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Ecobee 3 vs Ecobee 4

Ecobee 3 vs Ecobee 4In every modern house you can find heating, ventilation and air conditioning. All of this applies to HVAC systems.

These may take a different form, but the fundamental principles of work remain.

We meet these systems from the smallest personal devices to the largest commercial installations.

In many homes, the management of such systems is still manual.

If you are the owner of one of these, then you probably thought about switching to automatic control. Such management is much more convenient and practical than manual.

If you decide to make climate control in the house more convenient, you need to know about the automatic system. these systems are divided into Programmable and Smart WiFi.

Programmable – allows you to control heating and cooling. For the system to work, you just need to make a schedule. Restrictions vary by model.
Smart WiFi is smart thermostat with WiFi function. This is a more modern system. It allows you to use a smartphone, tablet or computer to control your settings. These devices include Ecobee thermostats.

If you have not used smart thermostats before, then at first it will be unusual for you to work with it. But the use of such a thermostat will open for you many useful functions.

First of all, these are zone sensors. This is a good purchase for a multi-level house with an open architecture. Ecobee room sensors allow the thermostat to read the temperature and occupancy locally.

Ecobee room sensors

The second useful feature is the control of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system from a smartphone. Thanks to its wireless connection, you can control the system from wherever you are.

Also with the Ecobee Switch+ you can do the voice control of the thermostat. To do this, you must have a device that supports integration with Alexa.

Ecobee 4 and Ecobee Switch+

And in this case you can ask it to control your lights, play music and control other voice controlled devices in your home.

And so, if you’re ready to learn more about smart thermostats, let’s do it together. The Ecobee company presents two smart thermostats on the market. These are the Ecobee 3 and the Ecobee 4. What is common and what is the difference?

Top pick
Ecobee 4

  • Built-in Amazon Alexa (voice enabled)
  • Far field voice technology
  • Thermostat sensors: Temperature, Humidity, Occupancy, Proximity

Check now

We’ve tested 2 ecobee smart thermostats and the winner is above!

Ecobee 3 vs Ecobee 4 Comparison Chart

Ecobee 3

Ecobee 3

Ecobee 4

Ecobee 4

Dimensions

3.93" x 3.93" x 0.86"

109" x 109" x 26.1"

Weight

1.35 pounds

1 pounds

Display

3.5" full-color LCD Touch Screen

3.5" full-color LCD Touch Screen

Compatibility

Gas, oil, electric, dual fuel

Conventional (2H/2C)

Heat Pump (4H/2C)

Humidifier, Dehumidifier, Ventilator, HRV or ERV

Gas, oil, electric, dual fuel

Conventional (2H/2C)

Heat Pump (4H/2C)

Humidifier, Dehumidifier, Ventilator, HRV or ERV

Thermostat sensors

No

Temperature

Humidity

Occupancy

Proximity

Voice & Audio

No

Built-in Alexa Voice Service

Built-in microphones

Built-in speaker

Far-field voice recognition

Sensory TrulyHandsfree Wake Word engine

Wire Terminals

Rc, Rh, G, C, Y1, Y2, W1 (AUX 1), W2 (AUX 2), O/B, ACC +, ACC -

Rc, G, Y1, Y2, O/B, PEK, Rh, C, W1, W2, ACC -, ACC +

Connectivity & Security

Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

915MHz, future expansion slot

DHCP (dynamic) or static IP addressing

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

DHCP (dynamic) or static IP addressing

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

915MHz

Bandwidth

15-20 MB/month

15+ MB/month (dependent on Alexa Voice Service usage)

Power Consumption

less than 3.5 VA

less than 3.5 VA

Works with

Apple HomeKit

Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT

Sustainability

Recyclable packaging

Mercury-free

Arsenic-free

PVC-free

ROHS compliant

Recycled packaging

Mercury-free

Arsenic-free

PVC-free

ROHS compliant

Temperature Range

Desired Temperature: 44° to 92°F

Display: 41° to 98°F

Sensitivity: +/- 0.9°F

Operating: 32° to 131°F

Desired Temperature: 44° to 92°F (7° to 33°C)

