Ecobee Thermostats Review

We conducted long-term, real-life testing of the Ecobee thermostats before giving them a glowing review.
Best overall
Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
  • pro
    Learning thermostat
  • pro
    Smoke alarm listener§
  • pro
    Weather display
Runner-up
Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • pro
    Smart thermostat
  • pro
    Smoke alarm listener§
  • con
    No weather display
Budget pick
ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat
Ecobee3 Lite
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Smart thermostat
  • con
    No smoke alarm listener
  • con
    No weather display

§ Requires Ecobee Smart Security subscription.

Cathy Habas
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
December 21, 2022
SafeWise is an independent review site. We may earn money when you click links on our site. Learn more.

Ecobee thermostats are some of the most feature-rich and user-friendly smart thermostats on the market, offering energy cost savings through eco+ software. We especially love the new Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium, which doubles as a voice assistant, air quality monitor, and home security panel. 

pro
Pros
pro Programmable schedules
pro Intuitive touchscreen interface
pro Automated energy-saving modes
pro Compatible with many smart hubs
pro Remote sensors available
pro Energy Star certified
pro DIY installation
con
Cons
con No backup battery
con Incompatible with some older heating systems
con Long customer support wait times


Quick Ecobee thermostat comparison

Product
Price
Built-in voice control
Built-in occupancy sensor
SmartSensor
Connectivity
ACC- and ACC+ wire terminals Icon Tooltip  Dark
Learn More
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
IncludedWi-Fi, 2G, 5G, Bluetooth
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Sold SeparatelyWi-Fi, 2G, 5G, Bluetooth
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Sold separatelyWi-Fi, 2G
Icon No  LightNo

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Ecobee thermostat similarities

All Ecobee thermostats retail for under $250 and share the following features:

  • Intuitive touchscreen interface and app control
  • Wi-Fi and 2G compatibility
  • Built-in temperature, humidity, and proximity sensors
  • Energy Star certification
  • 3-year warranty
  • WPA, WPA2, and 168-bit SSL encryption
  • Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings compatibility
  • C-wire option
  • No backup battery
  • Low-voltage system compatibility only
  • Air filter maintenance reminders
  • Temp drop and humidity alerts
  • Energy reports
  • Support up to 32 Ecobee SmartSensors
  • eco+ energy-saving software
  • Home and Away mode-switching based on occupancy or geofencing
  • Home security features with a Smart Security subscription and an Ecobee door/window sensor

Ecobee thermostat reviews

1. Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium: Best overall

Best overall

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium is the best smart thermostat in Ecobee's lineup—and it happens to be one of the best smart thermostats you can get your hands on, period. 

It has two built-in voice controls (Siri and Alexa) and even streams Spotify playlists—a nice space-saving perk if your thermostat is centrally-located.

Underneath those shiny smart home features is a learning algorithm that programs heating and cooling schedules for you. The Smart Thermostat Premium is the only Ecobee thermostat with learning AI, and one of just a handful on the market.

pro
Pros
pro Learning thermostat
pro Built-in voice control
pro Spotify streaming
pro 1 SmartSensor included
pro Supports most wire terminals
pro Built-in occupancy sensor
pro Built-in air quality monitor
pro Dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
pro Extra layer of encryption: WPA3
pro Built-in smoke alarm listener and siren (subscription required)
con
Cons
con No backup battery

The Smart Thermostat Premium is also the only Ecobee thermostat with an air quality monitor, forecast display, and whole-home humidifier and ventilator terminals. 

It has extra WPA3 encryption, dual-band Wi-Fi, a built-in occupancy sensor, and a built-in smoke alarm listener—all of which are also found in the Smart Thermostat Enhanced but not in the Ecobee 3 Lite. 

Learn more in our full Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium review.

2. Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced: Runner-up

Runner-up

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced is a great option for people who already have a smart home hub and don't need a thermostat to pull double duty.

