Considering an Ecobee


On my 20 year old Bryant forced air gas systems, the limit switch cuts the power to the gas solenoid and to the common on the thermostat. Not sure of the logic behind that. The actual furnace logic board stays on and registers an Error 33 (limit switch issue).


I just installed three Ecobee4 thermostats - yes I have three totally separate systems. I have just the thermostat on the system for the master suite, the thermostat and a remote sensor for our upstairs which has a big loft and a big bedroom, and the thermostat down stairs plus two remote sensors for the family room and my office. I’ll see how that goes and add more if needed. I really like the fact that the 4 has a full version of Amazon Alexa built in and has a fairly good speaker. We have a few smart wifi light bulbs that we can turn on and off by talking to the thermostats when we enter rooms which is really nice. I don’t see these thermostats as a way to save energy, in fact I think the process of making specific rooms more comfortable without being able to switch off other rooms will actually use more energy - but comfort is good.

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For you Ecobee folks, this is a great live dashboard:


Hello, I wondered if I could take up that offer for thermostat.


So partially due to reading these discussions, I ordered an Ecobee 4 today. I asked many questions via chat, and they were generally helpful. There are two (apparent) limitations for my purposes, and I was wondering if anyone had experience with these:

(1) The sensors are only spec’d to 45 ft. I have a couple of locations that I want to monitor that are 55-60 ft away. Any experience on whether the 45 ft spec is conservative or accurate? (or optimistic?)

(2) The Ecobee folks said that they only show graphs of Temp vs time for the average temperature being used for control, not for all the sensors. I want to monitor some locations such as crawl spaces to prevent freezing etc. (similar to the types of things @kevin1 was reporting above) that won’t be used for control, and it would be much handier to see graphs than only the current value (or having to download and plot in Excel).

Have people found any away around this issue? @RyanAtSense posted on Beestat (2 posts above this one), but their screenshot only seems to show the same average temp, and not the sensors individually.


Beestat shows the sensors separately. See: One of those is the thermostat and the other is a single sensor. I got rid of my sensors so I can’t show you an example from my home.

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@jlj.pers, if the ecobee thermostats don’t do the job there are many Z-wave devices on the market which may fit your needs depending on exactly what you need to be able to monitor and then trigger.

I have a couple of these which work well;

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OK, not obvious to me looking at this picture, but I should be able to test it soon. Thanks!


Pardon the low res, but you can see the sensor breakdown here:


Thanks, I see that. Actually the Ecobee app shows the current values too. What I haven’t found is a plot that would show the sensor temperatures vs time. Ecobee doesn’t have it (confirmed by their support), and I don’t see it on the BeeStat screenshot either. But I’ll investigate once I have the thermostat.

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Meant to get back to you earlier. If you want graphs, the Ecobee download is your main option today. As for sensor distance, I use one about 70ft away in a very electrically noisy service cabinet. I just burn through batteries quickly - 1 coins cell per week.


:astonished: That’s crazy! At that point, I probably would’ve just hacked together some way to power them externally.


It’s a short term thing. I just wanted to see the range of temperatures in there over the winter. Once that’s done, it moves up to the attic for the summer to see if an attic fan would be useful.


Attic fan are usually not recommended. From what I read they are likely to pull conditioned air into the arctic via leaks in the ceiling. Something like that. I think I read that from which is a branch of of fine Homebuilding mag. Good resources for home construction and energy efficency.

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Actually here’s a link to one article:

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I ha e to disagree with your take on attic fans. If the attic soffits are properly vented then the force required to pull conditioned air from in the house would be extreme. The leakage the ceiling would need would basically have to be visible holes. All lighting and ceiling fans have some leakage even in the most energy efficient and insulated homes. Put an attic fan in and watch the summer temperatures go from 140 to 115 degrees in the attic which is going to have a huge effect on cooling costs, far exceeding any air infiltration.

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Its not my take. I posted the artical I read above. I have no personal experience with them.

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I read the article and if you read carefully you will see it’s all about poor design. Every point she made had to do with things like too many fans, poor placement and other aspects that all related to design.
In her first and most important (according to her) point, she compared it to having a fan blow over you at the beach and not getting a sunburn. How she felt radiant heat and sunburn were in any way related is something I couldn’t figure out. Sunburns are the results of UV radiation and attic fans don’t and are not designed to address this.
With proper design and components an attic fan can be very effective. When used in conjunction with the underside roof deck sprayed insulation the results are even better.
She didn’t address some of her points fully about pressures. If you have a poorly designed HVAC system and it’s generating positive pressure, that’s where you’ll push (not pull) conditioned air into the attic.
That’s my take after 20 Years in construction

Thank you for sharing the link @wesman7776
I just respectfully disagree


Thanks! Do those provide real-time graphing on the phone? I have seen these and similar Z-wave models, but not found one that does the graphing for sure (besides the alarms).


Not on their own. Being Z-wave devices they sort of drift from the consumer market and into the prosumer market. They’ll report to a Z-wave hub and from there you’d have to do some work to log their periodic readings.