ecobee Nest Programmable Thermostats Reviews

Best Smart Thermostat For You (Ecobee 4 vs Nest 3)

Nest vs Ecobee Comparison

Smart thermostats add both efficacy and ease of use to your residence. Some of the most popular models are the Nest or Ecobee, competing brands which both provide great products. Which in all likelihood means you are stuck thinking “Ecobee vs Nest” and which one to purchase.

Finally, we determined that the 3rd generation Nest thermostat is the ideal upgrade option for those switching to a intelligent thermostat.

  • With its particularly large and customizable temperature readout, you can see the current temperature in your house immediately, then fix the temp with a twist of the thermostat.
  • That, plus amazing guides for setup or finding an expert to help you out, place the Nest on top.

To obtain the best model, we took a look at the current generation of thermostats for both brands, what attributes they provided, and how they will work in your house and which is most compatible for the not only your needs but your HVAC system.

We analyzed settings, opened programs, and turned dials to determine how ports worked, how much info the thermostats provided, and how visible their information was. We also tweaked configurations to see how well thermostats responded, and what information they gave about

But, the Ecobee4 is also a remarkable smart thermostat, especially if you like your thermostat display to reveal more information, or if you do not have an Alexa voice helper yet and are intrigued by the thought.

And in case you missed it, we also have a look at a few of the alternative best smart thermostats on the market in a prior post.

Ecobee vs Nest Compared 2018

Ecobee4 vs Nest Thermostat 3rd Generation

At-a-Glance Screen DataEnergy MonitoringSensorsScreen DiameterHVAC CompatibilityVoice Assistant
Ecobee4Current Interior temperature, weather, humidity, temperature rangeYesTemperature (satellite variations available), humidity, occupancy, proximity3.5 inches, squareGas, petroleum, electric, dual fuel, Traditional (2H/2C) setups, Heat pump (4H/2C) setups, humidifer, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV or ERVBuilt-in Alexa
Nest Thermostat 3rd GenerationCurrent/Set temperature, Eco-friendly iconYesTemperature (satellite variations coming), indoor humidity, proximity, near-field action, far-field action, ambient light2. 08 inches, roundHeating (1-3 point ), Cooling (1-2 point ), Heat pump (such as aux/emergency heat), humidifier, dehumidier, fans (1-3 rate )compatible with Alexa, IFTTT, Google Home

Ecobee3 vs Nest Thermostat 3rd Generation

At-a-Glance Screen DataEnergy Tracking ReportsSensorsScreen DiameterHVAC CompatibilityVoice Assistant
Ecobee3Current Interior temperature, weather, humidity, temperature rangeYesTemperature, motion, proximity, humidity, remote sensor for temperature and motion3.5 inches, squareConventional (2H/2C), Heat pump (4H/2C), gas, petroleum, electric, dual fuel, humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV or ERVHomeKit, Alexa, SmartThings, IFTTT, Wink
Nest Thermostat 3rd GenerationCurrent/Set temperature, Eco-friendly iconYesTemperature (satellite variations coming), indoor humidity, proximity, near-field action, far-field action, ambient light2. 08 inches, roundHeating (1-3 point ), Cooling (1-2 point ), Heat pump (such as aux/emergency heat), humidifier, dehumidier, fans (1-3 rate )compatible with Alexa, IFTTT, Google Home

At-a Glance Screen Data

This describes what the thermostat shows you when you walk past. At first glance, this is one of the largest differences between the Nest and Ecobee versions. The Ecobee has a much more conventional touchscreen look, with the current temperature display in bold white numerals. The screen also provides you information about the thermostat’s present temperature range, a small icon to the weather outside, and the current humidity: however, for these extras, you want to step very near the thermostat to view them, so that they are not quite as useful.

The Nest takes the opposite approach. It merely shows the temperature at a glance, popping it up in large, glowing numerals whenever it finds someone is nearby. While it is possible to change whether it reveals the current or target temperature, this is the only information the Nest provides (and a small range icon showing how much the present temperature is in the set temperature). The Nest can’t display weather, humidity, or other information on its physical display. The display can be used when you’re manually changing settings — but this is not really at-a-glance info.

Power Tracking

Both the Ecobee4 and the Nest 3rd gen supply energy monitoring. In practice, this means that you could go into either program and see your heating/cooling history with time, as well as how much energy you have been using.

