26 Comments


  1. Steve,

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your phenomenal post. This type of customer feedback is something we highly value at ecobee, and we appreciate your constructive and detailed comments. Your feedback will help us continue to improve our products and develop features for future software upgrades.

    I have asked one of our technical experts to also respond specifically to your design comments. Some of the features that you have requested are definitely in our roadmap for 2011, and we will very shortly be releasing a new and improved iphone app that will work on all mobile devices. We base all of our decisions for future upgrades and designs on feedback from our customers, so please keep your comments coming! Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional comments or suggestions.

    Thanks again for your fantastic post!

    Heather Findlay
    Sales and Marketing Coordinator

    heather@ecobee.com
    T 416.987.7205 F 866.592.7344
    ecobee | green made easy
    http://www.ecobee.com

    333 Adelaide St. West | 6th Floor | Toronto | Ontario | M5V 1R5

    Reply
  2. Ryan S

    Thanks Steve for the great writeup! I’m really tempted now to install one in my Kirkland condo. We just were in Hawaii for a week and forgot to turn down the thermostat before we left…would have been great to do remotely.

    Though the requirement of having ecobee.com rather than local control via your own network is possibly a deal breaker for me. I’m an optimist but I’ve bought too many innovative products in the past where the company went under and I was stuck with a dead unit.

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  3. Thanks, Heather. May I recommend setting up a discussion forum on ecobee.com? It’s a great way to provide support and solicit feedback from existing customers, as well as answer pre-sales questions from prospective customers (and I get the sense that a large segment of your user base will be the type that will answer those pre-sales questions for you).

    Ryan: I just got a phone call yesterday from the company that cleans my cabin in Eastern Washington every month. They noticed that since I hadn’t been out there since the summer, the thermostat was still set to “Cool” and they wanted to know if I would like them to turn it to “Heat” to prevent the pipes from freezing. Guess who just ordered another 4 ecobees? I need one for the cabin and three for the house here. I agree with you on the “must report back to the mothership” sentiment. I’m almost certain that it’s running some flavor of embedded Linux, so I’m crossing my fingers that ecobee will listen to customer feedback and enable a web server on the device. Many of their competitors have direct connectivity, so I’m still holding out hope. :)

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  4. umchemist

    HI,

    I just purchased an ecobee and want to install it, and saw that you also had a cheap humdistat. Can you post what your wiring was to use it by the ecobee?

    I just have a furnace and a humdistat interlocked to a central exhaust inline fan- any ideas how to wire it?
    J

    Reply

  5. @Umchemist: I installed the humidifier exactly as it shows on page 10 of the ecobee installation manual (http://www.ecobee.com/wp-content/themes/ecobee/etc/file/IMR5-042010web.pdf), except I used ACC1 instead of ACC3. My humidifier had two brown control wires coming out (see photos) meaning they are interchangeable (it doesn’t matter which is power and which is common). I disconnected the old humidistat completely, then I connected one of the brown wires to the HUM connector on my furnace (I used a wire-nut and red wire in the photo) and the other brown wire to the ACC1 terminal on the equiment interface (I used a wire-nut and a white wire). Finally, I connected the ACC1r terminal on the equipment interface to the COM (common or C) terminal on the furnace.

    If that’s not specific enough help for your situation, you could contact ecobee’s tech support – they seem very knowledgeable and if your setup differs from mine I’m sure they could explain specifically how to connect yours. Let me know how it turns out!

    Reply

    1. I can tell you that I have also not experienced this issue but considering the level of detail in the post its obvious you have done your homework Steve T.

      I shoot videos for our contractors ( as well as do training classes ) to help them learn how to operate/program/modify their ecobees. In doing so I constantly am unplugging and replugging my ecobee in with no delay and have never had a problem with it not powering up.

      Reply
  6. Kevin Jensen

    Steve – yes, I’m on it. Just let me know when and how often you want me to stop by…

    Reply
  7. Bill

    Thanks for the great write-up . I am in the market for an internet managed thermostat to be used for a vacation rental home located several hundred miles away . I will likely be purchasing another brand since some things mentioned in your “CONS” list are deal breakers for me . Regardless of the brand I chose, I am much better informed on how things can go . Having great people like “Ben” and “Steve” to help you out seem to be a necessity. – Bill

    Reply
  8. Don Scott

    I just wanted to say thank you for an outstanding post. I’m in the market for one of these devices, and this was extremely helpful.

    Reply

  9. I found you blog quite interesting at least. Funny too. I was pretty sure when you said your 3 amp fuse blew that there was a miswire. Even when the other guy said “I will rewire it “interested me?? I never saw the 12 volt transformer in the earliest of posts and was wondering whether you covered that. Glad to see you got it fixed. I bought one about a year and half ago and still have it sitting by my desk. I liked the idea of it and agree with many of your recommendations on the open ip address idea in case they ever kill their website and for many other reasons. Their documentation is very good. Good to hear you like it overall.

