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Ecobee SmartThermostat installation

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  • Oct 25th, 2019 11:36 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
20 posts
2 upvotes
Burlington

Ecobee SmartThermostat installation

I'm planning on hiring a local company to install an Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control, this is the latest/most current version. I'm not handy at all and terrified of electrical work and don't want to burn my place down lol. I live in a condo in the GTA. The condo is maybe about 20 years old, so not all that ancient, just to give an idea what HVAC and electrical system it might have. The current thermostat is one of them old ones with mercury. I did not disassemble it so I don't know what wires are used for it.

Can someone give me a ballpark estimate how much an installation would cost? I realize I don't have all the info here, but I'm just looking at best case and worst case. What's the range I can expect the company to ask for? I know nothing about thermostat installation and how much it typically costs and I'm trying to avoid overpaying by a lot so an estimate would be appreciated. Thank you!
20 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 21, 2005
12529 posts
11346 upvotes
Ecobee may not be able to use with your condo heating system. You need to find out what is used to heat your condo.
If you condo is heated by central boiler hot water heating system, you are not saving any money by using Ecobee as your condo fee will cover the heating cost to run the boiler system. If your condo is individually heated and cooled by electricity, I may be wrong, Ecobee cannot be used with electrical heating.
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Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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SW corner of the cou…
embguy wrote: If your condo is individually heated Ecobee cannot be used with electrical heating.
Thermostats are usually powered by 24VDC (see all the threads about smart thermostats not functioning because they don;t get 24 VDC). Baseboard heater thermostats are powered by 120 or 240VAC.
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[OP]
Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
20 posts
2 upvotes
Burlington
I don't believe we have a central boiler. There's a hot water tank in a closet in my bathroom and an air conditioning unit in the same area plus an air conditioning part outside (I don't know what it's called, I know it's part of the AC unit because it buzzes when the AC is on). I have gas heating and the AC runs on electricity; so in the winter my gas bill goes up and the electrical bill goes down and the opposite happens in the summer. The HVAC units in my condo from what I understand are not centralized.

Definitely no baseboard heaters here, I know what those are. Heat comes out of vents (same vents cold air goes out of).
Jr. Member
Sep 26, 2016
128 posts
116 upvotes
Longueuil, QC
You probably have central AC + gas furnace. The unit you have in your bathroom's closet is HVAC system/control. It would work with ecobee, however, there is chance that you dont have C wire at your themorstats, but then you can use the Ecobee power extender kit which you need to connect to your HVAC control board.
Deal Guru
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Sep 21, 2005
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@TripleM11 You can use the Ecobee to control your gas furnace and your split unit A/C.

To your original question, changing a thermostat requires 30 - 60 minutes. But the HVAC guy may charge travel time to and from your condo. My guess is 2 hours labor charge if the cable going to the 5 wires. 2 for heating, 2 for cooling and 1 for the power. There may be another hour charge to fish another wire between the furnace and the thermostat location if your cable has only 4 wires. Do you have a humidifier mounted on your furnace? If yes, you need more wires to control the thermostat by Ecobee(non-lite version)
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[OP]
Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
20 posts
2 upvotes
Burlington
This sounds about right if I were to guess. Thanks! I don't know if I have a humidifier mounted on the furnace but I don't think I do. I wouldn't be shocked if he needs to fish another wire, the old thermostat is the old style one and maybe there are not enough wires but I guess he will scope it out and tell me. So I guess I'm looking at 4 hours worst case. What's the typical hourly rate of HVAC?

On top of all this I would obviously need the actual Ecobee unit itself which is $329.
Deal Guru
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Sep 21, 2005
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TripleM11 wrote: This sounds about right if I were to guess. Thanks! I don't know if I have a humidifier mounted on the furnace but I don't think I do. I wouldn't be shocked if he needs to fish another wire, the old thermostat is the old style one and maybe there are not enough wires but I guess he will scope it out and tell me. So I guess I'm looking at 4 hours worst case. What's the typical hourly rate of HVAC?

