Upgrading to a Smart Thermostat? Choose One of These

With so many smart thermostats on the market today, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for you.  You want one that is going to be easy to install, simple to program, pleasing to look at, and probably most important, one that will save you money.

I’ve put together a comparison evaluating three of the most popular smart thermostats: Nest Learning Thermostat, Ecobee3, and Honeywell Lyric.

Let’s review…


Image courtesy of Nest

Image courtesy of Nest

One of the most attractive selling points of Google’s Nest is its ability to actually learn your habits and adjust accordingly.  Aside from temperature, it can also measure ambient light, humidity, and motion.  After about a week, it will create a program specific to your routine.  And if your house has multiple Nest units, they can communicate via Wi-Fi to manage schedules for different areas of your house.  Top that off with the ability to control it from your smartphone or web browser from literally anywhere with internet access, and you’ve got an impressive device.


Image courtesy of Ecobee

Image courtesy of Ecobee

Similar to the Nest, the Ecobee3 uses motion and proximity sensors to determine whether you are home or away.  With the ability to install up to 32 remote sensors that measure temperature and occupancy of the room they’re in, you will have complete control in fine-tuning the temperature of your house.  Coupled with your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you will be able to adjust the settings and modify the temperature with ease.


Image courtesy of Honeywell

Image courtesy of Honeywell

Unlike the previous two thermostats, the Lyric was designed with a “geofencing” algorithm to sense if you are home or away.  With a radius ranging from 500 feet to seven miles, the Lyric can tell when you enter and exit the predetermined range, and adjust the temperature according to your settings.


As you can see, the retail prices of these three thermostats are very similar, but don’t forget to take the cost of installation into consideration as well.

Nest claims that three out of four customers are able to complete installation in 30 minutes or less.  After reading many online reviews that have agreed with this statement, I am going to consider installing a Nest as a DIY project, hence the $0 price tag.

Installation of the Ecobee3 and the Lyric can vary between professional contractors, but I have discovered that $150 is the average for a basic smart thermostat installation.  If you’re simply looking to replace your old thermostat and sync the new one with your house, you can expect to pay somewhere around this amount.  If you go beyond these services, like installing more than one thermostat, you may end up writing a larger check.


Now, on to the energy savings.

According to NYSEG, a typical New York resident spent a yearly average of $1,032 on natural gas in 2013.  Seeing as most residents consume natural gas to heat and cool their homes, I’ll use this amount as a base number.

The chart below shows the average annual savings each thermostat is likely to save, as stated on the manufacturers’ websites.

The Ecobee3 is the clear winner in this category, saving you an average of 23% on your annual heating and cooling bill.  The Nest comes in a close second with an average annual savings of 20%.  In this case, the Lyric saves $170 per year, which calculates to less than 17%.

The Bottom Line

Although the Nest has the best initial cost after installation, the Ecobee3 claims to have the greatest energy savings.  But since the two are very close in the latter category, after 10 years, the Ecobee3 would provide an extra savings of just over $300, which isn’t a huge amount.

Overall, your best bet lies with the Ecobee3 or the Nest.  Although the Lyric is intricate, it does not deliver comparable savings.  In this battle, the Lyric can’t even compete.

Keep in mind that these calculations are a rough estimate and will vary depending on your location and specific needs.  They do not include potential rebates that may be offered through your local utility.

So which smart thermostat strikes your fancy?  Do you plan to jump on the Nest bandwagon, or go with the Ecobee’s long-term energy savings?  Or maybe you’ll even take a chance on the Lyric.  Let us know in the comments section below!



Related Articles:

How to Get a Free Nest Learning Thermostat
5 Heating Hacks to Warm Up Your Winter
Lowering Your Thermostat Will Save More than Just Money

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  • Yves Racine

    Good analysis! Ecobee is the clear winner.