Display: 41° to 98°F (5° to 37°C)

Sensitivity: +/- 0.9°F (+/- 0.5°C)

Operating: 32° to 131°F (0° to 55°C)

Humidity Range

Display: 20% to 90% RH

Sensitivity: +/- 5% RH

Operating: 5% to 95% RH (non condensing)

Display: 20% to 90% RH

Sensitivity: +/- 5% RH

Operating: 5% to 95% RH (non-condensing)

Storage

-31° to 113°F

5% to 95% RH (non condensing)

-31° to 113°F (-35° to 45°C)

5% to 95% RH (non condensing)

Batteries

1 CR2 batteries required. (included)

2 Lithium Metal batteries required. (included)

Average Battery Life

35000 hours

N/A

Warranty

3-year

3-year

Check Price

Check Price

Common features the Ecobee 3 and the Ecobee 4

Internet connection

Both Ecobee models interact via the Internet with the local weather service in real time. They know what’s happening outside and inside. Through the switch, they can report the current temperature outside. You will always know what to wear.

Also, you can control the temperature inside the house at will.

Room sensors

The Ecobee 3 and the Ecobee 4 comes with room sensors. You can place it in different areas of the house. They help balance the efficient use of heating and cooling.

In addition, they define the room in which you are. So they can control the microclimate for this room, and not for the whole house.

The manufacturer offers us an assembly the Ecobee 3 light. This is the same the Ecobee 3 model, but the kit does not include one free sensor.

Timer

The devices have the Alexa Control function, which allows you to use the thermostat as a timer. You can check the news, turn the lights on and off, play music and much more. Of course, you will need accessories with Amazon Alexa support.

Bubble level

The mounting plate of both models still have a tiny built-in bubble level. This is incredibly useful when mounting a thermostat. It does not rest on either side or the other on your wall.

Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 have a tiny built-in bubble level

Remote access

You can check and change the temperature of your HVAC system using a smartphone from anywhere in the world.

Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 check and change the temperature of your HVAC system using a smartphone from anywhere in the world

Software

Thermostats come with software that creates reports on how your HVAC system works over time. This information is used for more efficient energy management. This smart control system saves you money.

Integrations

For programing and control it you just need smartphone with iOS or Android platform. Ecobee thermostats integration with Apple HomeKit, SmartThings, IFTTT, Embedded Amazon Alexa apps.

Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 work with iOS or Android platform

To HomeKit support, you need separate accessory and iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 9 or later.

Safety

The materials used to make products do not contain mercury or arsenic. Also, manufacturers do not use PVC, which can be toxic to our body.

For packaging products they use recycled materials. Ecobee products are RoHS compliant. Read more on this here.

And also these thermostats meet the standards of Energy Star. That is, buying this product you additionally care about your own safety. Also, these devices spend less energy, and therefore more profitable.

Warranty

The warranty for each Ecobee model is three years. It is in every way nice.

Ecobee 3 vs Ecobee 4

Dimensions

Ecobee 3 has length 100 mm, width: 100 mm, depth: 21.4 mm.

Ecobee 4 has length 109 mm, width: 109 mm, depth: 26.1 mm.

Dimensions of Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4

Verdict

The Ecobee 4 model a little larger than the Ecobee 3 in every dimension. It is substantially thicker. It is only 5 mm thick, but it matters to someone.

Design

The Ecobee 3 design is essentially square with rounded corners. Its corpus slightly convex like the face of a clock.

The Ecobee 4 is “rounder”. It is somewhere in-between a square and a circle. It has a completely flat face.

The advantages of a flat design of the control panel are in a smaller glare on the screen. This makes it easy to find the desired icon, without accidentally touching others.

Verdict

The Ecobee 4 has a smoother design and a convenient flat control panel.

