Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat Review, Pros & Cons and Specs 2022

Ecobee4 Review, Pros & Cons and Specs 2022

THE BOTTOM LINE For Ecobee

Built-in Alexa voice technology, integration with other connected home products, a remote room sensor, and numerous wiring options make the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat to beat.

Ecobee4 PROS

Embedded Alexa voice service.
Remote room sensor.
Works with other connected devices.
Easy to install.

Ecobee4 CONS

Pricey.
Middling audio quality.

ECOBEE4 SPECS

Compatibility Multi-stage
C-Wire Yes
Self-Install Yes
Multiple Zones Yes
Sensors Yes
Motion Activation Yes
Geofencing Yes
Smart Home Integration Apple HomeKit, IFTTT

Ecobee4 Review

When we reviewed Ecobee3 in 2015, it garnered our Editors’ Choice for its elegant design, many features, and ease of use. We also liked the inclusion of a remote sensor to help reduce hot or cold spots in different rooms. We’re happy to report that the new Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat ($249) has all the features of its predecessor, and more thanks to the addition of Amazon Alexa voice capabilities built in. This means you can do everything with a thermostat that the Amazon Echo and its siblings can do, like control smart devices, shop, play music, and listen to the latest news and weather. Using Alexa voice commands these improvements make it the editors choice for smart thermostat.

Design and Features

Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat is very similar to Ecobee3, but there are subtle differences. It has the same black interface and 3.5-inch color touchscreen, but is slightly larger at 4.2 x 4.2 x 1.0 inches (HWD). It also has an LED strip on the top edge that glows blue when you start a voice command with “Alexa” and turns red when the built-in microphone is turned off. A loudspeaker is installed on the back of the housing. The back panel contains 12 terminal connections for connecting HVAC, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilators, and other HVAC accessories.

Motion and proximity sensors tell the thermostat whether you’re at home or away, allowing it to go to a preset temperature. There’s also 802.11n Wi-Fi, built-in microphones, and long-range voice recognition technology that lets you issue Alexa voice commands from across the room. Like the Ecobee3, the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat comes with a remote room sensor that connects to the thermostat to ensure the temperature of the room you place it in matches the target temperature of the thermostat. If you want to add more sensors, you can buy a 2-pack for $79.

You can use the thermostat’s touch screen, an Android or iOS mobile app, or a web-based dashboard to set the temperature, create heating and cooling schedules, and adjust comfort settings. The app opens on the home screen and shows the current temperature and sliders to set the target temperature. When I checked the Ecobee3, I found the slider to be a little more sensitive, but there was no such problem with the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat.

Below the current temperature are four icons, including a settings icon with system tabs, where you can enable and disable heating, cooling, and fans. Sensors, where you can enable or disable the smart/remote home feature that bypasses the heating/cooling schedule if the thermostat senses no one is at home.  The comfort settings menu allows you to adjust temperature ranges for when you are at home and outside, and you can adjust the temperature when you are sleeping and when you are on vacation. The Reminders and Alerts menu lets you set things like low and high temperature alerts, low and high humidity alerts, and maintenance reminders.

Tapping the weather icon brings up a screen with a five-day forecast along with the current weather conditions. The gear icon opens the quick changes screen where you can quickly switch from home modes to remote mode (and vice versa), and the microphone icon takes you to a screen where you can adjust the speaker volume. You can enable or disable the microphone.

Like previous models, the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat offers Home IQ, which is only available on the web app. It provides a color chart that shows you the historical path of HVAC usage and lets you see the outside temperature over a specific period of time to see how it affected your HVAC system. what did he do

Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat supports IFTTT applets, allowing them to work with a variety of smart home devices. Aside from Alexa voice commands, you can control it using Siri voice commands and HomeKit devices.

Installation and Performance

Like the Ecobee3, the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat is relatively easy to install thanks to a very detailed installation guide, but if you’re not comfortable dealing with electrical wiring (even low-voltage wires), get a professional install of the thermostat.

Begin by turning off the circuit breaker that controls the thermostat power and removing the cover from the old thermostat. Before disconnecting the wires from your old thermostat, take a picture of them for future reference. If you mark the wires with the attached label, installation will be much easier. Attach the Aquabe base plate to the wall with the included mounting screws, making sure it is level with the built-in level tool. If your system has a C wire (common wire), connect the wires to their respective terminals on the base plate. If you do not have a C wire, use the included PEK (Power Extender Kit) and follow the wiring instructions in the printed manual. Once connected to the wires, gently press the thermostat into place on the base plate.

It is also easy to install the sensor. When I stood in front of the thermostat and pulled the plastic battery tag from the sensor, it was instantly recognized and added to the app.

The Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat performed flawlessly in my tests. I responded quickly to my temperature change commands using the mobile app, web dashboard, and touch screen. You followed my daily schedule without fail, and had no trouble following Alexa and Siri voice commands to adjust the temperature settings. The HomeKit scenario of switching the thermostat to sleep and turning on the front porch light was a charm, as my IFTTT applet was set and kept the temperature at 68 when the Weather Underground dropped below 58 degrees. The rear bedroom Ecobee 4 thermostat with remote sensor keeps the room exactly temperature, and I get push alerts when the temperature or humidity reaches a certain limit.

Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat provided full Alexa functionality in my tests, playing music on demand, delivering the latest news and game scores, and using Alexa skills to control other devices, including Haiku fans and Vivint lights. My only gripe is that the built-in speaker, while reasonably loud, feels a little small and lacks the bass response I’m used to with the original Amazon Echo.

Conclusion

You’ll pay more for the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat than with a traditional non-contact thermostat, but this applies to almost all smart devices. However, you’ll get your money’s worth with this thermostat, especially if you want to take advantage of Amazon’s Alexa voice service. Even if you don’t, Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat offers flexible scheduling, a well-designed mobile app and web interface, remote room sensors, and motion-sensing technology to help you save money when you’re not home. It’s easy to install and lets you track your energy usage, and it works with a number of third-party smart devices. All this makes Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat a showcase as the new editors’ choice for smart thermostats.

If you prefer a thermostat that schedules heating and cooling based on your daily activities, check out the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd generation), another solid option. It doesn’t offer room remote sensors or has Alexa built in, but if you already have an Echo or Google Home speaker, you can control it with Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and it does a lot of things. Works with other connected devices. If you want to save some money, the $169 Nest Thermostat E is another good alternative that has most of the features of its more expensive sibling, but fewer wire terminals.

 

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