It doesn't stream Spotify or have Alexa and Siri built-in, but you won't miss out on voice control since it works with Alexa and all of the other major smart home hubs.

pro
Pros
pro Built-in occupancy sensor
pro Dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
pro Extra layer of encryption: WPA3
pro Built-in smoke alarm listener and siren (subscription required)
pro Supports up to 32 remote sensors
pro Exceptional smart home compatibility
pro Doesn't require a C-wire
pro Energy Star certified
pro eco+ energy-saving software
con
Cons
con No backup battery
con Not a learning thermostat
con No built-in voice control
con No Spotify streaming
con SmartSensor sold separately
con Doesn't support ACC+/- terminals
con No built-in air quality monitor

Difference between Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium and Enhanced

The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced isn't a learning thermostat, so you'll need to manually program some schedules. It's still a very clever thermostat, though, and knows when you're around thanks to a built-in occupancy sensor and optional remote sensors. 

Here's another way to think about it: the learning AI in the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium allows it to predict your heating and cooling needs, whereas the Smart Themostat Enhanced can only react to your presence or programs.

And with Ecobee's Smart Home and Away feature—which turns on the HVAC system so that the programmed temperature is reached exactly when the Home or Away setting is scheduled to begin—the difference is borderline microscopic. Expect a slightly better experience with the Smart Thermostat Premium, especially if your schedule is hard to pin down. 

3. Ecobee 3 Lite: Best for HomeKit users on a budget

Best for Apple HomeKit users on a budget
ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat
Ecobee 3 Lite
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$149.99

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Ecobee 3 Lite Smart Thermostat is the most affordable option in the Ecobee lineup. It's basically a stripped-down version of the Smart Thermostat Enhanced.

Here are the major differences between the Ecobee 3 Lite and the Smart Thermostat Enhanced: 

  • No Bluetooth or 5G
  • No built-in occupancy sensor
  • No built-in smoke alarm listener
  • No WPA3 encryption
  • Trim plate is about 1 inch taller and wider

While you can definitely find cheaper smart thermostats, the Ecobee 3 Lite is one of the most affordable—and top-performing—budget-friendly smart thermostats that works with Apple HomeKit

pro
Pros
pro Supports up to 32 remote sensors
pro Exceptional smart home compatibility
pro Doesn't require a C-Wire
pro Energy Star certified
pro eco+ energy-saving software
con
Cons
con No backup battery
con Not a learning thermostat
con No built-in voice control
con No Spotify streaming
con SmartSensor sold separately
con Doesn't support ACC+/- terminals
con No built-in air quality monitor
con No built-in occupancy sensor
con No dual-band Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
con Lacks extra WPA3 encryption
con No smoke alarm listener or siren

Optional Ecobee subscriptions

Ecobee offers two optional subscriptions that help you get the most out of its thermostats. Neither is required for the thermostats to work.

Ecobee air filter delivery

Ecobee's air filter delivery plan ticks one more chore off your to-do list. You still have to do the actual replacement part yourself, but at least you don’t have to go to the store. Your Ecobee thermostat tells you when to change the filter, so don’t even worry about scheduling it. 

You don't even need an Ecobee thermostat to sign up.

Prices range from $13 to $21 per filter. Ecobee ships to the US and Canada.

Ecobee Smart Security

An Ecobee Smart Security subscription (formerly known as Ecobee Haven) enables the smoke alarm listener and siren in the Smart Thermostat Enhanced and Smart Thermostat Premium. Ecobee also sells contact sensors and a camera for a traditional security experience. 

While it’s still pretty basic compared to the other home security systems we review, Ecobee’s system detects intruders, collects video evidence, and—with the Complete Plan—quickly delivers data to 911 with RapidSOS technology. It's a decent starter security kit for indoor surveillance. 

The self-monitored Standard plan costs $5/mo. and stores footage from one camera. The professionally-monitored Complete plan costs $10/mo. and stores footage from unlimited cameras.

Outstanding features in Ecobee smart thermostats

Here’s where the Ecobee Smart Thermostats go from average to genius: smart heat/cool recovery mode and Smart Home and Away mode.

Smart heat/cool recovery mode

Other programmable or smart thermostats typically use schedules as a cue to turn on the HVAC system. You’d need to set the thermostat to “Home” about an hour earlier than your actual arrival time to avoid entering a cold house.

Forget about all that guesswork with the Ecobee. With the smart heat recovery or smart cool recovery modes enabled, the Ecobee automatically calculates when it needs to turn on the system so that your home reaches the desired temperature exactly when your Home, Away, or Sleep mode begins.

That means you come home to a perfectly comfortable temperature every single time.