Mounting plate

The mounting plate allows you to attach the thermostat to the wall with screws. And the wires from your HVAC system are attached to it. After that, the front panel of the thermostat is simply attached to it.

The mounting plate for the Ecobee 3 consists of two slightly bulky parts. The Ecobee 4 has more accurate mounting plate and smaller. And instead of two parts there is one.

It is important to remember that the layout of the wiring terminals in this plate has been changed. If you need to replace the Ecobee 3 with the Ecobee 4, carefully read each terminal label. It is not where it used to be.

Verdict

The Ecobee 3 mounting plate is easy to install. But the Ecobee 4 has fewer parts to install.

Occupancy sensor

In the Ecobee3 model this sensor is not built-in.

Ecobee 4 has built-in occupancy sensor

The Ecobee 4 has built-in occupancy sensor. Due this the thermostat knows when you are near and always ready to go.

Verdict

To activate the Ecobee 4, it is enough to approach it to activate this sensor. This is convenient when you live in constant motion.

Blue LED light

The Ecobee 3 does not have a blue LED panel.

The Ecobee 4 has a blue LED panel

The Ecobee 4 has it. The panel lights up in blue when the motion sensor is active. Light reflects from the wall and illuminates the upper part of the thermostat.

Although in our opinion it would be more convenient to move it to the bottom. Then at night the light bulb would additionally illuminate the path to whoever goes.

Another feature of the light bar is the color change from blue to red. This happens if you turn off the microphone with automatic voice recognition on the main thermostat unit.

Verdict

The Ecobee 4 has an extra light, but it could be more convenient.

Alexa/Echo features

Both models can work with Amazon Alexa. But there is a difference that affects the cost of these devices as well.

The Ecobee 3 can connect to a device that supports Alexa voice control. For example, if you need this function you can additionally buy Alexa Echo Dot.

Ecobee 3 can connect to Alexa Echo Dot

The Ecobee 4 is built-in Amazon Alexa (voice enabled). And to support the voice control function, you do not need to buy additional devices.

Alexa/Echo features of Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4

Withal, Alexa voice control indicator has appeared on the control panel. This is not in the model the Ecobee 3. And the Ecobee 4 has far-field voice technology. This allows you to control the thermostat at close and far distances.

Verdict

The Ecobee 4 model with built-in Amazon Alexa saves time and money for the purchase of additional accessories. All you need to activate Alexa voice control is to turn on and adjust your thermostat.

Pros and Cons of Ecobee thermostats

Advantages of smart thermostats

Remote access. This feature is very useful. It gives you the opportunity to configure HVAС system when you are not at home. First of all, it significantly saves your expenses on paying bills.

When you are at work, the heating system can operate in economy mode. And before coming home, turn on the heating and you will arrive in a warm home.

Learning function. Intelligent thermostats have the ability to learn through special software. The program remembers your preferences in the microclimate and automatically adjusts it when needed.

Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 has Programmable and Learning function

Programmable. You can always adjust the thermostat for daily work, weekly, or create a weekend program.

Voice control. This function, in addition to controlling the HVAC system, can control the switching on of lights, music, and control other devices that support such a function.

Room sensors. They collect information about the temperature and the occupancy of the environment. With their help, you can control the microclimate in one room. It also saves your budget when you heat or cool one room, not the whole house.

In addition, the Ecobee thermostats can maintain the connection immediately 32 sensors.

Drawbacks of smart thermostats

But apart from the advantages of smart thermostats there are drawbacks.

Cost factor. Smart thermostats can cost up to four times as much as regular ones.

Installation. If you do not have experience in installing a smart thermostat, you need to invite a certified technician. He will install the device and properly connect it to your HVAC system.

Removing the backplate from your old thermostat:

Ecobee Support – Installing Ecobee4 with a C wire:

Account. If you change the Ecobee 3 to the Ecobee 4, then you will have to re-create your account. And at the same time introduce new settings. The program still does not know how to transfer credentials for the new model from the previous one.

Modern software management. Smart thermostats are suitable for people who easily understand programs. For those who are used to manual control, such a thermostat may seem difficult to program.

Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 has modern software management

Compatibility. Most smart thermostats are compatible with different HVAC systems. But before you buy, find out about the compatibility of your system with the selected thermostat model.

This information can be obtained from experts in the technical department of the Ecobee.

Compatibility Guide

We hope that you are aware of checking the model before buying whether it is compatible with the cooling and heating system you have now. To help you with this question we are going to present you several points to check and follow in order to verify your purchase and not to waste your money.

Here is the list of things to check:

  • Voltage (Line Voltage or Low Voltage)
  • Heat pumps
  • Stages of heating
  • Boilers
  • Accessories

Let’s take a closer look at the each of the point!

Voltage: Line Voltage or Low Voltage.

Do you know what type of heating or cooling system you have? Still no? It is time to identify this! Find out if your system is low voltage or line voltage.

Both models of thermostats are compatible with low voltage systems only!

So, if you have line voltage system (Baseboard heaters as the heating source), you shouldn’t buy an Ecobee thermostat.

Ecobee thermostats work well with 24V HVAC systems (heat pumps and central furnace).

Heat pumps

Here it is a bit easier to clarify. Ecobee thermostats work with all heat pumps. Moreover, they support heat pumps with auxiliary or emergency heating.

Ecobee 3 supports only 2H/2C of heat pumps (2 stages of heating and cooling, marked as Y1 and Y2). As for heat pumps with auxiliary or emergency heating, Ecobee 3 supports 2H of this type of heat pumps (2 auxiliary heating stages, marked W1 and W2).

Ecobee supports such types of auxiliary heating as oil, gas or dual fuel sources.

Stages of heating and cooling system

There are 2 kinds of HAVC systems: single stage and multi stage. Lucky you are because Ecobee models are compatible with both kinds of systems.

When it is about multi stage HVAC, Ecobee works with 2H and 2C (2 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling).

Boilers

For boilers Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 are compatible with 2h and 2C (2 stages of heating W1 and W2). For cooling, they are compatible with 2 stages of forced air cooling.

Accessories

Finally, accessories are here! Here we have a great difference between Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4. Ecobee 3 doesn’t work with any accessories. There are no terminals provided on Ecobee 3 to support them.

As for Ecobee 4, it is compatible with all kinds of accessories: dehumidifiers, humidifiers, ventilators etc. Comparing with Ecobee 3, Ecobee 4 comes with terminals for connecting accessories.

Final word

You can always use the compatibility checker tool. It is provided in Ecobee website. There you can verify if your system is compatible or not.

Alternative product

Nest (T3007ES) Learning ThermostatAn alternative product for Ecobee models can be a smart thermostat of the Nest brand.

In general, this device has the same basic functions as the Ecobee 4. You can control it remotely using your smartphone and app.

The Nest application is convenient. With it, you can monitor temperature, humidity, receive reports on the operation of the HVAC system, make schedules.

The thermostat Nest has a self-learning function. After a couple of days, it will remember and be able to determine the temperature comfortable for you. The motion sensor detects when you are not at home and goes into low power mode.

The far-field voice option gives it recognizes your voice from 10 feet. This device also uses sensors to read the temperature in individual rooms.

Thermostats Nest also have Energy Star certification. And like Ecobee, they also consume energy efficiently.

But there is something that distinguishes this Nest model from Ecobee 4. The first thing that makes the difference is the design and materials.

The Nest Learning thermostat looks more futuristic

The Nest Learning thermostat looks more futuristic. Its shape is round and the case is metallic at the edges. Its diameter is 86,5 mm, it is smaller than the Ecobee 4. But the Nest is thicker – 30,2 mm.

This thermostat does not work with Home Apple Kit accessories. But he can connect with Amazon Alexa devices. Also this thermostat is easier to install. Thermostats Nest have 2 year limited warranty.

How to install the Google Nest Learning Thermostat:

Test: how we did it?

