Ecobee Smart Thermostat: Features and How to Use It

Kash Daley from N.E.T.R., Inc. talks about the ecobee smart thermostat and its energy saving features, and demonstrates how to use and program the thermostat, including highlighting common settings that the user may adjust, and how to set the weekly schedule.

Hi, my name is Kash from N.E.T.R. I’ll be introducing the “ecobee lite” thermostat and the features that it offers. The first feature, which is really nice, is energy saving mode, which is known as “eco+”. And what that does is, when you’re not home, it saves you energy by not turning on your heating or AC system. And when you are home, there are options like room sensors, smart sensors, that you can put in each room so that it can sense when someone is in that room.

So with ecobee, it offers what is known as an energy audit. Each month it gives you a breakdown of how much kilowatts you’re using, meaning electricity; and how many hours your thermostat, or in this case your heating system, is operating, meaning 10 hours, 14 hours, whatever it may be. And then it gives you a breakdown of how you can improve that for the next months, or moving forward. All right, now let’s take a look at the ecobee itself so I can give a breakdown of how to use it.

Ecobee Features & Settings

So this is the ecobee lite. What you currently see on the screen right now is the temperature in your house. It also provides temperature outside currently, and it also offers a full weekly breakdown of the temperatures outside. It also offers humidity outside and inside. That’s what this little number is. Now, first thing, to turn on your system, you go up top where it says off, you press on it, you choose your type of system, whether it’s heat, cool or auto; in our case put it to cool. You’ll see a little number down here pop up blue. Now that’s the temperature that you’re going to be setting it to. To change the temperature, you press on the middle box, you scroll up and down. In this case it’s AC, you want to be lower than the set temperature, which is 73. You’ll see a little box right here, click on it, and it will tell you how long your system’s going to operate until, meaning your schedule.

Now, if you would like to change that, you can always go into settings, which is this little gear down here. Press on that. You go into your preferences and you can change that by “hold activity”. Meaning you could switch it to two hours, four hours, or until you physically change it. That’s something I personally recommend, but it’s always up to you guys as the customer.

Now, if you would like to turn off the system, you press the little snowflake, which would be your AC, and then you press off; it’s all touchscreen, and then you’ll see the snowflake go away. Now if you want heat, same thing, you press off, you press heat, and then you’ll see an orange box to show you that heat is engaging. Same thing as AC, if you want to change the temperature, you change it higher than what your house temperature is, and then you’ll see the little flame kick on and then your heat is operating.

So the ecobee settings, you go into the little lines over here to the right, you press on it, there’s going to be a gear down here on the right hand side, you’re going to press on that. That’s going to bring up all your settings for your ecobee. The first one I want to go over is the eco+. That is what saves you energy throughout times of the day, when your energy costs more than usual. You can always enable it or disable it, your preference. There are offers for room sensors. In this case there’s an office connected. So if you press on it’ll show you a breakdown of what it’s doing. Other features, you can always set your comfort. You could set your ideal temperatures, whether it’s 85 degrees or all the way down to 69 degrees. You could set your desired temperatures for when you’re not home or when you are home. So when the system does kick on, or doesn’t kick on, it’ll maintain that ideal temperature.

Other features are “preferences”, that’s going to be used quite a bit by the customer. This just gives you a breakdown of your heating range, cooling range. If your thermostat’s in your bedroom, hallway, you can always modify it to whatever room it’s in. You can also change your “hold activity”; instead of running your schedule you can change it between two hours, four hours, until your next scheduled activity, or until you change it, which that’s something I recommend. 

Programming Your Ecobee

So for people that are wondering how to set their schedules on their ecobees; first thing, you go into your settings, you go into the gears, which is deep dive settings. You go into schedule, and now you go to Monday, and then it’ll give you a breakdown of when you go to bed at night. Say we go to bed at, let’s just say 6:00 PM we go to bed, 6:30, we’ll save it. We go to sleep.

And then say you go to work or you leave the house, say you leave at 6:00 AM, we’ll leave it at 6:00 AM. That would be your leaving time. And then when you get home, you would say you get home, say every day at 4:00 PM, that would set your schedule for home. If you would like to do that same setup for the whole week, you always press “copy”. You have to press on the actual days, meaning Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And then you save it. And then if you go through, it’ll have a breakdown of home, away and sleep throughout the week. So Monday through Friday, say you work, that’s the time that you’re away. You get home from work at 4:00 PM that’s the time you get home. And then when you go to bed.

Now on the weekends it’s a little bit different because most people don’t work or they don’t really go out that often. So if you want to delete the away, all you have to do is press on it and then there is a little trash can up top. To delete it, press delete, and now all you have is sleep and home. And now when you’re home, you’re home. Say every day at 10 o’clock in the morning, that’s when you’re home. You go to sleep at, say, 10:00 PM. You set it and now it’s going to run your schedule from 10:00 AM when you’re home, and then it won’t run it again until you go to sleep, which is at 10:00 PM.

I hope everything that was shown today was helpful and educational. When it comes to the ecobee, I have one in my house that I’ve had a little over three years, and I honestly love it. I’ve bought quite a bit of external sensors and things that ecobee offers the customer to make their home more energy efficient. I would also recommend it for any new customer that wants to switch out their older, less efficient thermostat to a new, smarter, more energy efficient thermostat that would save them a ton of money in the future.