ecobee4 Smart Thermostat Review

Of all the things to spend money on, heating and cooling my home is not at the top of my list. Of course, I want my home to be comfortable, but it’s always a bit of a downer to get a huge utility bill when you could be spending your money on delicious food, awesome clothes or even video games. Is this just a part of adulthood that can’t be changed?

Well, I can’t save you from having to pay utility bills, but I do have a solution to make your utility bills go down significantly. Meet the ecobee4. It’s a smart thermostat that can save you up to 23% annually on your heating and cooling bills, paying for itself in only a couple of years. Sound too good to be true? I’m here to prove you wrong.

Get Best Offer
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

With integrations with Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and more, there are tons of ways to command and automate your smart home with the ecobee4. 

ecobee4 Design

ecobee4 on Wall
ecobee4 on Wall

With a full-color LCD screen, the ecobee4 is only four inches across, and doesn’t draw much attention to itself. The good news? It’ll work in many different types of houses, whether your HVAC situation is gas, electric, duel fuel, conventional, ventilator, heat pump, HRV, ERV, humidifier, or dehumidifier. That’s a lot more flexibility than you get with most smart thermostats, so I’m pretty happy right off the bat. On top of that, the ecobee4 comes with a power extender kit, so it’s ok if your home doesn’t have a c-wire.

Unlike the thermostats from Nest, the ecobee4 is touchscreen, which I prefer over controlling it by its rim. With ENERGY STAR-certification, the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the ecobee4 energy-efficient, consuming only .0028 kWh of power per month. It runs using two lithium metal batteries, connecting to the ecobee app via Wi-Fi.

ecobee Room Sensors
ecobee Room Sensors

The ecobee4 also comes with a room sensor. You should put this in rooms you spend a lot of time in so it can automatically tell when you’re there, saving you energy and therefore money.

ecobee4 Features

ecobee4 Closeup
ecobee4 Closeup

Everyone who’s anyone knows that the main purpose of a thermostat is to adjust the temperature of your home, but this is 2019, and smart thermostats can do a lot more than meets the eye. Not only can the ecobee4 detect temperature, but it can also detect:

  • Humidity: Much like the wind, humidity can greatly affect how warm a room feels even if the technical temperature isn’t changed.
  • Proximity: If you walk in front of the ecobee4, it’ll know it and adjust accordingly, detecting your motion.
  • Occupancy: This category is very subtly different than proximity. Rather than detecting motion, occupancy sensors detect body heat whether you’re moving or not. So while proximity can tell where you are in your house, occupancy can see if you’re home or not, even if you’re sleeping.

The one thing that the ecobee4 can’t detect is ambient light. I’ve seen some smart thermostats that can automatically dim or brighten based on the light in the room, but clearly, this isn’t a dealbreaker for the ecobee4.

As far as controlling your home’s temperature goes, there’s a few ways to go about it aside from its touchscreen, such as:

  • Schedules: Your life is scheduled, so why shouldn’t your smart thermostat be? This takes the labor out of adjusting your home’s temperature so it’s done without you having to think about it.
Schedules on the ecobee4
Schedules on the ecobee4
  • Geofencing: In the same vein, you can connect your phone’s GPS to the ecobee4, given you have an Android. If you’re nearing home, the house will start to create a comfortable temperature, and when you leave, it’ll save you energy, which will in turn save you money.
smart-thermostat-review
Smart Thermostat Geofencing
  • Voice commands: If you’re in the Amazon or Apple smart home ecosystems, you’ll love controlling your ecobee4 hands-free with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit. Unfortunately, the ecobee4 doesn’t work with Google Assistant, which is a bit disappointing.
  • App: Last but certainly not least is the ecobee app, which lets you control the ecobee4 from anywhere with Internet. More on this later.

Now, it’s important to note that the ecobee4 also works with other connected devices, from those in the Samsung SmartThings ecosystem to anything that works with IFTTT. You’ll be able to have devices trigger one another, like having your thermostat cool your home down when your security system is disarmed on a hot summer day. You’ll be able to see exactly how much energy your ecobee4 is using on HomeIQ, and you can add an unlimited amount of users by simply giving them your credentials. The ecobee4 can work in temperatures from 44 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit, so you have a lot of flexibility there.

The ecobee App

The ecobee App
The ecobee App

The ecobee app will be there through installing your ecobee4 to making schedules and adjusting it in general. It has nice ratings, a 3.6 from Android-users and a 4.3 from iPhone users. However, when I looked closer at the recent Google Play reviews, I saw that many customers were not happy after a recent update, which is a bit of a concern.

” I would say probably 40% of the time the app has “server connectivity issues” and closes before I’m even signed in. I’ve tried reinstalling the app, rebooting my phone, changing locations and internet connections, etc., but none of that helps,”

wrote Android-user Reid Cheatham in a recent two-star review. Reviews from the Apple store, on the other hand, were way more positive. The bottom line? I’d take a closer look at your respective app to make sure the current version is user-friendly, but as of now, I can’t recommend the ecobee4 to Android users.

Get Best Offer
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

With integrations with Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and more, there are tons of ways to command and automate your smart home with the ecobee4. 

Recap of the ecobee4

Overall, I’d definitely recommend the ecobee4, but it’s not for everyone.

I would buy the ecobee4 if you’re looking for…

  • Touchscreen
  • Integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, and more
  • Highly-rated iPhone app

But avoid it if you don’t want…

  • Dysfunctional Android app
  • No integrations with Google Assistant
  • No ambient light sensing

To explore other options, read about the best smart thermostats of 2019.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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