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Is the Ecobee4 Worth It?

Feb 10, 2019

There are a lot of people who may want to upgrade, break into the smart home universe, curious about the Ecobee4 cost savings, or top features and how it stands up against the competition. I know personally if I was entering the smart device world right now, I would be extremely overwhelmed with all options in today’s market.

The Ecobee4 has been out for a few years, so what’s the verdict? Is it still worth it to pick one up?

Overall, I personally think the Ecobee4 is STILL worth it in 2019 because of its cost savings, built-in Alexa integration and compatibility with other devices.

We’re going to cover whether it is truly worth it for you to grab the Ecobee4. The Ecobee4 is not meant for everyone but it certainly puts up a good case.

Why The Ecobee4 is Perfect For You

Did you know every year, people with an Ecobee4 save up to over 20% yearly on their cooling and heating costs? It even pays for itself after roughly 2 years! The Ecobee4 is absolutely worth it, especially if you have a traditional thermostat.

The Ecobee4 has a laundry list of amazing features but I want to highlight my favorite ones.

The first obvious reason is that it has Amazon Alexa built right into the thermostat. This means you can ask your thermostat “Alexa, what’s the thermostat temperature?”. Or you can say “Alexa, set the thermostat to 75 degrees!”. How amazing is that?

The second reason why I rank Ecobee4 as the number #1 smart thermostat is that it is compatible with a plethora of other devices and systems. The Ecobee4 works with Siri, Alexa (obvious), Google Assistant, and best of all – it works with Apples HomeKit-Enabled!

You’re probably wondering – why do I care about HomeKit? It’s Apples competitor to the Amazon Echo, so many folks who have committed to the Apple family need to be aware of this fact before purchasing a smart thermostat. For example, if they buy the Nest smart thermostat, well, sorry you’re out of luck. Nest does not support Apple HomeKit.

Other things Ecobee4 is compatible with is Samsung SmartThings, IFTT, Wink, haiku fans, Logitech harmony, Control4, and Vera. Talk about versatile.

The third reason why I enjoy the Ecobee4 isn’t a particular feature, but it’s actually how easy it is to set it all up. The average person can finish it in less than 30 minutes. Ecobee provides clear, simple, and concise steps on exactly how to get your Ecobee4 installed correctly. They also offer resources online and a link to Tech Support or a link to Certified Pro to install it for you instead. They identify the wires for you when you plug it in with helpful images. Honestly, you should be able to install this by yourself. If you are still struggling to set it up, just look up a YouTube video like this one.

Other special highlights the Ecobee4 offers:

  • 1 Room Sensor that Ecobee provides can help you get rid of that one cold spot in your house.
  • Home IQ lets you know how much energy you conserved every, single, month.
  • You can control your temperature from anywhere you want with your phone!
  • Clean and modern online website portal you can access from a desktop computer to manage your thermostat.
  • Comfort settings let your Ecobee4 know that between 9 AM – 3 PM you want it set at 72 degrees.
  • Alerts and Reminders help you know when to service your system or if your Ecobee isn’t performing how it should be.

Note: This was just a quick summary or example of each feature.

If you are still stuck with a normal thermostat, I just gave you a million reasons why you need to upgrade. Thank me later.

Why The Ecobee4 Could Be Your Worst Nightmare

It couldn’t be all rainbows and sunshine right? The Ecobee4 is not a one size fits all smart thermostat. There are drawbacks and we’re going to go over specific reasons why the Ecobee4 might not actually be a good device for you.

Here are 4 reasons why the Ecobee4 would NOT be worth it to you.

The first reason is that Ecobee4 (with built-in Alexa) is not spatially aware of other Alexa devices nearby. This means if you ask a question to Alexa, both the Ecobee4 (w/ Alexa) and your nearby Echo Dot will answer both questions.

There is no fix for this and it is really annoying.

The second reason is that the Ecobee4 is essentially the same thing as an Ecobee 3 and an Amazon Echo Dot. It is not worth the upgrade to get an Ecobee4 if you have the Ecobee3 and an Echo Dot. You have pretty much all the same functions and capability. Plus you can hook up your Dot to a Bluetooth speaker and jam out.

If you have an Ecobee3 and other Amazon Alexa devices – stay away from the Ecobee4.

The third reason is the built-in Alexa’s mic range and speaker are awful. The speakers aren’t really meant for playing music. It’s not the best audio quality. You can’t even pair Bluetooth to the Ecobee4 either! This is a major downgrade so you should keep this in mind.

The fourth and final reason is that Ecobee isn’t the smartest thermostat on the block. Other competitors like Nest have built-in functionality that learns your behavior. Do you always set it at 78 degrees around 4pm? Nest is going to remember that and can auto-schedule it.


Ecobee4 vs Nest, Which is Better?

The Nest is great for people who will appreciate the recently mentioned learning ability to capture your preferences and set an automatic schedule. They are also great for people who don’t have a HomeKit and enjoy a product that feels like really high quality. Bonus points for a wired & battery-powered device.

The Ecobee4 is great for people who like the flexible compatibility we mentioned earlier (Works with Siri, Google Assistant, etc.). The Home IQ and home away functions really bring it to the next level if you live your life in a consistent routine.

In the end, both devices are great. Both devices share a lot of similar features so most people will honestly be happy with either or.

Is The Ecobee Compatible With Your Current Thermostat?

Did you know that Ecobees aren’t compatible with high voltage systems? You didn’t? That’s okay. Ecobee has a pretty slick compatibility checker online which makes it easy. Click here to navigate to their site.

Fun Alexa Commands To Tell Your Ecobee4

One of my favorite things to do is to use my voice to interact with my Ecobee4 via Alexa. It’s awesome. Here are my 5 favorite commands to use:

  • “Alexa, what’s the thermostat temperature?”
  • “Alexa, raise/lower the thermostat temperature by 3 degrees”
  • “Alexa, ask ecobee what the thermostat is set to”
  • “Alexa, tell ecobee I’m cold
  • “Alexa, tell ecobee I’m leaving”

You can find out all the commands here at ecobee’s website.

How to Enable Ecobee & Ecobee Plus Skills On Your Amazon Device

If you want to be able to use all those cool commands I just listed, you’ll need to enable the skills on your Amazon device. Make sure to enable both the normal Ecobee Skills and the Ecobee Plus Skills. Try these steps below to enable it:

  1. Login to your Amazon account on your phone and pick the “Smart Home” option in the menu
  2. Click “Get more smart home skills”
  3. Search for Ecobee and enable it
  4. Login to your Ecobee account and accept the authorization screen

Make sure to repeat the steps to enable the Ecobee Plus Skills too. Still have questions or struggling? More information here at their website.

Final Note

I hope that helps you figure out if the Ecobee4 is worth it to you. I know it’s worth it to me (but I also don’t own an Ecobee3 which is why I love it even more).

The Ecobee4 is overall a better choice in my opinion, but hey, everyone is different. If I helped you pick an Ecobee4, a Nest, or none at all – drop a comment below. I would love to hear back. Thanks!

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