  • bobcats9498

    I have 2 Ecobees installed (replaced Nest thermostats) and I must say it is a much superior thermostat. The ability to have remote sensors makes all of the difference in being able to cool/heat rooms efficiently. As for installing the Ecobee, it is just as easy, if not easier, than installing the Nest. Any home owner should be able to install easily.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      Ya know, I was initally leaning toward installing a Nest myself, but after all these rave reviews for the Ecobee, I may be changing my mind.

      Can you tell me a little more about the remote sensors and how they help Ecobee surpass Nest? I’m very interested since you have used both thermostats.

      • Anonymous

        With the remote sensors it will read the temperature at each location (sensor). From that it has a algorithm that averages the temperature and warms up the house to the set temperature. Gives a much more consistent temperature throughout the house.

        Also it will use the motion sensor to better predict where people are. So if one person is in the living room and another in the basement it will only use the temperature reading from those two rooms (sensors). It will then do its calculation and heat to the set temperature.

        • bobcats9498

          Anon hit it on the head. You have flexibility to use the sensors to better balance temps in remote rooms. In my case, I have a large open two story house. I have one bedroom on the first and second floor (separate AC units each with their own Ecobee) that are always about 7-9 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. With the remote sensors in these rooms, the thermostat averages the temperature at the thermostat and the sensor and cools accordingly. It means the main room may cool a little past my setting, but the bedroom will cool more than it would with just the thermostat reading. Since I am in Texas, I haven’t had a chance to test out the heating balance too much yet. With the balancing, it may use a little more energy in the long run, but the comfort level is much better. Other option, as Anon mentioned, is that you can use the sensors to track motion and only use the remote sensors who detect mention to calculate into the temperature. Thereby unused rooms will not factor in. I expect Ecobee will continue to add functionality to the remote sensors, and the thermostat in general, to make the product even more useful and efficient. Very happy I returned my Nests and went with Ecobee. And Ecobee’s customer service is the best. Emails and tweets answered shortly. They listen to their customers and solicit input for future enhancements. Run the way a company should be run.

  • erept0r

    I love the Ecobee’s ability to download the data mined from the sensors and base unit from their Home IQ website to really get into the numbers of what’s happening in my house. Also a fan of calendaring my vacations so I don’t forget to adjust the HVAC accordingly.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      That’s definitely an added bonus! What sort of patterns have you discovered?

      • erept0r

        Mostly that late morning until about 3pm there’s enough physical activity going on to lower the temperature 2 degrees to save some heat.

  • TheBitterSuite

    Ecobees are very easy to install. If you remove the cost of the install from the analysis, it is clear that the ecobee is the clear winner. Truly a great product. Great review!

    • Sarah Battaglia

      Thanks for your input! I have not installed a smart thermostat myself so I had to go off of websites and customer reviews. But I certainly agree, if we eliminate the cost of installation and make it a DIY project, the Ecobee seems to dominate all categories.

      I’m going to assume you have an Ecobee at your house…have you seen significant savings on your monthly utility bill? I’d love to know!

      • TheBitterSuite

        I have one of the older models — which was installed by a professional. The newer model requires minimal expertise, and installation videos are abundant online. Anyone can do it.

        I have seen tremendous savings with my ecobee, though I also installed a new HVAC unit at the time — so it is impossible to say how much extra efficiency is from the ecobee versus the unit itself. I will say that I am 110% satisfied, and very proud to be an ecobee owner. There is no other group quite like The Hive!

      • ecobee

        One more thing to consider, Sarah.

        If you visit this link: http://ecobee.com/faqs/ecobee-3/ and click “how-to videos” you’ll see we have 5 separate videos there for our customers. Two of the videos are specifically for an installation with a C (or common) wire, and an installation without a C-Wire (where you will need a Power Extender Kit or PEK).

        Also, it’s worth mentioning that the PEK is provided in the ecobee3 box for free, whether you need it or not.

        • Sarah Battaglia

          Thanks for the sharing the link to your videos! Installation seems pretty painless.