The two thermostats will even email you energy reports, typically on a monthly basis, that show how much energy your HVAC system has used that month and how it compares to previous reports. Clearly the goal is to decrease your energy consumption and save money on your accounts, and the two companies do a fantastic job of assisting you in this. However, it is important not to forget that a few months your energy usage will obviously grow as you turn up the heat in winter or the AC during warm months.


Sensors For Automation

Smart thermostats rely on a much wider assortment of detectors than traditional thermostats, permitting them to pick up on all sorts of information. Both the Ecobee and Nest have the basics like humidity and temperature sensors, but they diverge from there.

The Ecobee4 specializes in satellite temperature readings. It includes a satellite sensor option which you could set up in a remote location and then connect to the main thermostat. Have you ever been in a home where one side was too hot and the other side too chilly? A satellite sensor can help fix it by supplying information on temperatures far away from your thermostat .

The Ecobee can read occupancy and closeness, a.k.a. how many individuals are moving around in the space, and just how close someone is getting into the thermostat (so it could light up).

The Nest, on the flip side, is much more focused on these occupancy and proximity detectors. It features high-tech movement detectors that detect “near-field” and “far-field” activity so that it can judge how many folks are in the area, where they are, and how they’re moving. This helps the Nest set more precise automatic programs even when you’re not near it.

But it is worth noting that Nest has formally announced it are also supplying satellite sensors for its thermostats also, although it isn’t currently an option.

Display Diameter

How large do you want your thermostat display to be? The Ecobee4 delivers a bigger 3.5-inch screen that’s much easier to use and navigate, but also takes up more space on the wall (and may be brighter at night).

The Nest goes for a more minimalistic path using a little, round 2-inch screen. It does not take up much space at all (and bear in mind, does not display much additional information). However, you must get particularly close in the event that you would like to see and change any settings, which might take some time.

HVAC Compatibility

This spec is a bit more complicated, since there are lots of distinct kinds of HVAC setups depending on the units installed and how they’re wired into your electrical system. The thermostats are designed to operate together with as many components as possible, but they are not 100% compatible with everything. This spec covers:-LRB-**********)

  • Gas type: Not really a problem, because both thermostats can operate with gas, oil, power, and lots of dual fuel systems (the Ecobee creates a point of said dual gas compatibility, but we can not see much difference between the two on this point).
  • Heating and cooling phases: This is all that 2C, 3H enterprise. This describes how many resources of cold or hot air the HVAC system has. In a 2C (two-stage cooling) system, cool air is pulled from two unique kinds of air conditioners. In a 2H (two-stage heating) system, warm air could be pulled from a furnace and a solar heating panel, or a furnace and a boiler. This allows for all kinds of combinations — many of which are fairly rare. The average home has a one-stage HVAC system and will not need to worry about compatibility, but it is good to be aware.
  • Heating pumps: Heat pumps are an oddball, because they undo their refrigerant systems to heat or cool as needed. It is very efficient, but difficult to lump in with the rest. The Ecobee version supports 4H/2C heat pump setups, which is basically every residential heat pump. Nest specifically states that it supports heat pumps with auxiliary or emergency heating (usually from an electrical heating element), which is slightly narrower but should still work with most HVAC systems.
  • Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers: This identifies humidifier and dehumidifier devices which are wired to your HVAC system and operate alongside cooling and heating. This is not very common except in extremely dry or humid climates. Both units support these attributes.
  • HRV and ERV: You’ll see that Ecobee4 has HRV and ERV compatibility. This describes Heat Recovery Ventilation and Energy Recovery Ventilation, features that help save energy in the expense of a certain amount of clean air. Ecobee4 supports these attributes, but using a Nest you might need to set another timer for these functions with a different method.

Voice Assistant

We will go over this more extensively below, however, the Ecobee4 version has built-in Alexa, which means that you can talk directly to the thermostat with questions and commands. The Nest thermostat can be used with voice supporters such as Alexa and Google Home, so you’ve got to connect the Nest with other devices (such as an Amazon Echo), and provide those devices the commands rather than speaking to the thermostat yourself.

Smart Thermostat Buying Guide

Seeking the best characteristics in a wise thermostat? Even if you don’t wind up buying an Ecobee or Nest, these are still a number of the critical factors you will need to consider!

