While the Nest Thermostat may be the coolest smart thermostat on the block, the Ecobee3 has all sorts of neat features that the Nest Thermostat lacks. However, are you actually taking advantage of them all? Here’s how to get the most out of your Ecobee3 smart thermostat.
Lock It with a PIN Code
If you don’t want other household members changing the thermostat settings without your knowledge, it might be best to lock it down so that only you can access it, which is possible with a PIN code.
It’s very similar to the passcode lock on your smartphone. Within the thermostat’s settings, you can set up a four-digit “security code” that prevents others from making changes. You can even specify what exactly the security code protects. So while you could prevent people from changing the temperature, you could still allow them to set up a vacation mode.
View Your Usage History
Need to save some money on your utility bill next month? A great way to do that is to look at your usage habits when it comes to heating and cooling your house.
By logging into the Ecobee3’s web interface, you can view a detailed history of how you’re using your thermostat, like when it turns on and off and how long it’s on for. It will even show you how efficient your house is as far as the heating and cooling is concerned.
Manually Select Which Sensors to Use
By default, your Ecobee3 takes temperature readings from all of its sensors and averages them out to come up with one temperature that it uses in order to decide to heat or cool your house down. However, you can make it use only one sensor to do this.
For example, if I want the bedroom to be the area of the house where the temperature needs to be perfect, I can tell the Ecobee3 to only use the sensor in the bedroom for its temperature reading. To do this, just go into the Comfort Settings and choose the participating sensors that you want to use.
Schedule a Vacation Mode in Advance
If you know you’ll be going on vacation in a few days, you can have your Ecobee3 prepare in advance by scheduling a vacation mode so that you won’t have to worry about it when the time comes.
To do this, go into the settings and select “Vacation”. From there, choose the start and end times and save it. After that, your Ecobee3 will automatically go into vacation mode during the specified time without any further interaction.
Display Weather Info on the Screen
There are a ton of ways to quickly get weather info, but if you want one more, you can have the screen on your Ecobee3 display the current temperature outside, as well as any precipitation conditions.
All you have to do is log in to the web interface and enter in your location. From there, it will automatically gather weather info and display it on the thermostat’s screen. You can also view a more detailed weather forecast in the app, as well as within the thermostat’s menus.
Enable HomeKit if You’re an iPhone User
If you’re deeply enthralled in Apple’s HomeKit platform, then it might be worthwhile to enable HomeKit compatibility on the Ecobee3, as it’s not enabled by default.
The process is similar to any other HomeKit product, where you scan or enter in the HomeKit code. After that, you’re off to the races and can use Siri to control your thermostat or integrate it with other HomeKit devices.
Receive Alerts If There Might Be a Problem
If you’re away from home for any extended amount of time, you probably won’t know about any problems with your HVAC system that happen to arise. However, you can set up alerts on your Ecobee3 whenever something might be wrong.
This really just involves setting high and low temperature warnings, so when your house ever reaches these temperature levels, you’ll be notified about it. This can point to a potential problem with your heating or cooling and allow you to address the problem as soon as possible.
Connect It to IFTTT for More Capabilities
If you want to be able to do even more things with your Ecobee3, you can connect it to IFTTT, which integrates all sorts of products and services together for serious automatino.
For example, you can have your thermostat automatically turn off when the outside temperature is warm or cool enough to have windows open, sending you an alert whenever this happens. That’s just one example, so we recommend checking out the above guide to IFTTT to find out more.