  • Mitch G

    Ecobee 3 is the clear winner for me too! I love the new interface and mobile apps. Also, ecobee has the most universal support for different HVAC system setups. Overall the best!

    • Sarah Battaglia

      I did not take into account how the thermostats work with various HVAC systems. Thanks for pointing this out, Mitch!

  • Brandon Knight

    Great analysis and go Ecobee!

  • Roy Illingworth

    I installed my first Ecobee3 three weeks ago. Very simple to install, I suspect the reason professional installation was suggested is for folks who do not have a C wire (for power). In my case I had power available at the thermostat location and installation was very straight forward. Up and running in under 30 mins. Very impressed so far. Home IQ rolled out and provides good feedback, I particularly like the smart home and away features as folks arrive and leave unpredictably and the thermostat has adjusted correctly every time so far. Missing Home IQ on the mobile app, but I am sure it will be there soon. So impressed I bought a second one for a second zone in my house.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      Hi Roy – Yes, many readers are insisting that Ecobee is quite simple to install, making this thermostat an even smarter choice. I am impressed that you installed one three weeks ago and already bought another one! Can you expand on how a second Ecobee will make your home even more efficient?

      • Roy Illingworth

        Very simple. My house has a number of HVAC systems as various modifications have been made over the years. The main HVAC controls the upstairs and downstairs, but I have a smaller system for the master bedroom/suite. It is a Trane system with the original thermostat (set and forget) – upgrading to an Ecobee3 will improve that area of the house and let me understand how that older system is performing. I suspect I need to upgrade that system, Home IQ will provide valuable information about its efficiency

  • http://stevejenkins.com/ Steve Jenkins

    ecobee wins hands down. The new ecobee3 is no more difficult to install than the Nest. I’ve installed two of them already, and it’s easily less than a 30 minute job with only a screwdriver. To be a truly fair analysis, you should update the article to make the install cost $0.. at which point the ecobee trounces the competition.

    • Steve

      Agree 100%. Article is good, but the facts on the Ecobee are incorrect. I’ve self-installed both an Ecobee3 and a Nest. They are nearly identical, and neither requires professional installation. Both have little slots for each wire, clearly marked, and both have separated the wire plate from the thermostat, so you first attach the wires and screw the wiring plate to the wall, then you clip in the thermostat. It really is that easy.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      Thanks for your input, Steve! Many readers are defending the fact that installation of the Ecobee should be considered as DIY. I have not installed one myself, so to create this analysis, I had to go off of websites and other user reviews.

      I do agree, though. Ecobee trumps the competition WITH a pro installation. And if you install yourself, the Ecobee seems to blow the competition out of the water.

      • http://stevejenkins.com/ Steve Jenkins

        Thx for the quick reply, Sarah! First, I’m loving your blog! :) Second, I’d bet that whatever reviews you read were likely rushing to “print” and never actually had an ecobee3 in their hot little hands. Next time, read my review first… since it was technically the very first online review of the ecobee3. :) http://www.stevejenkins.com/blog/2014/09/ecobee-3-review/

        • Sarah Battaglia

          Wow, very in-depth review. I can see this being extremely helpful for first-time-owners. I’m dying to test one out now (especially with those awesome sensors!).

          • ecobee

            I can definitely second that, Sarah.

            Steve should be your go-to source for in-depth reviews, upgrade guides, and even helpful tips and tricks with respect to all ecobee products :)

      • biuniu

        I bought the ecobee3 after reading Steve’s review and I don’t regret the decision one bit.

    • Anonymous

      I would agree Steve. In our old house we had a first gen Nest and I just put in a Ecobee 3 in our new place. Ecobee 3 was no harder to install then the nest. Took me about 20-25 minutes. Also the initial setup of the Ecobee IMO is much better.

    • Vadim

      Agree 100%. I installed my ecobee3 in about an hour (had to replace a burnt fuse on my HVAC control panel), and it was pretty easy to do. Love my ecobee!

    • Christopher Ogden

      I agree with Steve, butting the install cost at $150 for the ecobee3 is unreasonable and unfair for the comparison.

