ecobee FAQs

What features are new in ecobee3?

ecobee3 has several new features available. Below is a list of top features added to ecobee3

  • Wireless Remote Sensors (operating on 915MHz)
  • Auto-wire detection after installation
  • Automatically determines type of equipment for quick initial setup
  • Auto-jumpers Rc and Rh
  • Separate O/B terminal to allow an additional stage of auxiliary heat – supports 4H/2C in heat pump configuration
  • Solid state relays – build to last
  • Accessory terminals – support for ventilator, ERV, HRV, Humidifier, Dehumidifier
  • Capacitive touch screen
  • 3.5" QVGA display
  • Thermostat motion sensor (Passive IR sensor)
  • Thermostat proximity sensor
  • Power Extender Kit with pre-wired equipment side wires for 4 to 5 wire conversion included in the box
  • New terminal blocks, wire labels, level, small and large trim plate for quick and easy installation
  • Guided setup after installation
  • Redesigned mobile app and web portal
  • Mobile app adds new features such as – Registration through mobile app, add thermostats through mobile app, group management; setup schedule, comfort setting through mobile app

Savings from your ecobee

ecobee customers in the US saved an average of 23% on their heating and cooling costs, based on analysis conducted on October 2, 2013.

How are energy savings calculated?

ecobee calculates energy savings by correlating how long your heating and cooling equipment run to local weather conditions. Energy savings are calculated relative to a commonly used desired temperature of 72°F (22°C).

How does changing my desired temperature (set point) affect energy savings?

As the difference between indoor and outdoor temperature increases, the rate at which a home exchanges heat with its surroundings also increases. To maintain a constant indoor temperature, your heating or cooling system has to run longer to keep up when this exchange increases. You can save energy by minimizing the difference between your indoor temperature and the outdoor temperature. This means setting a higher desired temperature during the cooling months and a lower set point during the heating months.

What are some other factors that may impact the actual energy savings?

Your individual energy savings will vary based on geographic location, local weather conditions, type of heating and cooling equipment, size of home, and your home’s energy-tightness

ecobee energy savings

Is there a quick reference for all new icons ecobee3 uses?

Yes, please see below for a quick overview of icons used in ecobee3.

ecobee icons

Which HVAC systems is ecobee3 compatible with?

ecobee3 is compatible 95% of residential heating and cooling systems in North America. To ensure ecobee3 will work in your home, please usethe online compatibility checker (

ecobee3 is compatible with 95% of equipment out there that is designed to work with 24VAC controls using industry standard connections (i.e., R, Y1, Y2, W1, W2, G etc). Any type of HVAC equipment that requires a communication serial bus between thermostat and HVAC – ecobee will not be compatible with. These are usually reserved for the manufacturers’ high-end product line.

More specifically, ecobee3 is not compatible with:

  • Proprietary OEM communication protocols
  • Millivolt or directly compatible with Line-Voltage (i.e.110/220V)
  • Two-wire only – will need another conductor or Common-Maker (Common-Maker for Si only).
  • Zone Controls with T/T inputs – requires isolation relays to work.

Is the equipment interface module compatible with ecobee3?

ecobee3 does not require the equipment interface module and is not compatible with it. If you currently have the equipment interface module installed, you will need to remove it from the circuit and wire the thermostat directly to the control board of the furnace.

Does ecobee3 support wired remote sensors?

ecobee3 supports wireless remote sensors. Wired remote sensors are compatible with Smart, EMS, and EMS Si.

Please note: to use wired remote sensors with Smart and EMS, you will need to add a remote sensor module to the equipment interface module.

Does ecobee3 support geofencing?

ecobee3 does not currently havegeo-fencing capabilities. When examining varying technologies to use with our product, we determined that wireless remote sensors when used in conjunction with smart algorithms such as Smart Recovery and advanced features such as “Follow Me” and “Smart Home/Away” provide a superior experience for homeowners.

Can I restrict access to ecobee3 thermostat settings, so that only authorized persons have access to the thermostat?

Yes, your ecobee3 has access control settings that prevents anyone without an access code to make changes to ecobee3.To configure access control on ecobee3, select Menu -> Settings -> Access Control, select Enable Access Control and enter a 4 digit access code.