Smart Home and Away

Don’t worry if you deviate from your typical home/away schedule. The occupancy sensor detects whether you’re home or not. Note that the Ecobee3 Lite doesn't have a built-in occupancy sensor, so you'll need to buy a separate Ecobee Smart Sensor for this feature or set up geofencing.

  • If the Ecobee detects your presence while it’s set to Away, it will automatically switch to Home mode.
  • If the Ecobee senses that no one is home while it’s set to Home, it will automatically switch to Away mode.

You can enable or disable this feature by tapping Menu and Sensors.

Or quickly switch modes by tapping Settings and then Home for now or Away for now.

Checklist
Check your internet bandwidth before you buy

Ecobee thermostats use between 15–20 MB per month. You may need to purchase a more substantial internet package for optimal performance. Contact your internet provider to find out how much bandwidth you have to spare.

Eco+ software

Eco+ is a free software upgrade that recommends personalized energy-saving settings for your thermostat. It analyzes local weather forecasts, humidity levels, and fluctuations in the cost of electricity. Eco+ also pulls in data from the SmartThermostat’s occupancy sensor and the SmartSensor’s motion sensor.

“My favorite feature is the eco+. It lets you set a percentage of additional savings, and then it makes recommendations on what to set your thermostat at in order to achieve it.”

—Suzi Brzezinski, Ecobee tester

Image: SafeWise

Access eco+ settings from the main menu, and use the slider to indicate how much energy you want to save. Although no savings are guaranteed, Ecobee claims it can decrease energy consumption by 1%–20%.

Eco+ won’t make changes without your permission. You can toggle each eco+ setting on and off or disable eco+ entirely. Here’s what you can expect from the eco+ settings:

  • Adjust temperature for humidity: Ecobee focuses on your home’s “feels like” temperature, allowing it to run up to several degrees warmer or cooler than the regular temperature setting.
  • Time of use: If your electricity costs less at certain times of the day, Ecobee preheats or precools your home during these times. This feature doesn’t work if you pay a fixed rate for your electricity.
  • Community energy savings: If your local power grid experiences a spike in use, Ecobee adjusts the temperature of your home to use less energy. This program helps your community avoid tapping into dirtier power reserves, like coal-based energy.
  • Schedule assistant: Ecobee recommends a new schedule if your home-and-away habits routinely differ from the existing schedule. This is similar to the Nest Learning Thermostat’s flagship feature but requires your approval.
  • Smart Home and Away: This feature relies on the SmartThermostat occupancy sensor or SmartSensor motion sensor. It overrides the thermostat schedule if it senses you’re home during the “away” period and vice versa. Smart Home and Away isn’t unique to eco+, but it appears in the eco+ menu.)

Eco+ also emails you monthly energy reports.  

Optional Ecobee add-ons

SmartSensor

Remote temp and occupancy sensor
Ecobee SmartSensor
$99.99
(2 pack)

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The wireless Ecobee SmartSensor acts like an extra occupancy sensor and temperature sensor. Each SmartThermostat comes with one SmartSensor, but you can purchase extras.

For example, if you aren’t likely to walk past your SmartThermostat when you get home, you won’t trigger the occupancy sensor. Place a SmartSensor near the door to take full advantage of motion-dependent features like Smart Home and Away or the eco+ Smart Schedules.

You can also use the SmartSensor in the nursery or corners of your home to keep an eye on hot and cold spots. Although Ecobee can’t create hot and cold zones in your home (you’d need dampers for that), the SmartSensor’s temperature readings will tell you when to adjust the thermostat, add a space heater, or turn on a fan.

SmartSensor for Doors and Windows

Contact sensor

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

An open door or window makes it impossible for your home to maintain the right temperature. Your HVAC system ends up working overtime, and that’s never good for your bank account.

The Ecobee SmartSensor for Doors and Windows nips this problem in the bud. If a door or window is left open, the Ecobee thermostat stops heating or cooling.

Ecobee third-party integrations

Ecobee thermostats pair with other smart home products and apps for extra automation and control:

Doesn’t work with all HVAC systems

Before you buy an Ecobee, make sure you don’t have an incompatible system:

  • Millivolt system, such as a gas fireplace
  • DC voltage system, often found in RVs
  • Line or high voltage systems, such as electric baseboard heaters or forced fan heaters
  • Radiator heating

In addition, using an Ecobee thermostat with a “communicating” HVAC system turns it into a “non-communicating” system, which means it disables built-in efficiencies. Communicating HVAC system brands include Infinity, Affinity, iComfort, Evolution, and ComfortNet.