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  10. Sam

    I just found this post and am interested to hear if there are any “enterprise level” or “geek-friendly” features you may have stumbled upon. SNMP, SMTP, or any other types of alerts. I’d also love the ability to poll the information to add into our CACTI or similar rrd graphs.

    Our company has four household programmable thermostats to control the several HVAC units. They are mostly hands-free operation, but we’ve embarked on a HVAC self-management nightmare.

    Here’s the most recent scenario: Our server closet with two-racks of servers generates [per-Dell] 3 Tons of heat near load. In the closet, we have a household grade AC unit rated at 3.75 Tons of cooling. When the outdoor temperatures are “normal”, the AC can perform and keep the heat rejected properly. However, when there is a large swing in outdoor temperatures, like the mid-winter southern “heat wave” near 70F,the indoor thermostat records extreme heat loads. Set-point is at 70F and reads 85F.

    The other three units in the building are used for occupied areas and have staffing at varying times.

    Overall, I’d love to just have a consultant come in and run a CFD analysis, but I know that the company owners will not pay for it. Being the “server tech” now makes maintaining the server closet my well-received burden.

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  11. Steve T

    Steve,

    I have a vacation home and have installed the ecobee thermostat there. After reading the issues you were challenged with, there is something that you should know. It has cost me dearly to find this out over time. If you have a sudden power outage and power on within a second or two, the ecobee interface panel will not communicate with the thermostat. There is a capacitor within the interface board that must fully discharge (about 30 seconds) before the unit will work properly upon re-power. You can try it yourself. The only solution is to put the power to the interface module on battery back up (UPS). If your power went out for more than 30 seconds, then your unit will power back up fully. This is a serious flaw in the design of the interface module. Hopefully someone at Ecobee has been notified of this type of problem.

    Reply

    1. Steve T: Thanks for your comment. However, I haven’t noticed that issue, but was interested to test it out myself. As mentioned in my article, I have my all of my ecobees’ control modules hard-wired to the 24V R terminal on the furnace. Because my furnaces have pressure switches that cut the power when the access panels are removed, I tested this myself by opening the panel (thereby killing the power), counting to 5, and then replacing the panel. I watched the ecobee’s power LED go out when I removed the panel, then when I replaced it, the lights went through their start-up sequence, then all lights turned off except for the power LED (which is as expected). I walked over and checked my thermostat, and it was working fine. I was unable to replicate the issue you seem to be having on any of my units, but I’m interested in hearing more. How are your powering your control unit? Are you using the R terminal on your furnace (like I am) or the optional 12V power supply? I don’t have a 12V supply, or I would test it. Have you contacted ecobee to see if they’ve had any other reports of this issue?

      Reply

  12. Dale Eckerman

    ecobee is an absolutely superior concept and product. My home is heated/cooled with 3 thermostats (controlling 2 furnaces). I replaced Honeywell thermostats with ecobee. I used an electrician for the physical installation because there was wiring required at the furnace, however I was able to easily log the thermostats into the Internet and do all of the setup. The ecobee documentation is easy to follow and thorough. Their tech support via phone has always been fast.

    I am now able to easily monitor and control all of my heating and cooling from 3 places: i) the actual thermostats, ii) my computer’s Internet browser and iii) the ecobee app on my iPhone. All work flawlessly. For example, when I make a change via my iPhone, the furnace responds within about three seconds. I believe I will save the entire cost of my ecobee upgrade in fuel/electricity savings within a short period of time.

    P.S. I have no involvment whatsoever with ecobee – other than I am a very satisfied user.

    Reply
  13. TomMc

    Know this is an old article, but just did my install and this helped a ton, especially the pictures and explanation as to how to connect the power. Works like a charm, and was a piece of cake. Thanks!

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  14. Thanks for your post. I’ve been a satisfied customer using my Proliphix thermostat at my vacation home since 2007. The advantage of that thermostat is I can connect to it directly by setting up port forwarding and dynamic DNS on my router. However, we now are having reliability issues with DSL in town, and to make a long story short, I may have to switch to having my internet supplied from a USB modem on Verizon Wireless. If I go that route, I will get an IP address from Verizon which is behind their NAT and won’t be able to access my Proliphix, unless I pay them a $500 fee for a static IP address. I’m thinking that money would be better spent on a new thermostat which can connect to the mothership. Most of the newer thermostats seem to be able to do that, but surprisingly, I’ve only found that the Ecobee is able to do the advance scheduling I’d like to do for my vacation home.

    Anyway, apologies for the long winded introduction, but I would like to ask if any of your observations, etc., have significantly changed since this original post almost three years ago?

    Reply





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