Are you considering buying or upgrading a smart thermometer? With so many options available it’s difficult to understand how to make these decisions. Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular in residential homes as more homeowners are becoming interested in smart home technology and the idea of controlling their appliances right from their smart devices. If you are in the market to upgrade your home to a smart thermostat or just on the fence about whether or not you should even buy one, then this review is for you!
At Minnick’s, we have experience installing and servicing smart thermostats from all the major manufacturers: Ecobee, Rheem, Honeywell, Carrier, Nest, etc. In this article we will take an in-depth review of the fifth generation of Ecobee smart thermostats to help you determine if it might be the right one for your home.
External Product Design
The Ecobee 5 comes packaged in a 4” x 4” rounded rectangle design enclosed in a 1” thick glossy black casing. The thermostat features a 3.5” glass touch screen with a 480px x 320px resolution that automatically turns on as you approach it. On both sides of the screen there are also echo-canceling microphone holes that make it easier for the Ecobee to understand you when controlling it with voice commands.
At the top and bottom of the device are speakers for those that may want to stream music to their thermostat. The top of the device also features a small LED light that indicates when the microphones are off or actively listening. On the back of the thermostat, there is a mounting mechanism that attaches to a mounting plate on your wall. Once you have the mounting plate installed, you’ll be able to simply pop the thermostat on and off should you need to swap out to a newer Ecobee model in the future. This easy-to-mount design will save you time and energy when new smart thermostats come out that you want to purchase.
Internal Product Design
The Ecobee 5 is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU, 4GB of flash memory, and 512MB of DDR4 RAM. The powerful specs of the Ecobee are taken full advantage of by its impressive sensor technology. The Ecobee has your typical temperature and humidity sensors, but what sets it apart from other thermostats are its proximity and occupancy sensors.
The proximity and occupancy sensors enable the thermostat to detect if you are home or away and allow it to switch to a preset temperature of your choosing in order to conserve energy. On average, smart thermostats using properly configured occupancy sensors can reduce energy consumption by 28%. A new edition to the generation five models is the addition of dual-band Wi-Fi circuitry so you can connect the thermostat to a 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi network.
Smart Home Connectivity
The Ecobee 5 supports Amazon Alexa voice technology, which means you can use your smart thermostat as if it was an Amazon Echo or an Amazon Dot device. In addition to streaming your own music directly to the thermostat, you can also play songs from Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora music, and Spotify music. The thermostat also works with the Apple HomeKit ecosystem including Siri voice commands.
If you aren’t a fan of voice commands, Ecobee also has a mobile app for Android and iOS that allows you to control the thermostat right from your smartphone device. Additionally, it can be controlled using the thermostat’s touch screen, or from a web browser on a computer. The Ecobee 5 offers great versatility in how you can control and interact with it.
Should I Buy an Ecobee 5?
With its fifth generation of smart thermostats, Ecobee improves upon its previous generations by adding a more powerful speaker, echo-cancelling microphones, dual-band Wi-Fi radios, and support for numerous third-party smart devices and hubs, like Amazon Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit. Depending on your budget, you may find the $249 price tag a bit heavy, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another thermostat that offer these many features.
If you don’t have a smart thermostat, or you are looking to upgrade from something like a Nest to something that supports HomeKit, then you should speak with one of our comfort advisors or heating & cooling specialists to see if the Ecobee 5 is right for you.