In the home where before we used a traditional thermostat we have installed both products: Ecobee3 and Ecobee4.  For installation we recommend calling a technician to help you with this.

Then, after installation we set up both thermostats. It was quite easy and quick. We entered Wi-Fi password to connect the net. We set the location and chose the type of system we wanted to test: cooling or heating. After that it was ready to go.

Do you need any of Ecobee3 or Ecobee4?

If you want to upgrade your home thermostat system – the Ecobee3 as well as the newer Ecobee4 are both good for you.

Not always staying at home? These smart thermostats are useful for you too! You know, that usual (traditional) thermostats waste a large amount of energy because it works when you forget to turn it off, for example. Thanks to the powerful motion-sensors and the settings which are widely customizable you can solve this problem easily.

Do you already have an Amazon Echo? Save some money and buy the older Ecobee3 thermostat. Moreover, you can easily  link your new device to an existing virtual home-assistant. The only thing you won’t get is the ability to communicate directly with the thermostat. But to control the settings you will have the built-in mic, speaker and some voice control options (Alexa).

Do you have a big house? To work from the distances the ‘Far field’ voice recognition will help. Vice versa you don’t need this feature if you are an owner of a very small flat.

Verdict

Thermostats Nest good. They performs the basic functions of controlling the HVAC system. It is also equipped with modern features for greater convenience. And you can install it yourself easily.

But in our opinion for the same money it is better to buy the Ecobee 4. This device is more adapted for working with modern gadgets. And besides, it already has a built-in Amazon Alexa.

So, you can activate the voice control function at any time. Buying this model gives you more versatility and does not spend money on additional purchases.

FAQ

Can I change the name of the thermostat for Ecobee4?

We are sorry, but you cannot do this.

On Ecobee 4 (Alexa-enabled) this feature is disabled for the reason we, unfortunately, do not know.

Except for this feature, other features are also disabled on Ecobee4 (playing some apps which are third-party ones, sending and receiving messages).

I have a tablet. Will the control app work on it?

Sure! The application will work on any device. The only condition – connectivity to the Internet. You can use the app either for iOS or Android.

What about a separate room sensor? Do I need this or the thermostat already has it for the floor?

A sensor is built in to the front face of the thermostat. This sensor is appropriate for motion and temperature as well. If you want to buy extra room sensors anyway, remember: radius from the thermostat is limited – 45 feet – in this radius it will work correctly.

Keep in mind: Ecobee3 and Ecobee4 thermostats provide you with one free room sensor.

I would like to use different sensors for separate thermostats. Is it possible?

Yes, it is possible. While installation you have an option of choose dual zones. Do it. After that, add your room sensors to these thermostats.

When the room sensor is ready to work or powered on. The thermostat will pick up the signal. The thermostat will also ask you whether you want to include it.

In case the signal is picked up at the both thermostats, sync it to the thermostat you want to use the sensor for.

It will not work with the other thermostat. Thereby you can run everything as you wanted.

Will my room sensors work with Ecobee4 when I have an Ecobee3 now?

Actually, it is very easy to do. Install your Ecobee4 first. Then remove the batteries from the room sensors. Reinstall the batteries. Connect the sensors by confirmation on the panel. That is it.

As result

If you do not have a smart thermostat, then you should purchase it for a number of useful features listed above.

First of all, the smart thermostat saves you money. He is able to optimize the performance of your HVAC system and choose the most economical mode of operation. A smart thermostat will be especially useful if you often travel for long periods of time.

Secondly, you can control your thermostat from anywhere in the world via the Internet. And even when you rest or work outside the home, the smart thermostat will work for you.

Ecobee 4 is good at managing HVAC systems

Another question is, what kind of the Ecobee model choose? In this case, it all depends on your needs. The Ecobee 3 and the Ecobee 4 is equally good at managing HVAC systems.

But if you want to keep up with the times and don’t spend time buying Echo points, then the Ecobee 4 will be the best choice.

Enjoy shopping!

Ecobee 3 vs Ecobee 4

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