Advice on thermostats - Nest vs Ecobee

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by oneMadRssn, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    Hey everyone. I'm looking for new thermostats for my home. We have a/c and gas forced hot air, two zones controlled, directed with dampers.

    Of course Nest 3rd gen and Ecobee3 are on my list. I am leaning towards Nest right now.

    Below is my current thinking. Any advice? Anything I am missing? Am I wrong?

    Nest Pros:
    - Aesthetics is important, and I think Nest looks better. Plus it has color choices.
    - The round ring to adjust temperature seems like the most intuitive way to use a thermostat. It's something even my non-english-speaking grandmother can figure out.
    - Nest seems to be more about set-it and forget-it.
    - The learning ability seems cool.

    Nest Cons:
    - Not very Apple-friendly, and the iOS app seems to be updates less frequently than the Android app.
    - No HomeKit
    - Google might spy on me, somehow

    Ecobee Pros:
    - It's nerdier: HomeKit, IFTTT, more features. Though I am not sure how useful HomeKit really is.
    - App seems more robust, and has a lot more data analysis type of features.
    - Remote sensors, though I am unsure how useful this is to me as I already have two zones and the house is new and thus well insulated.
    - 3x Longer warrantee.

    Ecobee Cons:
    - Not very intuitive, might have a learning curve for non-techie users.
    - Looks like a small tablet on the wall.
    - HomeKit support seems useless in that it only sets temps to hold, and still requires going to the thermostat or app to set it to run schedule again.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    I've had both and both as you said have their pluses and minuses. Right now I'm using Nest only because the wife thinks it looks prettier. When ecobee 4 is released depending on what was added/changed I plan on switching. I was able to do a lot more with ecobee. My house is pretty much all automated and the ecobee fit that bill better.
     
  3. chuyn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    #3
    Just a quick note that Nest also has The same integrations aside from HomeKit. But the works with Nest system does add a few minor extras, for example, having your Hue lights pretend that someone is home when the Nest is in away mode.

    Our household went from a 2nd gen Nest to a HomeKit-enabled ecobee3 and back to a 3rd gen Nest. The extra features (a bit more data) and the sensors didn't sell us fully. The data I didn't need, but the sensors, they weren't as effective for my house because of our schedules and habits. We also didn't have too great of temp differences between the main areas we occupied.

    For us, both are great and did the job similarly well. It boiled down to mainly the looks, ease of use, and utility of HomeKit. Looks and ease of use, for us, Nest won hands down. The ecobee3 had this odd habit where when you slid the slider to adjust the temp from say, 22 to 22.5, it would display 22.5, but then randomly stay at 22 when you let go. This happened now and then on the thermostat but a lot in the app. HomeKit, we almost never used it, and when we did, the permanent hold annoyed us as it would ignore any schedule we had programmed later (like a sleep schedule to turn temps down). I've set our Nest up for HomeKit using homebridge and we still don't use it.
     
  4. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Thanks, this is helpful. I think the permanent hold thing seems like it totally defeats the purpose of using HomeKit with a thermostat. I've read other complaints about the Ecobee UI being quicky on reddit.

    Do you have a link to homebridge handy by any chance, how to set it up?
     
  5. chuyn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    #5
    I found a good amount of info from this thread here:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/homebridge-hk-for-some-non-hk-devices.1950971/

    Also, if you google setting up Nest with HomeKit, I remember following a guide there, I don't have a bookmark of it handy.

    We have protects and a couple Dropcams too, so those are nice to have integrated as well. I especially like that a smoke alarm will make the Hues blink red to help alert my kids.
     
  6. pesos macrumors 6502a

    pesos

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    #6
    Not a fan of google so we went with two ecobee3 units. Have generally been very pleased.
     
  7. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #7
    I don't have either, but I'm buying a new home next week and I noticed the upstairs thermostat is in the room that is to be my kid's room. So, ecobee it is because short of moving the thermostat, the remote sensors will be necessary for when she goes upstairs and closes her door.
     
  8. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    We ended up going with 2 Nests. So far so good. I like that the thermostats themselves are very simple to use.
     
  9. hokiepokie07 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #9
    I've got ecobee3 downstairs and once they update to the ecobee 4, I'm hoping I can work it out where I can put my ecobee3 upstairs and ecobee4 downstairs. I love the extra sensors and how I can quickly check the temp in any room.

