ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat Review
Last updated: 12/21/2014
Our ecobee EB-STAT-02 Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat Quick Rating:
12/2014 update: There’s a new ecobee model in town and it’s fantastic. However, we still think the the EB-STAT-02 deserves a 4-star rating. The only thing “wrong” with it is the dated touch screen design, but it’s still got all the stuff we love: data reports, remote access, and simplicity of use. The EB-STAT-02 is like a programmable thermostat on steroids. No gimmicks, no extras, just a great thermostat.
- Precise control over your systems
- Extremely detailed usage reports
- Full-featured menus on the device itself
- E-mailed alerts
- One-touch override
- Customizable temperature swings
- Large panel to place between furnace and thermostat
- Dated interface design not as slick as competitors
- May have too many options for users seeking overall simplicity
- Limited functionality mobile app
ecobee EB-STAT-02 Smart Thermostat Review
Founded in 2007, Toronto-based ecobee, Inc. aims to bring smart, easy, and green products to consumers. Ecobee launched the world’s first Wi-Fi enabled thermostat in 2009, winning numerous awards and establishing a brand new category of consumer products – the smart thermostat!
Of course, now it’s 2014 and competitors have introduced their own Wi-Fi enabled thermostats. The ecobee EB-STAT-02 is starting to show its age – the form factor isn’t as stylish as the Nest’s and the touch screen feels dated thanks to its resistive design (as opposed to capacitive, which is what you’re familiar with if you’ve used a modern smartphone or tablet).
However, ecobee remains a data-cruncher’s dream. The device collects and reports nuanced data about your home’s energy usage. For pragmatic users eager to slash their energy bills, the ecobee is a strong choice, and the user-friendly screen layout will be greeted with enthusiasm by less technically-inclined family members.
ecobee’s Best Features
- Built-in weather functions assist in saving energy, no matter what your local climate
- Companion app for iOS, Android, and Blackberry
- One-touch override
- High and low temperature email alerts
- Customize the temperature swings for iron-clad control over your home’s climate
- Learns how long it takes your HVAC system to reach the desired temp and begins heating/cooling at the appropriate time in advance of your scheduled time
- Local weather conditions accessible from display and incorporated into data reports
- Away/Vacation mode
ecobee Competitive Edge
The ecobee’s edge is in its usage reports. Get insights into your home’s energy usage with Home IQ’s personalized statistics. Home IQ lets you see monthly heating/cooling summaries, influencing factors such as the weather, and an estimate of your savings. For the competitive among us, the ecobee compares your system’s runtime against similar homes (sq. footage) in your state.
The Home IQ report includes the following:
- Your ecobee saved you X% – Savings estimate calculated by ___
- Your ecobee rating (X stars out of 5) – The star rating is ecobee’s estimate of how well your home retains heat
- System total runtime – “Your heating ran for 115 hours. This was 36 hours more than the previous month.”
- Runtime compared to other users in your state – “Your system ran 5% less than the average for your state / province”
- Weather’s influence – Example: “In February, your average weather was 28.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 4.7 degrees colder than the previous month.”
- Monthly comparison – Example: “In February, your average heat setpoint was 71.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 0.4 degrees warmer than the previous month.
ecobee collects the following data every 1-5 seconds:
- Date & time
- Current system setting (heat / cool / off)
- System mode (compressor, heating stage, etc.)
- Calendar event
- Program name
- Cool set temp / Heat set temp
- Actual temp (accurate within 1/10th of a degree)
- Humidity set point
- Actual humidity
- Outdoor temp
- Wind speed
- Cool stage1 (seconds)
- Heat stage1 (seconds)
- Fan (seconds)
- Humidifier (seconds)
- DM Offset
ecobee Technical Specs
- 5.5″ wide x 3.2″ tall
- 1″ depth
- Resistive Touch Panel (requires more pressure than a capacitive touch panel, which is the type found on most smartphones)
- 802.11b/g/n @ 2.4GHz
- WEP, WPA, WPA2
Nearly all wireless routers meet these standards.
ecobee System Compatibility
- Conventional forced air systems (3H/2C)
- Heat pump (4H/2C)
- Gas, oil, electric
- Humidifier, Dehumidifier
- Dual fuel systems
- Auxiliary heat
Some of ecobee’s Amazon.com reviews are from users who started with a Nest, but found it incompatible with their system so they replaced it (successfully) with an ecobee EB-STAT-02.
The Ecobee EB-STAT-02’s touch screen is not as sophisticated as the Nest’s or the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat’s. Some users complain that it’s more like 90’s touch screens (resistive) than modern smartphone screens (capacitive), and some complain the screen is too small for their fingers. Some ecobee screen controls are sliders, and some users find it difficult to be as precise as they would like.
The ecobee EB-STAT-02 ships with an equipment interface module, which is a second piece of equipment to install somewhere between the furnace and thermostat. This isn’t a problem for most, but it might be an unexpected surprise because many competitor models do not require this control panel. The panel can be positioned vertically or horizontally.
Ecobee’s mobile app has garnered some negative reviews for not being as complete as the web portal. The mobile app lacks access to Home IQ (the detailed data reports), and cannot be used in portrait orientation (only landscape). Ecobee’s app is limited in function: it can only adjust the temperature, mode, and programs.
The Bottom Line
The Ecobee EB-STAT-02 is a data crunching techie’s dream but it lags behind the competition on user interface design, screen usability (users complain of small size and awkward sliders), and installation. Professional installation is recommended, and a relatively large panel component has to go somewhere between your furnace and thermostat. The mobile app doesn’t offer full access to the Home IQ data, which is a shame because Home IQ is the Ecobee’s best selling point. Data-hungry users will have to use the web portal instead.
Still, most buyers give their Ecobee a high rating because of Home IQ, which goes above and beyond the competition’s usage reports. Users also report good compatibility with their HVAC systems compared to the Nest. Many Ecobee reviews on Amazon.com are from consumers who had trouble with Nest before switching (happily) to an Ecobee.
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