Ecobee vs. other smart thermostats

Ecobee's biggest rival is the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, which offers more critical system maintenance alerts and has a backup battery for saving the time and date during a power outage. 

If you want your thermostat to do a little bit of everything, there's no competition—no other thermostat includes an air quality monitor or built-in voice controls like the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium.

Compatibility with a pre-existing home security system could be a problem, though. If you have Vivint or ADT, you'll get a better experience with a Nest thermostat. And if you have a Ring home security system, we recommend the Honeywell T9.

Ecobee thermostats definitely work with Blue by ADT and Abode, but you can check additional compatibility through the IFTTT app. Getting a thermostat that works with your home security system gives you way more smart home automation options and even lets you shut down the HVAC system if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. 

Compare Ecobee thermostats to the competition

Product
Best for
Price†
Backup battery
Warranty
C-wire required
Integrations
Learn more
Best overall
Icon Yes  LightYes
2 yearsNoAlexa, Google, IFTTT, SmartThings, Vivint, ADT
Best for Apple HomeKit
Icon No  LightNo
3 yearsNo Alexa, Google, HomeKit, IFTTT, SmartThings, Bluetooth, Abode
Best for budgets
Icon No  LightNo
1 yearNoAlexa, Google, IFTTT, Bluetooth
Best for Ring users
Icon No  LightNo
2 yearsYesAlexa, Google, HomeKit, IFTTT, SmartThings, Cortana, Ring
Best password protection
Icon No  LightNo
3 yearsYesAlexa, Google, HomeKit, SmartThings

†Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Final word

Ecobee thermostats have a lot to offer energy-conscious homeowners. There’s hardly anything bad to say about the Ecobee that can’t be said about other smart thermostats, such as some line-voltage compatibility limitations and the potential need for professional installation.

We recommend the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium over the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced and the Ecobee 3 Lite because the learning AI, built-in voice control, and included SmartSensor are just too good to pass up.

Ecobee thermostat FAQ

How does an Ecobee thermostat work?

Ecobee thermostats are hardwired to your HVAC system. The thermostat’s built-in temperature sensors signal the HVAC unit to turn on and off. This is true for all thermostats, whether “smart” or not.

The Ecobee’s smart features rely on additional sensors that detect motion and humidity. Ecobee thermostats also connect to Wi-Fi, giving them access to local data like weather and electricity costs. All of this information is used to calculate an ideal temperature setting.

Learn more about how smart thermostats work.

Is there a monthly fee for Ecobee?

There’s no monthly fee for using the Ecobee thermostat. If you want to sign up for Ecobee Smart Security, costs range from $5 to $10 per month. 

Make sure your Ecobee app is up-to-date and that you already own a Homepod. Then follow these instructions for switching your voice assistant from Alexa to Siri.

All Ecobee thermostats can be controlled via the thermostat’s touch screen or through the Ecobee app.

You can also control basic thermostat functions with your voice if you have an Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, or Samsung smart speaker. The only exception is the Ecobee SmartThermostat, which includes a built-in Alexa voice assistant and doesn’t require a separate smart speaker.

Ecobee smart thermostats can’t perform advanced features without Wi-Fi, but they’ll continue to turn your HVAC system on and off like a traditional thermostat.

Yes, the Ecobee thermostat can be controlled from anywhere in the world via the Ecobee app.

Ecobee added learning AI and an air quality monitor to the Smart Thermostat with Voice Control and re-launched it as the Smart Thermostat Premium. Although you can still find the Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control for sale, we recommend getting the Smart Thermostat Premium instead.

How we reviewed the Ecobee thermostats

Image: SafeWise

We relied on our team’s hands-on experience for our Ecobee thermostat review. We also read the customer support pages and watched tutorial videos to understand the nuances of the Ecobee. We then compared the Ecobee’s features and performance with other smart thermostats we’ve reviewed.

For more information, visit the Safewise methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimers

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest Secure, Google Nest Learning Thermostat, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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