    • Blaze0glory

      Much easier install than I anticipated and significantly easier than those I’ve talked to who have a Nest or Honeywell. No running the extra wire for common. Genius, Ecobee, genius!

  • Anonymous

    I would also like to add that the Ecobee 3 has less temperature swing then the Nest does. In our old home (and new house with a Honeywell basic thermostat) the temperature swing of the Nest was quite annoying. I have not experienced this with the Ecobee 3.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      Another great perk of the Ecobee3! Thanks for sharing!

  • Brent Feinberg

    I would put more emphasis on the fact that the ecobee 3 is the only thermostat that lets you put individual sensors in each room which makes a huge differences to how effective it is. You start the ecobee section with “Similar to the Nest”. You might then add, “What is different from the Nest is that…”
    Also, I realize this is a blog and you have limited time, but pulling the energy savings off of each manufacturers website is a bit unreliable since who knows how each of them conducted there tests. I was looking for actual tests done in the same environment for real results.
    Other than that, good article and thanks for taking the time to write it.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      You’re right, Brent. The sensors are a very unique feature that make the ecobee pretty amazing, and perhaps that should have been emphasized. As for actual testing, believe me, I would have loved to get my hands on all three! However, working within a strict “blog budget” made that impossible.

      Side note: I have officially added the ecobee3 to my Christmas wish list! So stay tuned for (hopefully) a follow-up article.

      • http://stevejenkins.com/ Steve Jenkins

        I bet Santa hooks you up, Sarah! :)

  • spepin

    I agree with the other reviewers who noted ecobee’s use of remote sensors as s definite plus. This feature alone places ecobee in a unique category. I’ve been a happy ecobee user practically since their first unit hit the ground. I’ve looked at others that came along in ecobee’s shadow, but none compare with the feature set of the ecobee.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      Yes, many readers have been raving about those sensors, and I can certainly see why. This unique feature is an exceptional selling point that catapults the ecobee3 past any competition.

      You mentioned that you’ve been a happy customer since ecobee got started. Have you had earlier models in your home? And have you seen any improvements that are worth mentioning?

      • spepin

        I purchased my first Ecobee Smart Thermostat in February, 2009. When I bought my current home last year, I purchased a 2nd Smart thermostat (due to the dual A/C systems). The biggest improvements between the original and the e3 would be the more intuitive user interface, huge improvements toward ease of install (no equipment interface to install), and of course the remote sensors that make the e3 more of a whole-house thermostat.

  • zeroskatr512

    It would be good to discuss actual features and system customization between the thermostats. For instance would one thermostat sacrifice comfort. I know the nest uses large temperature swings and wont start recovering the set-point any earlier than two hours. I find the Ecobee3 allows for prioritization of comfort while allowing for energy savings.

  • carmelo9313

    I love ecobee. They have the best products and support by far. They are also very innovative

  • Lumberzak

    Ditto on the sensor advantage of the Ecobee 3. Makes it far and away the better product. Also, the Ecobee 3 install is totally DIY with an excellent customer service hotline to help guide the home owner thru the process. Can’t lose with the Ecobee 3!

  • Josh L.

    I spent much time on looking at these three thermostats as well as a few of the other Honeywell systems. In the end I went with buying two Ecobee3 systems. Some things I like about the Ecobee3:

    -No vampire power
    -Thermostat Power Extender Kit (PEK)
    -No Google spying
    -Features advertised all work
    -Remote Sensors
    -Active community
    -Many settings can be customized.
    -Web management
    -Ecobee listens to it’s customers

    I have both a 2 stage heating/2 stage cooling and a 2 stage heating/1 stage cooling. I installed both of mine this week. I used the included Thermostat Power Extender Kit (PEK) for each installation and it’s working great. I have 2 remote sensors that came with each device and another 4 for a total of 6. You can decide which sensors are factored into monitoring the temperature average and also the ability to know which rooms are occupied to factor into the accuracy.

