ecobee smart thermostat

ecobee smart thermostat complete review

Smart home products – or home appliances that can connect to other devices or networks, like a smartphone – offer convenience and efficiency, and are becoming increasingly popular. From doorbells and locks, to smoke detectors, to thermostats, smart home devices can be controlled from virtually anywhere. ecobee’s energy certified line of smart thermostats boasts a variety of features such as remote control, vacation scheduling and smart home ecosystem integration that can help manage your home’s energy habits. In this article, we review ecobee’s smart thermostats: the ecobee3 Lite, the Smart Thermostat Enhanced and the Smart Thermostat Premium.


Key takeaways


  • ecobee offers three smart thermostats: the ecobee3 Lite, the Smart Thermostat Enhanced and the Smart Thermostat Premium.
  • All ecobee models are smart thermostats, aka WiFi-enabled home automation devices that control a home’s HVAC. 
  • With an ecobee thermostat, you can control it remotely, set up vacation scheduling and set it to pause the air conditioning when a door or window is left open. 
  • Use the EnergySage Marketplace to pair your smart thermostat with emission-free electricity produced right at home! 

What’s in this article?

How do ecobee thermostats work? 

ecobee thermostats are smart thermostats, or WiFi-enabled home automation devices that control a home’s HVAC. Just like traditional thermostats, ecobee thermostats are wall-mounted control systems that display a zone’s temperature and settings. However, unlike traditional thermostats, ecobee thermostats can be controlled remotely, turn themselves down when no one is home, monitor HVAC health, send maintenance reminders and savings suggestions, and more. 

Once installed, ecobee thermostats connect to the Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Home app and most other leading smart home ecosystems, allowing you to adjust the temperature of your homes from anywhere and receive alerts to catch potential issues early on. Unusual heating or cooling patterns, for example, trigger the apps on the premium and enhanced models to send an HVAC system alert at first detection. ecobee smart thermostats also send maintenance reminders that can help increase your HVAC system’s efficiency and longevity through regular maintenance. Additionally, these thermostats can be set for vacation scheduling, can automatically pause the AC when the window or door is left open, and have safety features to detect intruders.   

Smart thermostats offered by ecobee

ecobee offers three smart thermostats: the Smart Thermostat Premium, Smart Thermostat Enhanced and the ecobee3 lite. Here’s what you need to know about all options:

Smart Thermostat Premium

The ecobee Thermostat Premium is ecobee’s highest model of thermostat and is set apart by its advanced features. ecobee refers to this model as the thermostat designed to solve your comfort, home health, and security needs – all in one beautiful design that can be voice controlled and works with most smart home ecosystems. 

One of the main features of the Smart Thermostat Premium is the indoor air quality monitoring capabilities. Built-in air quality monitors alert you when air quality is poor and offer tips on how to improve it such as air filter change reminders and optional home delivery. You can also add on smart sensors to monitor the temperature in each individual room if you have a large house and different temperature needs throughout. The Smart Thermostat Premium has a 50 percent larger display than the ecobee3 lite and uses radar technology that spans a larger range with wider angles for improved occupancy sensing and security.

Smart Thermostat Enhanced

Classified as the “middle model”, the Smart Thermostat Enhanced learns your temperature preferences and your schedule, so your home is just the way you like it with little effort on your end. This model is able to connect to leading smart home ecosystems and can be configured for voice control.

The Smart Thermostat Enhanced provides many of the same features as the Smart Thermostat Premium, but at a lower price point. Importantly, the Smart Thermostat Enhanced delivers the same energy savings and is made to be easily self-installed, monitor HVAC systems and send alerts and reminders, suggest temperature settings to optimize energy savings, and turn itself down when you’re away. Like the premium model, it also has a 50 percent larger display than the ecobee3 lite and uses radar technology that spans a larger range with wider angles for improved occupancy sensing and security.

ecobee3 lite

Created to fit a lower budget, the ecobee3 lite provides many of the same features as the other two thermostats, but at a lower price point. Importantly, the ecobee3 lite thermostat delivers almost the same energy savings and is made to be easily self-installed, and markets itself as the smart choice for a balance of comfort, value, and energy savings. The ecobee3 lite can be controlled remotely and send you alerts and reminders in case of any disruption or abnormality. 

The ecobee3 lite works with most smart home ecosystems and you can set up weekly schedules for your temperature preferences through the apps. Unlike the other two, this model is unable to learn your temperature preferences and has to be pre-programmed with what you like. The ecobee3 lite has a 3.5 inch black digital touchscreen display with an all white back. It comes with a trim plate and the total installation takes about 45 minutes. ​​

Are ecobee thermostats compatible with all HVAC systems?


ecobee thermostats are only compatible with 24V heating and cooling systems. Luckily, this works for most household systems. While ecobee doesn’t estimate the percentage of HVAC systems that are compatible with their smart thermostats, they make it easy to check if your HVAC system will work. Check out  their compatibility checker for step-by-step instructions to do it yourself or connect with a professional installer in your area

Which ecobee thermostat is right for you?

The energy savings for all three models range between 23 to 26 percent on heating and cooling! However, the ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium and the ecobee Smart Thermostat  Enhanced have a wider array of additional features, such as learning capabilities and dual band WiFi. The ecobee3 lite is a great base model, and is perfect for smaller houses and for individuals looking for just the essential temperature regulation features. Overall, things like your design, app, and display preferences, HVAC system, desired level of convenience, and budget will help you determine which thermostat is right for your home

Comparing ecobee thermostats

 Smart Thermostat PremiumSmart Thermostat Enhancedecobee3 lite
Price$249.99$189.99$149.99
Heating and cooling energy savingsUp to 26%Up to 26%Up to 23%
App compatibility Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, If This Then ThatApple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, If This Then ThatApple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, If This Then That
Warranty length3 years3 years3 years
DisplayHigh-res digital display High-res digital display High-res digital display
Includes Farsight display (time, temperature, or weather)
ENERGY STAR certified
Turns itself down when you’re away
Nest Temperature Sensor compatibility
Learning capabilities-
Voice control compatibility
Rebates available
Additional featuresSmoke alarm detection, hands free calling and intercom, dual band WiFi, supports HVAC accessories, built in in-door air quality monitor, included smart sensor, choice of Alexa or Siri built in, Spotify and Bluetooth streaming, built-in radar occupancy sensor, vacation scheduling, intruder detectionDual band wifi, supports HVAC accessories, built-in radar occupancy sensor, vacation scheduling, intruder detectionVacation scheduling, intruder detection

Power your home with the sun

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About Ananyaa Mehra

Ananyaa Mehra is a rising junior at Tufts University pursuing a bachelors of science in Environmental Studies as well as a minor in entrepreneurship. On campus, she is involved with the Energy club, sustainability council, and helps plan the annual Tufts Energy Conference. She is passionate about and has expertise in electrification, renewable energy, and green technology, with a focus on policy and equity. In her free time, she loves spending time in the ocean, trying new coffee shops, and traveling.

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