HVAC Compatibility: Not all buyers believe this, but it is essential to be certain that a intelligent thermostat really works with your HVAC system! This might be a problem when you’ve got a particularly old HVAC system with incompatible wiring, a system that’s controlled in a strange way a intelligent thermostat can not parse, or a system which already has some type of complicated control system in place (such as might be required if you use solar heating or geothermal heating). That having been said, around 95percent of house systems should be compatible with intelligent thermostats such as Nest…just check before purchasing.

Additional Information: What additional information does the thermostat supply? The Ecobee4 is very good at displaying data about weather, humidity, timers you have set, etc. The Nest is a lot more minimalistic and does not display much except that the temperature. What system do you prefer? It probably depends how long you spend analyzing your thermostat in daily life.

Space Modes: The Ecobee version is one of the only models available on the marketplace that offers room detectors, additional devices that transmit temperature data to the thermostat. These are intended to solve a particular problem, the dilemma of cold spots or dead zones. Occasionally thermostats are set up in drafty hallways, or perhaps distant walls where no one collects. In other words, the thermostat may read the wrong temperature and often keep the house too cold or too hot, even if set precisely. If you have this issue, a room detector can help provide the thermostat better instructions, and the Ecobee version is most likely the one for you.

Readability: This is more difficult to tell if you don’t find the thermostat in person, but the numbers will need to be readable. Start looking for large, clear numbers which you can see at a glance without getting too near the thermostat. Nest does a fantastic job at this with using “Far Sight” to detect nearby motion and flashing the temperate in massive numbers whenever someone passes by. You can also change between the current temperature and the target temperature, based on what which you would prefer to see.

Controls: Program controls are fairly self-explanatory (a little more on this below), but a lot of men and women are accustomed to walking directly up to the thermostat and shifting it on the spot, so thermostat-based controls continue to be important. Controls can vary a whole lot, too — the Nest utilizes a dial-based interface in which you twist the thermostat and then push it to pick, which requires lots of getting used to, although shifting the temperature is extremely straightforward. Ecobee employs a more conventional touchscreen system, but shifting the temperature requires more effort. This is just another one of those features that is tough to understand unless you experimentation in person, but it is certainly worth noting.

Power Notifications: Does the wise thermostat help you save money? Specifically, does it tell you when you’re setting temperatures that will decrease your energy costs? The Nest has a tiny green foliage that pops up when you specify a temperature that can help you save money. The Ecobee offers instruction and advice on the best way best to handle your heating or coolingsystem. Other thermostats also have alarms and icons designed to assist with energy management. Search for these features!

Having difficulty making up your mind between our top two selections? The two Nest and Ecobee offer exceptional devices that span a number of diverse generations, at comparable price ranges, with comparable energy saving and smart programming advantages: It is not surprising that making a choice can get tricky. We suggest you narrow it down to two major questions:-LRB-**********)

How can you use voice supporters like Alexa in your dwelling?

The Ecobee4 is very invested in Alexa compatibility and on-unit speakers for speaking with Alexa. Do you currently use home voice supporters? Would you rather have assistants besides Alexa? Is your thermostat in a place where it would be tricky to speak to it? If you are not going to use those Alexa attributes (or you already have an Alexa device you prefer), then the Ecobee4 includes plenty of wasted potentials, and the Nest may be the better choice.

What do you like to see in your thermostat?

As we mentioned, The Nest thermostat keeps things really easy, with a simple interface which shows current and target temperatures (using a choice where appears at bigger numbers). That’s about it unless you start up the program to find out more. The Ecobee4, meanwhile, provides advice on weather, humidity, and other information on the screen — you just need to get a bit closer to read everything. If you enjoy using a thermostat or similar device to test on these conditions rather than popping open an app, then the Ecobee version might be right up your street.

“What exactly does the thermostat app do?” This is always a fantastic question for homeowners to ask when purchasing a new smart home device. Here are the major attributes these programs usually include (especially the Nest and Ecobee programs ):-LRB-**********)