Which smart algorithms does ecobee3 support?

ecobee3 supports the following smart algorithms. For more information, learn about all the ways ecobee is smarter.

How ecobee Works

Can ecobee3 control ERV and HRV remotely?

ecobee3 can control ERV and HRV remotely using the ecobee residential mobile app and the ecobee residential web portal.

How does the wireless remote sensor communicate with the thermostat?

The wireless remote sensors use 915MHz frequency band to communicate with ecobee3. You do not need Wi-Fi connectivity for communication between wireless remote sensors and the ecobee3. Furthermore, the communication between the wireless sensor and ecobee3 is encrypted and one way (sensor provides information to ecobee3).

How many wireless remote sensors can you support on the thermostat?

ecobee3 can support up to 32 wireless remote sensors.

How far can the wireless remote sensors be installed from the thermostat?

The wireless remote sensors can communicate with the thermostat when placed at a distance of up to 45 feet. This distance includes any walls and floors that may exist between the wireless remote sensor and the thermostat.

How do the wireless remote sensors power themselves?

The wireless remote sensors use a coin cell battery (CR2032). The battery has a life of about 4 years.
Where can I check my wireless remote sensors readings?

Temperature and occupancy readings from the wireless remote sensors are currently only displayed on the ecobee3 thermostat. To check the data being reported by remote sensors, please go to Menu -> Sensors and scroll down to see the sensor data. Sensor data is reported as Temperature (Occupancy)
Once Home IQ rollout is complete in the new web portal, temperature and occupancy readings from the wireless remote sensors will become available through Home IQ in the web portal.

Temperature readings from wireless remote sensors are currently not available in the mobile app

How do Smart Home/Away and Follow Me features work?

Smart Home/Away

  • Smart Home/Away is a feature that applies all the sensors in your network – including the sensors in your thermostat. Smart Home/Away will work by following your schedule unless any sensor in your network is in conflict with your schedule. In other words, if your ecobee3 senses that you are home during a scheduled Away period, or away during a scheduled Home period, it will automatically override your schedule by placing you in Smart Home/Away mode to maximize comfort (Smart Home) and savings (Smart Away)
  • You can configure Smart Home/Away by navigating to the Main-Menu -> Sensors -> Smart Home/Away (Enable / Disable). Enabling Smart Home/Away will use your network of sensors and thermostat to detect occupancy. Disabling Smart Home/Away will keep strictly to your schedule.

Follow Me

  • Follow Me is a feature that applies to a subset of the sensors in your network – including the sensor in your thermostat. You pick and choose which sensors you want to participate in Follow Me by navigating to the Main-Menu -> Sensors -> Follow Me and selecting the check-boxes in the list of paired sensors.
  • When Follow Me is enabled, your ecobee3 will look for motion triggered in any of the sensors that you selected in your network. If a sensor in the selected list detects motion, the temperature reading from that sensor will be used by your ecobee3 to decide when to operate your heating or cooling system. In that way, your ecobee3 ensures that you are comfortable in the rooms that you are occupying. If more than one sensor detects motion, the average of these sensors will be used. Your ecobee3 makes changes gradually when many sensors are detecting motion to make sure there are no sudden and large changes for your heating and cooling system.
  • When Follow Me is disabled, your ecobee3 will continuously use the average temperature readings from all the sensors that you’ve selected as the desired temperature to control your ecobee3. So say for example you have a room in your house that is far from your thermostat, but you want this room to be at the right temperature, regardless if motion is occurring. Simply set Follow Me to Disable and only select this room. Your ecobee3 will then only use the temperature in this room to decide when to operate your heating or cooling system.

How does temperature averaging work with ecobee3 and Follow Me?

Follow me uses the average of each of your sensors that you’ve selected to participate – however it’s not always an equal average. From the moment a sensor in your network has detected motion, its temperature data is gradually included to calculate the set-point of your thermostat. This is by design to ensure that your set-point doesn’t suddenly jump the instant motion is seen and cause problems for your equipment to keep up. For the same reason, from the moment a sensor stops seeing motion, its temperature data is gradually removed from the calculation of set-point.

If your desire is to continually average all the sensors equally in the network you’ve selected, simply disable follow me.