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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 27, 2014
So my wife and I have been in our apartment for 16 years and when it gets warm and hot in the summer, our upstairs bedrooms COOK. The thermostat that we've had in the unit since day 1 is a simple Hot/Cold thermostat that I would like to replace with the Ecobee3. Right now, the thermostat runs the AC and heat just fine but because we have upstairs bedrooms, I have my phone alert me when the outside temperature gets to a certain point in order to turn on the AC. This is fine for now but I'm realizing that the Ecobee (and others like it) could make this process much simpler.

Here's my problem. Looking at my current thermostat, I have NO clue as to if I could replace the old thermostat with an Ecobee or not so I'm hoping someone here, who is much smarter than me in these matters, could help me out.

Here is my current thermostat and yes, I just changed the batteries today...

As for whether or not I have permission to replace it....I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For what we pay in rent, I feel justified in making this upgrade since they haven't replaced or improved anything else...However, I just need to know if this can be done or not.


macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2012
The first step would be to figure out how to take that off the wall so you can see how many wires there are and what codes they're wired to. Thermostats can be wired differently depending on what kind of HVAC system you have. I don't know about this particular thermostat, but most of them just snap to a plate that's screwed to the wall. Be sure to turn off the power to the HVAC system before removing it.
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macrumors member
May 20, 2024
The Ecobee comes with fairly decent installation instructions, as long as you have a screwdriver you should be able to follow the steps.

What you need to do before buying one is, pop that thermostat off of the wall (set it to Off first) and take note of the wires that are running to it from the HVAC unit. The screwposts on the thermostat or wall mount will have letters next to them that correspond to the function of each wire. You can go to this website and select which wires are connected, and it will tell you if the Ecobee will be compatible: The Ecobees are compatible with most systems but there are some older or more exotic systems that either are not compatible or require some extra work.


macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2020
It really cones down to if you have a c-wire or not. Not all hope is lost if its not connected. But if it is, its a fairly easy swap. Take pictures, and turn the power off.
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macrumors 604
Aug 19, 2017
It really cones down to if you have a c-wire or not. Not all hope is lost if its not connected. But if it is, its a fairly easy swap. Take pictures, and turn the power off.
I hooked my Ecobee up but I needed help from there CS dept. I had to send pics of the wiring in the HVAC unit and the thermostat wiring then he was able to talk me through connecting power to the c-wire so the Ecobee would work. I also have a heat pump system instead of a stand alone A/C which further complicated the install. The CS was amazing and stayed on the call with me for almost 2 hours and insisted on keeping me on the line until the Ecobee worked correctly. If your not electrically inclined I suggest calling an A/C tech to do the installation for you. If you hookup the Ecobee wrong you could damage the unit which most definitely doesn't fall under warranty.
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