  • Temperature: Pop open the program, and you can see exactly what the temperature is right away in your thermostat, or many thermostats on the accounts. Pretty easy to comprehend.
  • Additional Info: The program home screen will normally show related information gleaned from where you are, such as the weather, humidity, etc. This permits you to pop open the program for a fast look at the current temperature in your house, and in the event you maybe need to change it depending on the weather report.
  • Fan Controls and Modes: Your system probably has a few different flow modes — the program enables you to change between them, in addition to switching to new smart choices like energy-saving modes. Some controllers may allow for manual control of the fan too, like, “Keep the fan running for the next 15 minutes.”
  • Scheduling: Scheduling is significantly easier on an app! Smart thermostat programs offer you an interface to quickly establish a weekly program of temperatures and make rapid changes at a glance. It’s a great deal easier than programming an old thermostat.
  • History and Reports: All these programs also tend to supply the recent history of thermostat usage, and reports on longterm usage. You can use these to determine how much energy you’re using at a monthly, and how your energy habits have changed over time. This is helpful if you would like to save money and want to learn new heating/cooling customs.
  • Smart Home Settings: The programs may also have extra smart home configurations, based on thermostat features. For instance, Ecobee lets you produce a Holiday setting that changes the temperature to low energy usage when you’re gone. These attributes may be useful, or you may end up ignoring them — it is a mixed bag

If you moved over our notes on the Ecobee4, you discovered that among its most-marketed attributes is the built-in Alexa voice control system…which is kind of a problem if, say, you have spent in Google Home and do not use Alexa. This raises the questions — if your smartphone connect to the rest of your smart house? Does it want to? Is it compatible?

First, yes: your thermostat must connect to a shared smart house platform if possible.

The best contenders such as Nest and Ecobee provide the maximum compatibility. Nest works with Alexa, which means you can connect it into an Amazon Echo apparatus and use Alexa voice commands to control the thermostat — and naturally, Google Assistant compatibility is a given for Nest goods (built-in Google Assistant attributes are probably coming from another Nest production ).

Ecobee, meanwhile, offers built-in Alexa compatibility and services with Google Assistant — together with Apple Homekit, so you can potentially use Siri voice commands if you are prepared to work at it. So far no thermostat uses Bixby or Cortana, but hey, they may be coming too.

Remember, even when you don’t use a voice helper at this time, or have many smart home devices, that could easily change in the future as smart technology gets more common in the typical home. Since thermostats last quite a very long time, a little forethought can go a long way.

Energy-based rebates help encourage people to purchase devices or systems that will conserve energy and help the environment. Can you receive a rebate to your smart thermostat? It depends! Rebate programs are usually handled by the state and can differ greatly from state to state. States such as California tend to get a great deal of rebate choices. Other nations may have very few or none whatsoever.

Websites like Ecobee are fairly good at notifying you if your state accepts the Ecobee smart thermostat when you see, but it could be tricky to know if it’s possible to find any sort of charge or not.

To learn more, take a look at this database and select your state to locate available programs. Take a good look at any incentive programs involving HVAC, thermostats, energy use, and similar subjects. Each program should have a list of devices that qualify for rebates or deductions. Check to see what smart thermostats are among the! You could wind up saving much more money than you anticipated.

But, bear in mind that to save money on your future energy bills, you’ll need to make a few changes on your temperature settings. A intelligent thermostat can help you with this, but only in case you change temperatures from the old habits toward eco-friendly modes that use less electricity.

So, the big question after Purchasing a Wise thermostat is typically, “Wait, how am I supposed to install this when it arrives?”

For those who have some experience working with the wiring in your house, it’s probably no big deal: you require a few screwdrivers, a drill using common bit sizes, a wire stripper, and a few other common tools — and a feeling of safety and the know-how to switch off your HVAC as you’re working.

As we note in our discussion on thermostat models, it generally requires a C-wire or a power converter to power appropriate wireless connections and voice helper compatibility, so the perfect setup is important to using your thermostat as it was intended.

But if you do not have some electrical experience or you just don’t want to go to all that work, you can contact a local contractor and see if they can help you install and program the thermostat. Nest does a particularly good job with this job: If you wish to do it all on your own, Nest provides video instructions and wiring diagrams so that you do not get confused.

if you would like to hand off the task, then you may use the Nest Guru Finder to search for any builders in your area that are certified to install a Nest thermostat, and also send them a notification email right from the website (although calling them up possibly faster).

If you’ve got another thermostat version, you can simply call up local heating/cooling businesses and see if they’re certified for that device. Unless something very strange happens, the project should not take over half an hour, and prices are normally approximately $70 to $90 for the setup. You will normally have to offer your Wi-Fi password and create a few standard installation decisions.

Some Resources We Read and Considered:-LRB-**********)

Ecobee vs. Nest: Locate the Right Smart Thermostat For You and Your Home

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About the author

Chavi Rajput

Chavi Rajput

With multiple research papers under her belt, Chavi has been a science geek from her school days. She covers research in scientific gadgets that lead to new discovery as well as gadgets that make life of scientists simple.
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