    The support team was fabulous. Before I purchased my devices I analyzed my system and submitted the information to support. They were able to confirm my findings as well as give some suggestions as I did the installations myself. No need to pay anyone to install them for me. They also have many videos and documentation that can walk you through the installation. You can even download the Ecobee3 app before you have the thermostat to get a feel for the interface.

    Some things I look forward to having in the future:

    -IFTTT channel
    -Sensor data and management from within the mobile app.
    -Anonymous stats from other owners with similar home size/year/setup that I can compare my costs and usage to.
    -API access that can be used in Tasker, AutomateIT, and other apps to automate even further.

    I, like many others here that have commented, feel that Ecobee3 was the right choice and is preferred over any of the others reviewed. Ecobee3 with the PEK allows it to be compatible with most 24VAC systems. I think over the next year we will hear about Ecobee3 more and more. Good luck to all looking for a smart thermostat.

    • Josh L.

      Just having the system average out the temperatures among those rooms I want has lowered the amount of times the system kicks on. I turn off the sensor from the equation for the Ecobee3 in the hallway where it’s always colder.

  • noway7454

    The nest may be “DIY” but so is the ecobee. The nest is a power stealing thermostat (doesn’t require common wire). Reading some reviews led me to believe this can be problematic in the long run. I opted for an ecobee and even with running new wire (old thermostat didn’t need a common) the install was very easy. They include a power extender kit (PEK) if you don’t have a common wire and cant run one. That looks pretty straight forward to install too. Bottom line, nest cuts corners while ecobee is doing it right!

  • Lobo5519

    I have to say the ecobee3 is just as easy to install as the nest. I’d you can install the thermostat you can install the PEK if you need it. My coworker was super nervous when he found out he didn’t have the C wire – I assured him several time and when er finally went to install it – he said it was a breeze. Dollar for dollar the ecobee is hands down a better value – and the temote sensors put it well above Nest!!

    • Sarah Battaglia

      It’s very convenient that ecobee includes the PEK with every purchase, instead of selling it separately. Another bonus!

  • OBK1352

    I have had an ecobee3 for a few weeks. The wifi and remote sensors make it perfect for keeping multiple rooms at a consistent temperature.

  • Gromph99

    The reason I choose ecobee was for greater control over when it uses aux heat. Which in my case costs 3 times as much as running the heat pump. My previous thermostat would turn on aux anytime the requested temp was 2 degrees higher then current. Now I can tell ecobee to not use aux unless the outside temp is too cold to use the heat pump

    • Sarah Battaglia

      I haven’t heard of that benefit before. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ken

    I recently purchased the Ecobee3 and it really does work. It improved comfort throughout the house and lowered the energy bill by about 1/3. However I don’t understand why the article indicates that the Ecobee3 cost more for install. You can DIY easily, at least as easy as the Nest.

  • Zack B

    I am a hac contractor, and what I say about the installation, is that if a home owner is able to install the Nest, the ecobee3 with common wire available is a breeze, and if they have the skill to install the thermostat, installing the pek if needed will not be complicated.

  • tahoebigah

    The Ecobee for me was really easy for me to install on my own when I was replacing the old round Honeywell tstat and took me about 20 minutes to swap and that was due to me taking my time. Once installed I spent about 10 minute viewing the menus and setting everything how I wanted. I love the data you can download from the web portal about usage as weel.

  • Dustin Hyatt

    I have 2 ecobees and they were very easy to install. It took me about 15-20min each and I am no electrician. Just follow the easy instructions and if that is not enough thwre are many videos online that walk you through installation.

  • Ecobee Lover

    Great article. I am torn between the Ecobee3 and the Nest after reading your review. Honestly people nowadays barely have any time on their hands, hence the Nest seems to be the better option if your looking to plug and walk away. Also for the less tech people like my aging parents. Now if your a bit of a tech like myself, I think you will enjoy the Ecobee3 better. You can install the remote sensors and fully customize your climate. For me the Ecobee3 is #1 with Nest coming in at #2.

