Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat Update Adds HomeKit Support for Remote Sensors

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
    [​IMG]


    Smart wireless thermostat maker Ecobee is rolling out a firmware update to Ecobee3 devices that brings individual HomeKit support to the device's remote sensors for the first time.

    The Ecobee3 enables owners to use additional remote sensors to keep track of ambient temperature as well as detect motion in different locations within the home. With firmware version 3.7.0.969, currently rolling out to the devices, owners can now access individual sensors directly from within the iOS HomeKit app.

    [​IMG]

    The official change log for the firmware is as follows:

    o Automatically Restore HomeKit Connection. Occasionally some ecobees could lose its connection to Homekit and have to be rebooted in order to re-establish the connection. This firmware update enables the ecobee to automatically reconnect without any user action.

    o Wireless sensors with homekit enhancement. The wireless sensors now show up as accessories in the iOS Home app. Because of the dual functionality (occupancy detection and temperature sensing) of the sensors, each sensor will show up as two accessories.

    o The usual background cleanup and stability. As always, to smooth things out for a better experience.


    The Ecobee3 firmware is an automatic update currently being rolled out. Owners unsure of the version of their devices who aren't seeing their sensors in HomeKit should contact Ecobee support.

    Article Link: Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat Update Adds HomeKit Support for Remote Sensors
     
  2. profets macrumors 601

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #2
    Awesome news. However, since December I haven't been able to use my Ecobee3 with home kit. Happened after an update at one point. Still doesn't work with the newest firmware update yesterday, unfortunately.
     
  3. sirozha, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017

    sirozha macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Unplug the thermostat and plug it back in.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
    Strangely enough ecobee sensors were seen in the third-party Home app from the get-go. However, the Apple Home app couldn't see them.

    My thermostats haven't yet been updated, but I'm hoping that once they do, I will be able to assign remote sensors to HomeKit rooms, which hasn't been possible so far.
     
  4. profets macrumors 601

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    #4
    I've tried that a few times. It even rebooted yesterday after getting the firmware update. Weird.
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    I've had HomeKit get goofed up enough that I had to (from the Ecobee) delete the pairing and then pair it back up again.

    Glad I wasn't the only one seeing this! :)
     
  6. tvguru macrumors 6502

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    Kenora, ON Canada
    #6
    You sure can!
    Each sensor shows up as two separate devices. One for temp and one for motion.
     
  7. Corrode macrumors 6502a

    Corrode

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    #7
    I've had trouble with maintaining a constant HomeKit connection to my Ecobee too. Been wondering if it's because I don't have an ATV4. Hopefully this firmware fixes it.
     
  8. az431 macrumors 6502a

    az431

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    Portland, OR
    #8
    Ecobee is an absolutely horribly bug-ridden device, and unfortunately the developers don't seem to be spending much time fixing issues and making it stable, just rolling out new functionality that most of us don't need.

    Both on the iOS app and the web app it is impossible to change the temperature because it: (1) either springs back to another value than the one you set, (2) refuses to adjust in more than 4-5 degree increments, or (3) sets the cool point as the hot point, or vice versa. There are dozens of App Store reviews mentioning this issue, yet after several updates over the past six months it's still unresolved.

    It is impossible to manually update the firmware, and many Ecobees are either months behind or forever stuck on earlier firmware. It takes a call to Ecobee to get a firmware update pushed.

    The web app is not fully compatible with Safari despite the fact that this device works only with iOS devices. To create an Ecobee account I had to install Chrome, then switch back to Safari.

    The reports are a joke. Most are nonsensical and provide nothing in the way of context to determine what they mean. Simply "you're in the 45% of homes" without clarifying whether that's the top 45% or bottom 45% (or even whether your home IS the 45th percentile or somewhere between 0 and 45).

    I've also had the same HomeKit issue. Eventually it mysteriously began working, but then began a constant battle between HomeKit and Ecobee about who controlled the temperature in my home. The heat or AC would turn on seemingly at random depending on who won the power struggle. I decided to get rid of the HomeKit integration.

    Unfortunately it did not want to remove HomeKit integration without a reset, which led to the next major problem. If for some reason there is an issue that requires resetting Ecobee, it also destroys your Ecobee account and all settings and prior reports, meaning you start from scratch. You can't simply log back on and restore your settings.

