you the features that you like.

I’d jump in now though and enjoy it while it’s cold, since you won’t get to use it in the summer as you don’t have an AC unit to control.

Thanks. I was thinking that I don’t need much, but want so much. :slight_smile:
Now I’m going to find some info on Keen vents too. :smile:

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Anyone have experience switching from Nest to Ecobee3? I like what i am readying about Ecobee3 features and it looks like @yvesracine has a pretty solid integration. @yvesracine any idea how soon official support will be complete?

Here is my current situation. I have 2 2nd gen Nest Thermostats and 2 Nest Proects (1st and 2nd gen). I have tried using unofficial Nest integrations and it has been minimalist and lackluster. Nest has also made some “improvements” with recent updates that make both thermostats unable to use auto away and early on together which they have told me it never did but I have been using them for years. They also told me that Auto Away was absolute and the scheduled program and early on would not work it auto away was on… needless to say they are wrong because it worked for a long time just fine. All that in mind, I feel like I caught between google, samsung and apple somewhere as everyone get into a pissing match about the IoT. I just want my things to work together! Easily and with out stupid amounts of programming work.

Well then…sorry for the rant but I am hoping someone has a positive story about moving from Nest to Ecobee3.

P.S. If I do this what do i do with the stupid Nest Protects?