  • Corrode

    Glad I went with Ecobee.

  • brentwarner

    I’ve been using the Ecobee since October when it was first released, and
    I have say it’s the best we’ve used so far! We had a NEST and a
    Honeywell smart thermostat, and I’ve seen a significant decrease in our
    utility bills. We have two different levels in our house in downtown
    Chicago and the ecobee3 has really allowed us to have a more consistent
    temperature throughout our house! I love it!

  • chago04

    I’ve had both the Nest and ecobee and while I loved my Nest, the change to ecobee from Nest was a piece of cake and it ended up saving me money. Also, I installed my own ecobee with no additional fees.

  • Jgoods41

    I have been installing Ecobee products for years. Each new product exceeds my expectations. There ease of installation and reliability trumps them all. Buy an Ecobee you won’t be disappointed

  • Black Beauty

    We have been using Ecobee3 for almost two weeks. It didn’t take too long for my husband to install by himself. He surely is smart, but not an electrician. I would say in less than 20 minutes, he was done with the installation. The only tool he used was a screwdriver. (Sorry, Steve, I feel like I am copying your words, but it was our true experience as well.) I am very satisfied with its appearance in our wall. It has a slim design and fine touch on the surface, definitely an attraction in the living room. I notice that our heating has not kicked on as often as it used to be and we could still stay pretty warm (around 70) at night.

  • Sdwyer271

    I love my ecobee 3. I purchased it 2 months ago.. Best thing I ever did for energy savings.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      I’m glad to hear it’s working out for you! May I ask what sort of savings you are achieving each month with the ecobee3? How does it compare to your last thermostat?

  • Will

    Got an Ecobee3 for Christmas and installed it myself too – with zero prior knowledge of how. I would imagine Nest + Ecobee is the same difficulty of installation as they connect in the same way.

    My own installation was tricky due to having a strange thermostat already connected, luckily the Ecobee included a PEK and there were enough online resources to guide me through the re-wiring I needed to do.

  • Kirk Millwood

    I’ve had the Ecobee 3 since the launch in September 2014. A year to year comparison of my energy usage shows a savings of ~$40 just since September.

  • skeeterfood

    There is definitely no reason to show the ecobee3’s installation cost as anything other than DIY $0.

  • Rob

    ecobee3 sure seems to be the best. It was very easy to install and setup was almost totally automated. After much research, I highly recommend ecobee3. I’m glad I chose it!

  • SidharthCKG

    Great product. Does things a smart thermostat need to deliver year around and does it very well. Never losses power or internet connectivity.

  • chrismkidd

    I went with ecobee3. Easy install in less than 30 mins. Holds great temps in the house. Love those sensors!

  • sohrobo

    I’ve been very impressed with both the level of support Ecobee offers as well as the fit and finish of the Ecobee3.

  • tiffanyann7

    My husband refuses to touch anything with wires, but decided to try installing our ecobee3. We have a 2 year old house and had the C wire so didn’t need the conversion and it was quick and super easy.

  • cadamsmanaus

    I’m an Ecobee owner and LOVE it! I researched all of them prior to buying and am so glad I chose the Ecobee3. Easy to install, great interface and remote sensors!

  • jsx1985

    EcoBee3 is all around better than the rest!!

  • Chris Ng

    I had a 2nd generation nest for 2 years before switching over to the Ecobee.
    I learned a long time ago that the savings that I could realize using a smart thermostat was not as important to my family as being able to provide a consistent comfortable environment that my entire family could agree with. This is where the ecobee excels at and the nest fell flat. We found that we were still constantly adjusting the thermostat multiple times a day to compensate for our family needs at that particular time (spending time in one part of the house and not the other etc). With the Ecobee, I have not had to change my set point temperature any longer.
    The savings on my heating bills are an extra bonus.

  • Ryan Gallagher

    For my applications Ecobee was the only one to consider. Good write up for others in the market though!

