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Ecobee (3P) Discussions related to the Ecobee plugin by Spud

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  #1  
Old August 3rd, 2017, 02:12 PM
dhayner dhayner is offline
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Question To Ecobee or not

Somewhat plug-in related. I figured the most users of Ecobees would be lingering here, so...

I'm on the fence about getting an Ecobee3 Lite (I already have OS temp sensors) or Ecobee4 ($50 GC at BestBuy at the moment), or just a dumber z-wave thermostat. I'm happy to see this plugin exists and it would be the next purchase after leaving the store, but my concerns are:

- Apparently control is cloud-only, not via local wifi from HS3 direct to the thermostat. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
- What are your experiences with outages? That means zero remote control available, right? Does it happen often?
- Polling at >= 4 minute intervals. But is this really any issue? I imagine this is an API limit Ecobee enforces.

I work from home all day, with kids wandering around too, so the house is occupied 95% of the time. That means some of the 'learning' bits of the platform are of no concern. Leaving the biggest possible issue: Wife hits tablet/phone/alexa across the house, and the thermostat doesn't respond. Whereas, control of my old Wayne Dalton Z-Wave thermo has been easy and works every time... but the temp sensor in it is becoming unreliable.

Thanks in advance,
Lost in Thermoland
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  #2  
Old August 3rd, 2017, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhayner View Post
Somewhat plug-in related. I figured the most users of Ecobees would be lingering here, so...



I'm on the fence about getting an Ecobee3 Lite (I already have OS temp sensors) or Ecobee4 ($50 GC at BestBuy at the moment), or just a dumber z-wave thermostat. I'm happy to see this plugin exists and it would be the next purchase after leaving the store, but my concerns are:



- Apparently control is cloud-only, not via local wifi from HS3 direct to the thermostat. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

- What are your experiences with outages? That means zero remote control available, right? Does it happen often?

- Polling at >= 4 minute intervals. But is this really any issue? I imagine this is an API limit Ecobee enforces.



I work from home all day, with kids wandering around too, so the house is occupied 95% of the time. That means some of the 'learning' bits of the platform are of no concern. Leaving the biggest possible issue: Wife hits tablet/phone/alexa across the house, and the thermostat doesn't respond. Whereas, control of my old Wayne Dalton Z-Wave thermo has been easy and works every time... but the temp sensor in it is becoming unreliable.



Thanks in advance,

Lost in Thermoland


I have had two Ecobee 3's for over a year and a half at our house and haven't had one issue with them. I have a pretty good ISP so I haven't had any internet or WiFi issues. I'm not sure that if your phone/tablet is on the LAN if it connects with it directly or over the internet but I have never once had an issue connecting to the Ecobee. (Knocking on wood). If your house is occupied 95% of the time, you will gain little benefit from the Home and Away settings but the schedule can be customized more than just a typical thermostat. The Nest has the "learning" feature, Ecobee uses motion sensors on both the main unit and the Lil'bees (small occupancy sensors/temp sensors) to determine if you are home/away or if a particular room is occupied or not.
Hope that helps....


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  #3  
Old August 3rd, 2017, 10:28 PM
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norcalhkr norcalhkr is offline
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I have been running ecobee 3 with several lil bees around the house. Nice feature to be able to average the master and kids rooms at night to maintain the house temperature vs just the hallway where the unit is at. Had a nest previously and with the hallway placement the unit was always going to sleep even when we are home, the ecobee doesn't have the same problem as the sensors can be placed around the house if you don't want to depend on HS to supply home or away status.

Haven't had any issues here either and pretty much runs like I would expect and I think very little about it.

One benefit although the turn around is slow but works for my office is to use the room occupancy portion of the little sensors to augment automation. When I work from home and enter my office, the desk fan turns on and my sonos start to play. Reverse happens when it no longer senses me there... nice little extra benefit. I can also control the speed of ceiling fans based on the specific temp of the room that has sensors which is nice, can turn them off as well when the occupants leave. The 1 minute delay is noticeable when using occupancy but I don't tie anything that requires instant notification to it. I am ok if the fan runs for 30 seconds after I leave the room, no big deal for me.
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  #4  
Old August 4th, 2017, 11:57 AM
kideon kideon is offline
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Go with the eco bee 4. Along with the Alexa integration and all of the obvious stuff it is really good at learning how your house heats and cools taking into account outside temp and humidity.
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  #5  
Old August 5th, 2017, 05:08 PM
B1Trash B1Trash is offline
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IFTTT

I have the ecobee 3 and my wife is home most of the time. We have the occupancy features (mostly) turned off, but we do use the sensors for balancing. We have a sensor in each of my kids rooms and have the thermostat upstairs only use those at night (vice the main sensor outside their rooms). I have an event that sets the thermostats to away when we leave the house and another that resumes the program on arrival.