    The only issue Ecobee has fixed in the one year I owned it is the login and TouchID, where the app was constantly logging you off even if you had used the app in the last few ours, and worse would not accept TouchID. But that took far too long, especially in light of the high percentage of users who had the issue.
     
  9. john991 macrumors 68000

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    Ontario
    #9
    I have two triggers for my thermostat (my ecobee3) Do you have that too?

    Not sure why I have two triggers for my thermostat.
     
  10. profets macrumors 601

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #10
    I tried that too, completely deleted the pairing, and even tried deleting all of my homekit devices / connections and start it from scratch, but still no go :(

    I have several ATV4s in the house. When it was working, the remote aspect of homekit seemed to work decently well.
     
  11. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

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    #11
    I love my ecobee. I've never had any significant bugs, except it very occasionally drops the wifi connection, though it does usually reconnect by itself. It's been installed for a year and a half now, and I'm saving a ridiculous 37% on my entire electric bill (about $70 savings a month, down from $190 to $120). I really didn't expect that much savings. Maybe my old thermostat had a problem or something.

    At first I bought it because of the option for extra sensors. However I didn't really end up using the one that came with it anyway. It eats batteries about every 6 months and I just stopped using it. I may have to break it back out now with the ability to add it to homekit.
     
  12. Boatboy24 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    That's a huge savings. I'm curious as to anything else that might have changed when you got your Ecobee. Did you have a very old thermostat before that? Was it programmable - did you have it programmed, or just maintain the same temp at all times? How is the new one set up - do you have a set program, or is it 'slowing down' when it knows you're not home? Thanks.
     
  13. Corrode macrumors 6502a

    Corrode

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    #13
    Wow I have not had the issues you've had. They did fix a bug I brought to their attention about the Notification Centre widget not updating.

    Otherwise, I wish their app had a native feel but I see what they're trying to do by mimicking the UI on the Ecobee itself. I don't use the app much because everything is scheduled and I use IFTTT DO Button to manually set Home/Away.

    I agree I have not found value in the reports.
     
  14. dwebstert, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017

    dwebstert macrumors newbie

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    #14
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
    This is a great update.
     
  15. aristobrat, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017

    aristobrat macrumors G5

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    #15
    Oh wow! I've had six remote sensors going on about 1.5 years and have only had to change one battery so far.

    Yeah, those reports are frustrating to me without any context.

    I do love the runtime reports though! I moved into a new construction house and was able to use those to show the builder (and his HVAC sub) that there was an issue on super-hot days where the upstairs unit couldn't keep up.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
    I couldn't see that happening without requiring them to have a power cable attached.
     
  16. dwebstert macrumors newbie

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    Georgia, USA
    #16
    This is a great update. Does anyone know why the Apple Store no longer sells the Ecobee3? Also, I was wondering why the sensors are not WiFi enabled in addition to radio enabled?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
     
  17. vipergts2207 macrumors 68000

    vipergts2207

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    Columbus, OH
    #17
    I have not had nearly the issues that he has had either. Overall it's been a good experience. My biggest complaint, (and this type of issue seems to be common for many smart home devices), is that the geofence feature built into Ecobee is only useful for bachelors who live alone. It doesn't work with two or more person households. This means I have to use a work around geofence using IFTTT integration and the life360 app. I don't understand why these some of these device manufacturers don't design these features to work for more than one person households, since I suspect most people live with at least one other person. Especially the core market for stuff like this, homeowners.
     
  18. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Sunny, Southern California
    #18
    I have now had it installed for over a year. I have had nothing short of a great experience with it. Granted I have not connected or used it via homekit. The only integration I have used it with is with my Lutron app. I have to wonder if some of the bugs people are seeing is because either;

    A - The software was released to soon. Not fully baked to be homekit compatible.
    B - The software for homekit has changed, and the vendor has had a tough time meeting the change.

    I also have four sensors throughout my house in key areas where people tend to congregate. I haven't yet had to replace a batter.

    The only notification was this past weekend, and I am guessing it had to do with the update, all my sensors went off line one by one and then came back on right after. The only reason I know this, is because I received an email notification telling me so. Other than that it has been rock solid.