  • pup975

    If you are comfortable with opening up your furnace, installing the ecobee3 isn’t that hard. It’s nice that it comes with an adapter to give you a work around if you don’t have a C-wire.

  • Craig Myers

    Having owned all 3, the one staying in my home is the ecobee3. Install was DIY and only took about 30 minutes including the PEK module installation. The remote sensors are the best feature of this stat by allowing you to fine tune the temp settings over time by monitoring the sensor temps. For the ultimate in energy savings, the ecobee3 cannot be beat!

  • http://nedgoddard.com ned

    I’ve had an ecobee smart thermostat since 2011, when I completed an HVAC upgrade to a Trane system. The Trane thermostat was not available, so the contractor recommended the Ecobee Smart. That Contractor no longer services my HVAC unit, but ecobee support has stepped up and been behind their product the entire way. With Ecobee 3 unit, they just keep improving on a great device. This company is innovative, knows it’s industry, and excels at delivering a forward thinking product that others can just copy. Go with the Ecobee 3, you won’t be sorry.

  • leewtsn

    I just installed my own ecobee3 this week (very impressed with how easy it was for someone totally unexperienced like myself) and I continue to geek out at the free Home IQ monitoring system

  • John Livdahl

    To me the ecobee3 advantage is better home comfort with multiple sensors (have have 3 remote sensors installed).

  • Robert

    I installed my first ecobee3 in Dec 2014 after taking advantage of ecobee’s black friday sales. Basically received the thermostat with two free sensors. Had such good results I had no qualms with buying another ecobee for running my second upstairs system.

    I have one technical concern with your estimate. I’m not sure how many people actually use a natural gas cooling system, though I guess for the exercise the type of fuel isn’t important.

  • John Livdahl

    Happy I went with Ecobee and returned the Nest!!

  • Djgleitz

    I think think the Ecobee is the best for the money the sensors make it top on the list.

  • Andrew Tompsett

    Just wanted to let people know that it took me less than 30 minutes to remove and install my ecobee3. It was very easy to do.

  • jammer

    Installation wasn’t so easy for me since I had to run another pair of wires for the C wire. Not too bad overall though and gave me an excuse to buy a fish tape to get the wire in the wall. It will come in handy for those surround speakers too. I also have a humidifier that I’d like to hook up to the ecobee instead of on the furnace where it is heat only. I need to find some more time…

  • Jonathan Bailey

    I like the Ecobee for it’s ease of installation, ease of use, etc etc, but I can also see the benefits of the Nest Learning Thermostat too, with integration with IFTTT built in and quite a few other services and voice control due to Google’s acquisition of Nest, but Ecobee had me at it’s beautiful, almost iPhone-like design.

  • Aaron Matlock

    ecobee3 installed and now waiting to see the savings roll in! Install was very easy and definitely didn’t require a professional install. Adding Remote Sensors has made our home more comfortable using the Follow Me feature. Also, having one sensor in my office during the winter while I work from home is keeping the furnace from running due to the heat from the electronics, but the sensors in other rooms show that the heat would be turned if used alone or without the Follow Me. Cost savings and a comfortable work day!

  • LonW

    I install heating and cooling equipment for a living and have installed all 3 of these units. On looking at it from a DIY point of view the ecobee is the easiest.

  • Ricky Hobbs

    Ecobee is indeed an easy installation but to ensure how successful you were you need a company like Ecobee to partner with you. They have experienced HVAC people on the phones and will discuss your preinstall, they will remotely audit your install when completed, They are the only one of those being discussed that provides a “C” wire wiring harness to assist in resolving this correctly. I have studied the “Google” Nest in great detail and they have an easy install for you as the microprocessor in the stat makes the decisions for the wiring configuration including the “C” Wire. This is like a coin toss as to which wire the microprocessor in the Nest chooses for a “C” Wire rather than an installer or informed home owner properly determining wire for wire what is the correct installation. I have seen that many configurations will run but if the wrong stage is located in wrong place or “C” wire is done unknowingly in a fashion called “Wire Stealing”. When this occurs on a Nest by pulling current off a wire intended for microprocessor controller very intermittent and erratic behavior can result and over long term damage to unit and in some cases fire. So what I am saying “shortcuts” in performing an installation without manually verifying wiring and terminal connection could at first look like a good install only to find out months or years later you have used more power or fuel than you thought or more of the lifecycle of your equipment. Ricky Hobbs, Enterprise Architect