    One major negative I have with it is adding it to my automations on HomeKit. I finally just eliminated it from my automations. If I put it to return to schedule when I came home, once I left it wouldn't change back to me being gone. I spoke with ecobee and they mentioned that the HomeKit will override the ecobee, so it screws up my schedule I set up on my ecobee.

    I'm all in on HomeKit, so they have me there. Overall, ecobee3 is an amazing unit that besides the automation glitches, causes me very little issue.
     
  10. parseckadet macrumors 6502a

    parseckadet

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    Personally I think the schedule learning of the Nest is overrated.
     
  11. chabig macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #11
    Nest is owned by Google. Ecobee is not. That should be enough to sway most thinking people.
     
  12. parseckadet, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2018

    parseckadet macrumors 6502a

    parseckadet

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    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #12
    Guys, this thread is over a year and a half old. I'm pretty sure the OP has made his purchase decision by now.
     
  13. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #13
    Indeed I have. Still with Nest. Having owned it for a year and a half now, the verdict is this: Very easy to use, good app, guests and non-techie in-laws and such can easily use it. It would be nice if it was HomeKit compatible, but it's not a big deal.
     
  14. GIZBUG macrumors 68000

    GIZBUG

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #14
    https://www.change.org/p/nest-labs-homekit-integration-for-nest
     
  15. LiveM macrumors 65816

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #15
    Anything you would need that is not provided by the Philips Hue motion sensor, light meter and thermometer? It's so small and uses Zigbee - its battery lasts forever, plus it's cheap enough to have several around the place so you can, for example, turn on a ceiling fan to help with a more even temperature by distributing warmth from the ceiling area or a nearby appliance.
     
  16. lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #16
    I just switched from Nest to Ecobee3. And I love it. I love how it integrates with HomeKit and Siri without 3rd party alternatives. Bought 2 sensors and placed them throughout the house. Overall I am having no issues with it. Although installation was tricky. I had no C wire. So I had to get someone to install the PEK wire for me. But other than that. I have been extremely satisfied.
     
  17. Nell macrumors 6502a

    Nell

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #17
    This is key for me. My sight impaired (and totally non-techie) elderly mother can use it. That counts for much more than HomeKit integration for me.
     
  18. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #18
    I agree. Stuff that only I use can be techie (not expecting my mother-in-law to my Synology NAS, for example), but home basics such as heat/ac must be easily accessible to everyone.
     
  19. pup macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    #19
    Well, with HomeKit integration, she can just say, "Hey Siri, turn the heat up to 72."

    But I think Ecobee's underrated feature is the individual room remotes. Our Ecobee keeps our house tons more comfortable than our Nest ever did. It really knocks Nest out of the park when it comes to actually keeping your home comfortable, which is really the point after all.
     
  20. spitcoff macrumors member

    spitcoff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    #20
    Love my nest. Not having home kit has not been a problem as once its set I literally have never touched it. I also have their smoke detectors.
     
  21. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #21
    Love my Ecobee - no need to feed Google's data habit...

    The Ecobee sensors aren't just temperature, but motion as well, so you can ask: "Hey Siri, is anyone in my house" and get an answer.
     
  22. pup macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    #22
    If that's true, then you could have gotten a $20 programmable thermostat.
     
  23. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #23
    Not if he relies on Nest's auto home/away detection for his "no touch" use.

    Just setting the cheapest thermostat to the most comfortable temperature is the ultimate set it and forget it case, but it's highly inefficient.

    Basic programmable thermostats are good but require interaction whenever you veer off your preset schedule (e.g., staying home for a holiday, sick day, slow day at work and decide to go home early). They also aren't great for people with unpredictable or always changing schedules (e.g., trades people whose work cannot be done in the rain, or nurses).

    That leaves EcoBee and Nest (and a few others) as the only smart thermostats that are programmable but also automatically adapt to changing patterns.
     
  24. spitcoff macrumors member

    spitcoff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    #24
    Exactly. Nest knows when we leave the house because of our phones and then sets the system to away. Great for the weekends when our schedule is erratic.
     
  25. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #25
    Ecobee is 100x better than Nest. Get the Gen 3 so you don't have Alexa in your home spying on you though.
     

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