    While, I can't say the exact percentage of how much my Ecobee has saved me, but my bills have been going down and have leveled out. The savings has been pretty dramatic. I have had a few spikes in my monthly bill, but I see those spikes were during the time we were home and it was in the 100 degree range outside.
     
  19. kingtj macrumors 68020

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    Brunswick, MD
    #19
    Yep, this! If your Ecobee stops talking properly w/HomeKit, completely unpair it, reboot your iOS device, and try setting it up like it's a new device in it again. Annoying, but worked for me and is actually the official Ecobee advice in one of the online troubleshooting tips.

    I'm glad they're still upgrading these with better support. I like my Ecobee a lot too -- but I also feel like my home is a challenge for it.

    I live in a 100+ year old, 2 story house that was upgraded about 10 years ago with a pair of heat-pumps. One for the upstairs and the other for the main level and basement area. I had to buy 2 Ecobee thermostats to control the two of them.

    Even with a total of 4 extra temperature sensors in use, strategically? I find it's a constant struggle to keep the house comfortable at the same temperature throughout. It seems like one problem is that warm air rises, so the unit heating the main level winds up working extra hard as that heat goes upstairs and contributes to warming it up. That means the upstairs unit probably doesn't run quite as much as it should to do its part. When the unit upstairs does decide to kick on, it heats the upstairs bedrooms pretty quickly and shuts back off. But then the whole upstairs feels far warmer than the downstairs does for the next hour or two.

    I guess I'm not sure if the two Ecobee 3 thermostats actually communicate with each other, but it seems like they don't.


     
  20. mistafro macrumors regular

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    Aug 24, 2003
    #20
    Awesome news!! I remember a few betas back the sensors showed up in HomeKit and I was excited to be able to use them as motion sensors but then after an update they disappeared. Also great to hear about the HomeKit reconnection issue being addressed as that has been my only complaint about the ecobee.
     
  21. liberte1776 macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2014
    #21
    Now if only they would release a new HW version of the sensors to also detect humidity levels, which I need in my place to determine where all my humidity is coming from... [​IMG]
     
  22. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #22
    I too am glad to see them updating it. I had another smart thermostat that was basically left to die and was told by the vendor to purchase their new one. I switched to the Ecobee. Here is hoping they continue to update their product and don't let it die out, or at least let it die out in the next five to ten years! :D
     
  23. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #23
    Yeah, Ecobee (alone) can't equal out the temperatures in a house. But at least it gives you some ability to control the temperature of occupied rooms without having to constantly run back and forth to the thermostat.

    There are two startup companies making "smart" air registers. IIRC, one company has said they will work with Ecobee. That would actually help control which rooms get the air when the HVAC runs, which could help equal out the temperatures. But it'll be first-gen, so who knows.

    The upstairs unit should start pulling its load during the summer when it bears the main brunt of A/C (and the downstairs gets somewhat of a break). :)
     
  24. kingtj macrumors 68020

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    Brunswick, MD
    #24
    Yep.... I can't really see that Ecobee is giving me a real cost savings on my bills. But we have 6 people living in our home including my mom's mom, who is almost always home. Just don't ever get a break on bills with "Away" time when it decides nobody is home and can let the temperature slip a bit.

    The ability to remote control the thermostats right from my iPad or phone is the best feature for us.

    I *really* look forward to smart register options. THAT is something we could really use, especially as we already have problems in that area where certain upstairs rooms tend to get really hot (or cold) if you don't open their vents in the winter and shut them in the summer. It's kind of a seasonal ritual to get out the step ladder and mess with them, since they're all round shaped vents on the ceiling of the rooms.

     
  25. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

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    Kentucky
    #25
    Old thermostat was not programmable at all. Usually kept around 72 in the summer and 69 in the winter (wife doesn't like it too cold :D).

    Ecobee is now usually set to auto with the same 3-degree range when we're home (69-72). When we're away I allow it to range between 60 and 78. Same limits whether we're on vacation for a week or just out for a regular workday. M-F workdays are scheduled times (leaving at 7:30, returning at 5:30) and weekends are a toss-up, so I just leave those to the sensor(s).

    I did change out a few light bulbs to LED over the past year but honestly I can't see that making very much difference on the energy bill. I also seem to recall last winter being colder than this winter, so the numbers may be skewed a little. I wish I could control more variables here, haha!
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
    I must have gotten an old batch of button cells... o_O
     

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