Ecobee - Anyone actually using it?

I went all in with HE and Ecobee.

First, I worried about a 'who's on first' control (what is controlling the ecobee at any given time), so rather than having options, I elected to control everything from HE. I then flex the setpoints against 4 or 5 variables. Worth noting I have 2 zones, 1 with just heat and 1 with heat/AC.

  1. Alarm state (which implies presence), differences for HOME/AWAY/STAY(sleep)
  2. Outside Temp, my 100 yr old house just needs more heat supplied during the coldest darkest days in winter, so I have:
    a) <20,
    b) 21->32,
    c) 33->65,
    d) 65->80 and
    e) 80+
  3. Contact Sensors = Off (included a 1 minute delay for the off, did not want to switch off the HVAC if just opening the door to let the dog in/out)
  4. Finally an override virtual switch (just in case the old father in-law is cold and wants to bump up the heat, gave him a button to enable override, then local control @ the actual thermo is allowed. Virtual auto turns off when Alarm is set to either AWAY or STAY resetting everything.

Cost me 24 rules to set all that up(!), but it's rock solid, yet highly flexible once built. (was 1 piston in webcore, but oh well :slight_smile: )

Additionally I run the air circulator 100% of the time (even if door/windows are open) as I have an on system passive air filter that of course only works if air is moving (more rules).

No programming in Ecobee at all, disabled all eco settings, etc (as I have programmed for it with the rules).

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So, I'm not sure I understand the advantage of what you're doing. Ecobee more or less does all of this on its own, except maybe not as fast to respond for #1 or not at all for #3. It seems like a lot of work for what is probably a very small marginal savings in energy. It seems that a standard Z-wave/Zigbee tstat would have worked, though I can understand wanting something a little more mass-market and perhaps more reliable like the Ecobee.

I work in the energy efficiency space, and there's some proof that energy consumption does go up in households who replace a properly programmed thermostat with a learning thermostat -- but there's also some links to improvements in perceived comfort (e.g. #4). I guess the decision to finely control the tstat comes down to what you value most.

Why do any of us play in home automation. :slight_smile: Half for the fun of it. Don't tell the wife!

However, as you say 1) no smart thermo is any good with presence. It can monitor the room it is in, but that is it. Sure ecobee has sensors, but so don't I (with the alarm). 2) As far as I know, no outside temp sensors or online weather data available in ecobee - have not looked in a while, since the above works. 3) not available in ecobee alone, we LIVE with the doors open as soon as it is remotely nice, this shuts down cost automatically. 4) basically are requirement (the override idea) once you move set point management into home automation and not in the device -otherwise how else do you give control to the humans. :smiley:

Just my 2 cents. When all logic fails, I repeat my first line here - for the fun!

I use the ST ported Ecobee Suite which supports any Ecobee mode you want. Just do a search here on the forum.

I am trying to move off as many custom apps/drivers as possible. Working on reliability and performance.

I have my Ecobee's connected to HE (and Vera), but I don't have any automation rules that control it. It's primarily connected just so I can have voice control of my heating and cooling. However, I have a couple of things that I'm not happy about with the Ecobee, and presumably I could leverage HE and some other tools to provide at least some of the functionality.

  1. Ecobee doesn't recognize that I have 2 separate thermostats in the same house when it comes to their reporting. I get 2 separate reports that show I use less heating and cooling than the average in my area. But, that's not correct, because it's not adding the stats for both thermostats together before it generates a single report. I get 2 reports.
  2. Those reports are pretty useless. In MN, there's no code that requires a Manual-J assessment to size an HVAC system. You might have 2 identical houses next door to each other and one will have a 150k BTU furnace, and the other will have a 75k BTU furnace. Since Ecobee doesn't know the BTU or efficiency of the furnace, the report will show the guy with the 75k BTU furnace that he uses much more heat than others.

I have all of the specs on my furnaces. I know the first and second stage BTU values, and the efficiency of each one. If I fed all of this info into something, I could do some awesome stuff:

  • virtual Manual-J to calculate heat gain/loss of the structure
  • Evaluate improvements such as additional insulation, new door seals, or new windows to calculate effectiveness of the improvement and ROI based on current energy costs.
  • A REAL comparison of how much heating/cooling I use compared to similar houses in a similar climate

All I have now is mostly anecdotal information on improvements. The previous owners kept the thermostat in the low 60's during the winter, and their heating bills were $500-700/mo. When I moved in, I immediately put new door/window seals in, replaced one of the furnaces, sealed all of the can lights in the ceiling, and blew another 18 inches of insulation into the attic. My most expensive heating bill over the last 5 years was $220 for the month, and I keep my thermostat set at 70-72F.


Then yes, the only mode you can set is away.

A problem with the Ecobee's is they are cloud dependent, Ecobee goes down, as they have this afternoon and your carefully set up scheme you set up on Hubitat stops working and your thermostats get stuck at the setting they were last set to by Hubitat.

I don't think there are any non-cloud alternatives, I wish there were.


There are several Z-wave thermostat alternatives. That said, you can only access them through hubitat. They would have no wifi connection.

Just for the record, the Ecobee servers have been wildly unreliable, which you can verify, check, or get notifications at

The thermostat itself has been rock-solid for me for several years and operates just fine offline, but you cannot depend on anything requiring integration, which is through the Internet.

Personally I view the Ecobee API as just one more failure point, and won't be integrating mine with HE in any way for that reason.

I'm confused. The failure of the ecobee server is a reason to not integrate it with Hubitat? Why is that? If the server is down you can't control the thermostat from anything...Hubitat, the ecobee app, nothing. That's a reason to not have it integrated with HE?

I think people are referring to the API servers.

There is only one set of servers.

Oh I see that.

I’d be willing to switch to a zwave unit if one can be found to support humidifiers and balancing out the house using sensors like the ecobee remote sensors,..

You're not going to find a Z-wave unit that will do that. Z-wave thermostats are mainly "dumb" thermostats that just contain a z-wave radio for setting them. Most of the control is done on the hub. Some have basic "holding" functions and some even have schedules but none do what you are asking for with multiple sensors are whatnot. The thermostat can't connect to can only connect to the hub.

I understand that.

Is it possible to do the same thing under the hub, and is it worth to switch ?

The unreliability of the Ecobee server is a reason to not rely on any integration of an Ecobee with anything. If I need one of my AC units turned off at 3pm and the server is down then Hubitat will try at 3pm, not succeed and that's the end of that.

Does anyone know if time of day/day of week schedules set up with the Ecobee via the Ecobee website also require the server to be up or do they get downloaded and run locally?

They run local still.

I’ve had the thermostat for 3 years now.

The only benefit that I can see with actual usages, is that it balances heat/cool over remote sensors. So during night I have a sensor in my room and I heat and cool based off only that sensor.

If I could replicate that with a zwave thermostat and my iris v1 sensors I may switch. I’m thinking this is possible ?

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Exactly the reason I keep saying that the other comfort modes like home should be added. The only reason I should need to use HE is to deviate from my normal schedule.

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I'm sorry, I don't understand. If you need the unit turned off at 3, isn't the ecobee programmed to do that? How does integrating it with HE break the functionality that is already there. Are you saying that you are going to have the ecobees running in stand-alone mode with no wifi at all? How will you turn them off at 3 that way? I still don't understand how integrating with HE diminishes or reduces the funcitonality of the ecobee. The ecobee servers are the, what does HE have to do with that? You might not be able to control them all the time from HE but in those cases where you can't, you also can't control them from the Ecobee app on your phone either, even if you are home. Since commands from the app always travel through the ecobee cloud even if you are right next to your thermostat.