Am I concerned about the cloud requirement? A bit, but it's not as necessary as it is for lights. Most of what I need is on the ecobee's own schedule. If the events don't fire right away, that's ok. House temp isn't instant. If I'm home, it's easier to walk over and adjust my thermostat then it is to dig out a phone or laptop. *disclaimer- I do not do Alexa*... Do you fiddle with your thermostat alot? Maybe this is or is not a big deal to you.

The little sensors are very precise... My boys' rooms have a 3-4° split that I thought was a sensor calibration issue until I set them next to eachother. They were within 0.1-0.2°.

When I first got the thermostats, I was having lag issues that I attributed to the ecobee polling cycle. It turned out I was wrong. I brought it up with Spud (the developer) who was very responsive and was able to help me fix my issues. He does a wonderful job with his plugins and I stand behind his work.

Now homeseer may be off by a degree from the thermostat due to polling lag, but it's mostly on. It's not a reliable indicator of equipment status. And you are right about it being an API issue. There are rumors of/clamoring for push support. I believe home kit has push for sensors. But for anything else, it's wait and see.

Last edited by B1Trash; August 5th, 2017 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Extra thoughts & readability
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  #6  
Old November 22nd, 2017, 05:55 PM
sirexilon sirexilon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcalhkr View Post
I have been running ecobee 3 with several lil bees around the house. Nice feature to be able to average the master and kids rooms at night to maintain the house temperature vs just the hallway where the unit is at. Had a nest previously and with the hallway placement the unit was always going to sleep even when we are home, the ecobee doesn't have the same problem as the sensors can be placed around the house if you don't want to depend on HS to supply home or away status.

Haven't had any issues here either and pretty much runs like I would expect and I think very little about it.

One benefit although the turn around is slow but works for my office is to use the room occupancy portion of the little sensors to augment automation. When I work from home and enter my office, the desk fan turns on and my sonos start to play. Reverse happens when it no longer senses me there... nice little extra benefit. I can also control the speed of ceiling fans based on the specific temp of the room that has sensors which is nice, can turn them off as well when the occupants leave. The 1 minute delay is noticeable when using occupancy but I don't tie anything that requires instant notification to it. I am ok if the fan runs for 30 seconds after I leave the room, no big deal for me.
But all of that can be done via Regular Sensors connected via Zwave and used by HS so far nothing pushes me to buy a cloud based when I can control all in-house even if Internet goes down.

So far the same Pro's can be achieved by utilizing a cheap z-wave Thermostat with the Event control of HS.
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  #7  
Old November 22nd, 2017, 09:21 PM
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norcalhkr norcalhkr is offline
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Originally Posted by sirexilon View Post
But all of that can be done via Regular Sensors connected via Zwave and used by HS so far nothing pushes me to buy a cloud based when I can control all in-house even if Internet goes down.



So far the same Pro's can be achieved by utilizing a cheap z-wave Thermostat with the Event control of HS.


Yup, you absolutely can do the same via zwave, just depends on your personal preference. Ecobee works for me and I like that should I go away from full automation, the ecobee will still do it’s thing or if my HS3 server has a brain fart, the hvac keeps working and doing its thing but could skin the cat several other ways.
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Old November 22nd, 2017, 09:46 PM
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Uncle Michael Uncle Michael is online now
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Originally Posted by sirexilon View Post
. . . the same Pro's can be achieved by utilizing a cheap z-wave Thermostat with the Event control of HS.
The pro that is most important to me is maintaining the basic functions of a thermostat, even when HS or the internet is not working. Ecobee provides that. Only it's fancy features require an internet connection. If you find a less expensive tstat that is reliable and meets your needs, I'd definitely go with it.
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