On top of all this I would obviously need the actual Ecobee unit itself which is $329.
I don't live in ON. There may be government subsidies for switching to smart thermostat including installation. Search RFD.
I got my "Ecobee 3 Lite + 1 room sensor" free + installed from AB energy saving program a couple years ago.
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[OP]
Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
20 posts
2 upvotes
Burlington
Sadly when Ford got in he cancelled the rebate programs, they used to be called Save On Energy. I don't remember what the actual rebate amount was but I'm sure there was some kind of incentive to install smart thermostats. Well, it's gone now.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2005
2699 posts
815 upvotes
North York
My Ecobee3 Lite came with a 4 to 5 wire power adapter kit so no need to fish a 5th wire and you still maintain full functionality of your furnace and AC. It took me about 10 mins to install and another 5 to mount new display.
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2005
2699 posts
1084 upvotes
Mississauga
There is still an enbridge rebate in Ontario for smart thermostats.
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
2482 posts
1451 upvotes
Alliston, ON
thriftshopper wrote: Thermostats are usually powered by 24VDC (see all the threads about smart thermostats not functioning because they don;t get 24 VDC). Baseboard heater thermostats are powered by 120 or 240VAC.
24VAC not DC
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
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schade wrote: 24VAC not DC
Thank for the correction. If it is 24 VAC, does it mean that any electrical circuit hooked up to 24 VAC power doesn't care about polarity?
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Jr. Member
Oct 23, 2012
119 posts
8 upvotes
Im having issues figuring out how to get the PEK installed. Anyone have any recommendations for who I can call to get it installed for me? Im just west of GTA.
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
5078 posts
1540 upvotes
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the only challenges is some condos furnace has a special thermostat made for condo hvac systems with a speed selector switch low/med/high but the standard residential houses thermostat only have a fan on/off, and possibly an optional circulate mode, so the nest or echo bee thermostat may not work if this is your existing thermostt, however if ur condo uses the standard thermostat with the heat/cool. fan on/off/auto then you should be okay to switch, and if u dont know, hire someone
Hi
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
20 posts
2 upvotes
Burlington
WizzChris wrote: Im having issues figuring out how to get the PEK installed. Anyone have any recommendations for who I can call to get it installed for me? Im just west of GTA.
In the Ecobee site there's a page where you can enter your address and they will send you a few options for installers. Here you go : https://www.ecobee.com/find-a-pro/
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
20 posts
2 upvotes
Burlington
GoodFellaz wrote: the only challenges is some condos furnace has a special thermostat made for condo hvac systems with a speed selector switch low/med/high but the standard residential houses thermostat only have a fan on/off, and possibly an optional circulate mode, so the nest or echo bee thermostat may not work if this is your existing thermostt, however if ur condo uses the standard thermostat with the heat/cool. fan on/off/auto then you should be okay to switch, and if u dont know, hire someone
I'm the OP. My thermostat has a Fan Auto or On and a Heat/Cool/Off so I think I'm alright. Thank you for the info.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 12, 2009
20923 posts
9183 upvotes
Toronto
TripleM11 wrote: I'm the OP. My thermostat has a Fan Auto or On and a Heat/Cool/Off so I think I'm alright. Thank you for the info.
Is the AC cooling flow distributed by the same fan motor that operates during heating? If your current thermostat has the noted switch settings, it sounds like what you find in a typical house. I suggest you give DIY a try. In Toronto it cannot be cheap to hire a handy man to come over even if it is 15 minutes of work. The ecobee toll free assistance line is really good. The people answering the calls know their stuff. I had my installation done by the Ontario carbon tax program but I helped a few people do their installations. Once I called the toll free line just to make sure everything was done right. I emailed pictures to them and we went over the wiring from the photos. They confirmed the wiring was correct before I energize the installation. As a check of your current thermostat wiring, why don't you post a picture.
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[OP]
Newbie
Mar 8, 2013
20 posts
2 upvotes
Burlington
Update...I went ahead and booked a pro to come in. My HVAC hasn't been inspected or tuned up in years and the AC is making a gurgling noise when it's on. There is definitely cold air so AC works and they're just gonna investigate and fix the gurgling noise. So they will come in to install the Ecobee, tune up and inspect the HVAC and find out what's causing the noise and fix it. HVAC is so important, it's used daily so I don't mind having it looked at by a pro.
Deal Addict
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Aug 12, 2007
4685 posts
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Waterloo
thriftshopper wrote: Thank for the correction. If it is 24 VAC, does it mean that any electrical circuit hooked up to 24 VAC power doesn't care about polarity?
In the context of a thermostat, the C wire is "Common" and the R wire provides power ( 24V AC ). Thermostats have relay contacts on the other terminals and provide the voltage coming thru R to the other contacts as per control required.
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