Ecobee Good Thermostat Premium Replaces Current Flagship Mannequin With New Options – CNET


  • Has an air high quality sensor
  • Comes with a distant sensor
  • Plenty of voice management choices

There was a time when $250 was a typical worth for a smart thermostat. The business was comparatively new and types like Nest and Ecobee launched top-of-the-line models with lengthy lists of options. However, more and more, different firms are coming into the market with sub-$100 app-enabled thermostats. Instantly, $250 will get much more troublesome to justify, even for a luxurious product with heaps to supply.  

Enter the Good Thermostat Premium: Ecobee’s new high-end mannequin that replaces the SmartThermostat with Voice Control. The Premium retains a number of the distinctive options of the previous iteration — most notably a built-in Alexa speaker — and provides in new ones, like an air high quality sensor. It additionally sports activities a bigger, redesigned touchscreen and a zinc physique as an alternative of plastic.

It is a formidable thermostat that does what it claims, even to the purpose of providing an honest total worth regardless of the excessive worth. That mentioned, I actually want Ecobee had discovered a approach so as to add in these updates whereas additionally barely reducing the worth of its new flagship mannequin. The Ecobee Good Thermostat Premium is a strong thermostat value contemplating if it suits in your funds, however given the rising variety of affordable smart thermostats on the market, it is simply too costly to be universally recommendable. 

The fundamentals

At a look, the Ecobee Good Thermostat Premium appears identical to the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Management. However the sensible thermostat maker, which was acquired in 2021 by generator company Generac, gave this alternative mannequin some additional options.

A few of the key variations embody the added air high quality sensor, the zinc thermostat physique, the redesigned touchscreen and the radar sensor, which Ecobee says is healthier than the passive infrared sensor constructed into the earlier model.

Fortuitously, the set up and configuration course of carefully mirrors the last-gen mannequin. Try my article detailing how to install the SmartThermostat with Voice Control for extra particulars. Briefly, you will have to obtain the Ecobee app, choose “Add a tool,” then “Thermostat” and comply with the steps to get yours up and working. 

Ecobee features a C-wire adapter within the field in case you do not have already got a C-wire put in along with your HVAC system. That requires some extra steps Ecobee goes into in its support section.

Set up time can fluctuate, relying on whether or not you want to set up the C-wire adapter and if you want to drill new holes to suit the thermostat body and patch and paint outdated holes. Total, although, it is a simple course of that is spelled out clearly within the app.

Setting things up in the Ecobee app

Comply with the steps within the Ecobee app to get began.

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET

Testing it out

Right here I will stroll by way of my expertise testing out among the Premium’s key options and claims:

Up to date thermostat design

Ecobee says its show is “50% bigger” than the final model. I did not discover a serious distinction right here both approach, however I might clearly learn the present temperature throughout the room with out challenge. I did, nevertheless, discover a major distinction with among the structure adjustments within the menu and with the Alexa integration. 

The touchscreen was very responsive; I by no means needed to press greater than as soon as to get to a desired setting. Ecobee additionally rearranged some issues within the menu to make it a bit extra user-friendly, and this positively paid off. I had no points navigating round to view or make adjustments to a selected setting. 

Ecobee additionally ditched the SmartThermostat with Voice Management-style Alexa gentle bar on the high of the thermostat. As a substitute, this mannequin has Alexa constructed into the show itself. Once you say, “Alexa, inform me a joke,” or some other command, the complete show responds, letting you recognize the assistant heard you. 

You may as well clearly really feel the distinction between the zinc physique and the earlier plastic design. This one is heavier and extra substantial, with silver accents fairly than white plastic. Since a thermostat stays placed on the wall after set up, this new design will not probably do something for the sturdiness of the {hardware} over time, but it surely does give it a extra luxurious look than previous fashions. 

A person making adjustments on the thermostat

The up to date thermostat interface makes it simpler to regulate the temperature and alter different settings. 


Radar sensor and SmartSensor

Passive infrared sensors are normal options in house safety merchandise and thermostats to trace movement. In a thermostat, this characteristic helps decide whether or not you are house or not. If a wise thermostat hasn’t detected exercise for awhile, it would routinely change to “Away” mode to preserve vitality and save you money

In case your thermostat is in a single part of the home and also you spend a number of time in one other, this characteristic might be defective, assuming you are not house and shifting into an vitality conservation mode. 

A technique Ecobee and different firms have labored to mitigate this challenge is by way of temperature- and motion-detecting distant sensors. One SmartSensor is included along with your Ecobee SmartThermostat Premium buy, and you may add as much as 32 to cowl bigger properties. In case you do not stroll previous your thermostat repeatedly, stick your SmartSensor someplace you can be extra energetic to assist enhance the Residence/Away mode accuracy.

However Ecobee can be making adjustments on the thermostat itself, by choosing a radar movement sensor over a passive infrared mannequin. In accordance with Ecobee, the brand new radar sensor constructed into the Premium mannequin offers the “most correct movement and occupancy readings but.” I did not have a SmartThermostat with Voice Management arrange for side-by-side comparisons, so it is troublesome to touch upon whether or not the Premium’s occupancy sensing actually was higher. That mentioned, with one SmartSensor in my house workplace and the thermostat put in in one other a part of the home, I did not have any points with false Away modes whereas I used to be nonetheless house. 

Air high quality sensor

The air high quality sensor designed to detect risky natural compounds and carbon dioxide is essentially the most attention-grabbing addition to Ecobee’s new thermostat. It is a refined indicator on the primary show display screen that, fortunately, in my case learn “Clear.” In case you click on on “Clear” (or no matter your studying is) on the primary display screen, it takes you to a different display screen displaying a variety from poor to scrub. You aren’t getting way more element, however mine reveals that the world across the thermostat sits in the midst of the clear ranking — not the best doable marks, however shut. It additionally says: 

  • Risky natural compounds: Low
  • Carbon dioxide: Low

Take into account that I did not take a look at the accuracy of the air high quality sensor to find out how the thermostat arrives at these readings. Additionally, the thermostat is just in a position to detect the world instantly surrounding it, so a “Clear” ranking in a single space does not essentially imply different elements of the home would obtain the identical ranking. 

The whole lot else labored as anticipated. The air-con kicked on rapidly, the app mirrors the thermostat’s design and is straightforward to make use of. And the built-in Alexa speaker continues so as to add an attention-grabbing characteristic that is not supplied on some other thermostat I’ve examined in fairly the identical approach (though some have tried). Like previous fashions, the Good Thermostat Premium additionally works with Google Assistant and HomeKit, if in case you have a appropriate smart speaker or display, in addition to SmartThings and IFTTT. 

The decision

The brand new Good Thermostat Premium is a powerful providing from Ecobee. It builds on the numerous options obtainable on the last-gen mannequin and provides in new ones. Nonetheless, given the rising variety of $60 and $70 sensible thermostats on the market with strong efficiency, it is getting more durable to justify spending a whopping 250 bucks on one — even when delivers some new and attention-grabbing issues. 

The air high quality sensor, particularly, stands out right here. When you’ve got the funds and also you’d particularly like an air high quality sensor in your thermostat to observe the encompassing space, the Premium could be value it (though, once more, I wasn’t in a position to take a look at the sensor’s accuracy). In any other case, I might recommend our lists of best thermostats and best affordable thermostats for some extra choices. 

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