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Ecoboo (Lite vs normal), Honeywell T9, Emerson Sensi Touch?

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Newbie
Jun 13, 2008
77 posts
287 upvotes
Lonon

Ecoboo (Lite vs normal), Honeywell T9, Emerson Sensi Touch?

Looking to upgrade the thermostat in our new home (has c wire). Currently using a basic honeywell one.

Our gas company is offering a $75 rebate until end of year for certain thermostats. I was considering either Ecobee (lite or regular), Honeywell T9, or Emerson Sensi Touch. Anyone has experience with either one?

I like the extra sensor feature (assuming its not a gimmick) so that might rule out the Sensi Touch. From my research the nest is a hard pass for me. I am techy, but I feel like I might just be overwhelmed with the ecobee options, but also concerned about the honeywell wifi problems. Ultimately it should be easy enough for my wife to use (on panel, phone, or google home/alexa).
10 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 11, 2009
6118 posts
2646 upvotes
Debtario
Got the ecobee 3 lite through the GREEN ON program and love it! Works much better than the old honeywell programmable t-stat, and this is on an ancient furnace from 1991!

It's a powerful thermostat, but I can't speak to the advanced room sensors etc as I just use it in hold mode and as a clock/wifi-enabled weather display.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
Member
Feb 27, 2007
476 posts
279 upvotes
Go with the Ecobee - when you get it setup use beestat.io to read the data it generates (and use their wiki to interpret and help configure) as it's much cleaner than the Ecobee website.

As to the light vs normal - the Normal includes the sensor but the light supports them if you want to add multiple; I find having a few around the house really helps with balancing your airflows and makes setting up the auto home/away feature super slick. Another thing to remember is that if you want the Ecobee to control another piece of equipment (like a humidifier) you can only do this with the normal version.
Sr. Member
Oct 19, 2020
808 posts
496 upvotes
GTA
The full ecobee has support for controlling one air quality accessory - humidifier, overcool to dehumidify as needed, signal to slow fan on demand in cooling mode to improve dehumidification (furnace must support this to use it), or hrv/erv control.

Of those, imo only a/c dehumidify on demand is of much value.
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2017
1991 posts
1101 upvotes
I took advantage of the free Ecobee Lite by the government years ago

It hasnt failed me. Love the fact I can turn on and shut off the furnace wherever I am. I also bought the sensors which works very well.
Deal Expert
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Nov 28, 2016
21065 posts
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Out west
Ecobee all the way. I have two for a zone system for almost 3 years now. With the addition of sesnors, how much you can configure and tweak it, and the remote on/off feature, its a no brainer
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
3004 posts
1751 upvotes
Mississauga
Get the Lite version. Unless you plan to add and control other equipment like dehumidifier and such, it does not make sense to pay the premium for a higher version. I would also suggest against buying the room sensors in haste. Take your time to understand if you really need it. My personal opinion is that these room sensors have very limited use case and are not that beneficial for everyone.

Also, some of the comments might make you believe that Ecobee can control and manage the airflow based on these sensors, but that is not true. You can only manage airflow manually playing around with the dampers inside each vent. Or you will need to purchase and install smart vent registers for it to happen automatically. Ecobee cannot, and will not send different amount of air to each room based on these sensors. What these sensors do is to detect which room you are in at the moment, and then uses temperature in that room to be the target temperature. For example, rooms upstairs are generally hotter than the main floor by a few degrees in summer. So lets say you have Ecobee set to 24 degrees. Without the sensors, Ecobee would run the AC and stop when the temperature at thermostat(main floor) reaches 24 degrees.
However, you are sleeping upstairs and that room might still be at 27 degrees. Now if you had a sensor in that room, Ecobee will change the target and keep running the AC till it can get down the temp in that room to 24 degrees. And this means that your main floor now is going to be much colder than 24 degrees.

So in summary, these sensors do not adjust the airflow, they just help Ecobee decide which room it should use to hit the target temperature. In most cases, you can do these calculations yourself and you need not spend more money on sensors for just this.
For example, if you normally sleep at 10PM, and from your experience you know that your bedroom is usually 2 degrees warmer than your living room,and you want your bedroom to be at 24, then you can program your ecobee to start at 9PM and target 22 degrees at the thermostat in the living room.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Nov 28, 2016
21065 posts
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Out west
IndyBeak wrote: Get the Lite version. Unless you plan to add and control other equipment like dehumidifier and such, it does not make sense to pay the premium for a higher version. I would also suggest against buying the room sensors in haste. Take your time to understand if you really need it. My personal opinion is that these room sensors have very limited use case and are not that beneficial for everyone.