  • Ryan Harrison

    Purchased an ecobee3 in November and have not been disappointed yet. I love it!

  • René Dubé

    Ecobee WINS!!!!! ecobee is more willing to listen to the actual user. and still offer great customer service and support

  • Steve

    I had Nest for 2+ years. Moved to a new house and had issues with room temperature. Decided to go with Ecobee and have been very happy with that. The remote sensors have been everything I needed.

  • Bryce Shearer

    reviews are great, but it comes down to usability…the ecobee 3 wins there every time.

  • pitboss86

    Sarah I’ve got to say that $150 sounds veeery high for installation cost for the Ecobee3. I personally had a C wire already installed but I helped a friend put in an Ecobee3 and we used the power kit. It took maybe 20 extra minutes. Still our total time for the whole install was under an hour.

    • Sarah Battaglia

      Hi, Pitboss86. Lots of readers agree that the ecobee3 can (and should) be installed by the owner. While writing this blog, I had to work within a very small budget, so obtaining actual hands-on research was difficult. I had to go off of manufacturer’s websites and other consumer reviews. But I have to agree – After reading everyone’s comments, it does seem that ecobee installation should be classified as a DIY project, sending it far ahead of the Nest.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • BriansNickname

    I agree that the ecobee is as easy to install as Nest. I installed my own in less than 30 minutes, easy. I especially like the “Home IQ” feature on ecobee’s website that lets me track and even download my HVAC system’s activity. Fun to have that data!

  • Brock Parish

    Love my Ecobee3 and it is saving me money over the Nest because of the remote sensors.

  • Bryce Shearer

    For a home that’s large and has multiple temperature changes, the ecobee 3 with it’s sensors makes it the only option for a truly smart home to be efficient.

  • Jeff Quinton

    Ecobee is just as easy as any other to install and needs no professional help. This puts it farther ahead of any competition for smart thermostats.

  • Glenn

    I really like that the ecobee3 can be scheduled and not “learning me”. I like the quick shortcuts that it can provide and the ability to set a quick temp override. Ecobee3 is the best bet on a smart tstat

  • Bob

    Ecobee has an online check to see if your wiring system is compatible with their thermostat. If you have a non-standard system, you can take a picture of your thermostat showing the wiring with the cover removed and send it to them. They are very quick to respond and let me know that my system was compatible and how to hook it up.

    The primary reason that I went with the Ecobee3 was the way it can handle the auxiliary heat on a heat pump. Not only can you tell it not to use the auxiliary heat when the outside temperature is over a user defined setpoint, you can also tell it not to run the compressor if the outdoor temperature is below a user defined setpoint, when it’s so cold out that the compressor won’t be working efficiently and could actually damage it. The Nest also uses outdoor temperature for operating auxiliary heat, but it’s customization capabilities are limited compared to the Ecobee3. Some Nest users have resorted to telling the thermostat that it’s installed in a different zipcode so that it won’t run the auxiliary heat as often. Instead of trying to fool the system into working the way I want it to, I’d rather have the capability to make the adjustments myself.

    While the Ecobee would be appreciated by anyone who enjoys setting up parameters and setpoints to try to maximize the efficiency of the system, it’s also friendly to people who just want to install it and forget it. When setting it up you have to tell it your zipcode (for weather data) and what type of heating and air conditioning system you have. Based on that information, it will set up the default values that work well for the kind of system entered and you’re ready to go (no tweeking necessary).

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