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The latest generation of ecobee smart thermostats is here with the ecobee4. This thermostat retains all of the features that makes the ecobee3 great and adds in a few new tricks. The form factor and the controls are all still the same, with the app that shares the same look and feel with the base thermostat. This integration and overlap of controls makes controlling the ecobee4 easy and intuitive whether you’re doing it from your smart device or at the thermostat.
One key addition to the ecobee4 is the inclusion of Alexa into the thermostat. If you didn’t have an Amazon Voice Assistant before, now you will. The blue bar at the top of the thermostat lets you know that Alexa is listening and ready to respond to your spoken commands. There is also a built in speaker, so you can hear her responses. With the speaker, you can also hear the weather, listen to music (although Spotify connect is not available), or tune into the latest podcast.
ecobee recognizes that not everyone is into digital voice assistants, so they have created the option to disable the Alexa completely. When you do this, the thermostat no longer listens at all. It is a pretty nice feature, especially if you already have an Echo or Dot near where the ecobee4 is located.
The ecobee4 retains the ability of the ecobee3 to have remote sensors connected, and this is one of the best features of any smart thermostat. If you have a large home with multiple rooms that you regularly go into, knowing and maintaining the comfort level of only the rooms that are occupied is a nice way to save money. And if you have zone heating, then you can save even more.
What Are Other Money Savers With the ecobee4?
You’ve already taken the first step toward reducing your energy usage and bill by deciding to get a smart thermostat. So how do you get the most bang for your buck? Well, the first step is to make sure that you have set up your schedules and that your away temperature and home temperatures are set at places where you will save energy and money.
With the ecobee4, however, you can extend that savings by using the optional (and included) sensors. When you have those sensors, you can enable the Follow Me function. When you have that enabled, then your ecobee4 will manage the temperature in only rooms that it detects have recently been occupied. Essentially, the comfort setting that you choose will follow you across your home, so that only the rooms you are in will be kept at your chosen temperature.
The way this works is this:
1. The ecobee4 gets the readings for temperature and occupancy from every sensor you have set up and that works with your comfort settings
2. Depending on where you spend the most time, the thermostat ranks the sensors and rooms in order of importance
3. Based on those rankings, the thermostat will set the optimal temperature for whatever comfort setting is currently active.
If the ecobee4 doesn’t detect any motion from any sensors for at least 30 minutes then it defaults back to whatever schedule you have set.
Tips for Making Your Home More Comfortable
If you want to save money, you can’t just install a smart thermostat and expect it to do all the work. There are steps you can take that will help make sure your home stays comfortable and that you aren’t leaking heat, energy, and money.
The first thing you should do is get a thermal scan done for your home. Basically, a professional comes out and takes video and still photos of your home with a thermal camera. This will show you exactly where you are losing heat from (in the winter). Remember that heat tries to go from where it’s warmest to where it’s coldest.
Once you see where you are leaking heat, you will know where to focus your energy and efforts. Some of the most common problem areas are:
● Attics and crawl spaces that need better insulation
● Windows, including the areas around the window where it is installed
● Door jambs, and other openings
● Unseen gaps in insulation that are allowing heat to escape through your walls
● Includes Alexa, which can be turned off if you don’t want it
● Receives readings from external sensors, which is like having more than one thermostat
● Easy to use interface
● Looks great with nearly every décor
● Helps you save up to 23 percent on your heating and cooling bills right away
● Alexa speaker is not very good and does not have the smart sensing ability of the Echo and Dot
There are a lot of different smart thermostats on the market, and the ecobee4 is one of the premiere flagship models. When you get it and install it, you’ll understand why. From the built in Alexa to the sheer intuitiveness of being able control the thermostat from your smart phone, you’ll be glad you chose the ecobee4.