Also, some of the comments might make you believe that Ecobee can control and manage the airflow based on these sensors, but that is not true. You can only manage airflow manually playing around with the dampers inside each vent. Or you will need to purchase and install smart vent registers for it to happen automatically. Ecobee cannot, and will not send different amount of air to each room based on these sensors. What these sensors do is to detect which room you are in at the moment, and then uses temperature in that room to be the target temperature. For example, rooms upstairs are generally hotter than the main floor by a few degrees in summer. So lets say you have Ecobee set to 24 degrees. Without the sensors, Ecobee would run the AC and stop when the temperature at thermostat(main floor) reaches 24 degrees.
However, you are sleeping upstairs and that room might still be at 27 degrees. Now if you had a sensor in that room, Ecobee will change the target and keep running the AC till it can get down the temp in that room to 24 degrees. And this means that your main floor now is going to be much colder than 24 degrees.

So in summary, these sensors do not adjust the airflow, they just help Ecobee decide which room it should use to hit the target temperature. In most cases, you can do these calculations yourself and you need not spend more money on sensors for just this.
For example, if you normally sleep at 10PM, and from your experience you know that your bedroom is usually 2 degrees warmer than your living room,and you want your bedroom to be at 24, then you can program your ecobee to start at 9PM and target 22 degrees at the thermostat in the living room.
Without even one sensor, the hallway or spot you have the Ecobee installed is the temperature of the house. Which is usually a spot that you just walk by, not actually use like a kitchen, rec room or bedroom

The rest you said is correct, but you can make your main use areas more comfortable since you take the hallway temperature out of the equation
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
3004 posts
1751 upvotes
Mississauga
WikkiWikki wrote: Without even one sensor, the hallway or spot you have the Ecobee installed is the temperature of the house. Which is usually a spot that you just walk by, not actually use like a kitchen, rec room or bedroom

The rest you said is correct, but you can make your main use areas more comfortable since you take the hallway temperature out of the equation
Indeed. In summary, the sensors just decide where in the house the temperature readings are taken at. Over the time, most homeowners would already have an idea of temperature differentials across different parts of the house. So it is just a matter of programming the thermostat. Also, not sure how it is setup out west where you live, but in GTA, almost every home I have been to, the thermostat is usually placed somewhere in or close to living room.
Sr. Member
Oct 19, 2020
808 posts
496 upvotes
GTA
IndyBeak wrote: Get the Lite version. Unless you plan to add and control other equipment like dehumidifier and such, it does not make sense to pay the premium for a higher version. I would also suggest against buying the room sensors in haste. Take your time to understand if you really need it. My personal opinion is that these room sensors have very limited use case and are not that beneficial for everyone.

Also, some of the comments might make you believe that Ecobee can control and manage the airflow based on these sensors, but that is not true. You can only manage airflow manually playing around with the dampers inside each vent. Or you will need to purchase and install smart vent registers for it to happen automatically. Ecobee cannot, and will not send different amount of air to each room based on these sensors. What these sensors do is to detect which room you are in at the moment, and then uses temperature in that room to be the target temperature. For example, rooms upstairs are generally hotter than the main floor by a few degrees in summer. So lets say you have Ecobee set to 24 degrees. Without the sensors, Ecobee would run the AC and stop when the temperature at thermostat(main floor) reaches 24 degrees.
However, you are sleeping upstairs and that room might still be at 27 degrees. Now if you had a sensor in that room, Ecobee will change the target and keep running the AC till it can get down the temp in that room to 24 degrees. And this means that your main floor now is going to be much colder than 24 degrees.

So in summary, these sensors do not adjust the airflow, they just help Ecobee decide which room it should use to hit the target temperature. In most cases, you can do these calculations yourself and you need not spend more money on sensors for just this.
For example, if you normally sleep at 10PM, and from your experience you know that your bedroom is usually 2 degrees warmer than your living room,and you want your bedroom to be at 24, then you can program your ecobee to start at 9PM and target 22 degrees at the thermostat in the living room.
It can be set up to average the reading of all sensors at all times, ignore occupancy.

imo for most applications there's no benefit to sensors. They're useful when the thermostat location isn't great, especially for cooling. (ie room t-stat is on east side of the house so the stat doesn't pick up heat from west sun)
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
3004 posts
1751 upvotes
Mississauga
insertname2020 wrote: It can be set up to average the reading of all sensors at all times, ignore occupancy.

imo for most applications there's no benefit to sensors. They're useful when the thermostat location isn't great, especially for cooling. (ie room t-stat is on east side of the house so the stat doesn't pick up heat from west sun)
Indeed. The point I have been stressing upon is that as a homeowner, you already know what sort of temperature differentials you have in different parts of your house. So you can easily program your thermostat to compensate/adjust without necessarily needing the sensor.

But if you have money to spare, then why not. Have as many sensors as you want. :)

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