Smart thermostats are a fantastic way to heat, cool, and monitor your home all form your iPhone or iPad. They have been on the market for years, and they keep getting better and better; however, ecobee consistently comes out on top when talking about the best smart thermostats. A big reason ecobee comes out on top is thanks to its room sensors.
What are ecobee room sensors?
ecobee room sensors are an additional accessory that you can pair with your ecobee smart thermostat which allows the thermostat to know the temperature of different rooms in your house.
Not only do the room sensors detect temperature, but they also have motion sensors so it can tell when somebody is in that room.
Why are room sensors so useful?
When you install a smart thermostat and set the temperature, the thermostat is only sensing the area around it. So while it may be 70 degrees in your main floor hallway where the thermostat is, the guest bedroom upstairs could be 75 degrees. These hot or cold spots in your house can be annoying, and make being in certain rooms uncomfortable.
Room sensors allow you to see the temperature in every room you put them in, meaning you have a better idea of what the temperature is over your whole house.
How do room sensors work?
Most houses don't have automatic dampers on their HVAC system, meaning when the heat or the AC goes on it will pump through the entire house. ecobee knows this is the case, and one of the main functions of the room sensors is to allow the thermostat to average the temperature in your house to try and combat those hot and cold spots.
Say you place a room sensor in your home office, and it's currently 73 degrees, but your smart thermostat in the front entrance is reading 70. Your ecobee smart thermostat will attempt to heat or cool your house to approximately 71 degrees as a middle ground. The more room sensors you have — which you can pair up to 32 with one thermostat — the more information your ecobee thermostat has to calculate a comfortable average.
On top of averaging, the room sensors also enable the "Follow Me" feature. This feature is used to detect the temperature in the rooms that are occupied. If you're in the living room and then decide to retire to your bedroom for some late night Netflix before bed, as long as you have room sensors in both rooms, ecobee will do its best to make sure the temperature is at the proper setting (as set by you) wherever you roam.
Of course, like any thermostat — smart or not — these room sensors can be heavily customized based on a schedule. So you can heat or cool your home at the precise times you want to and not waste energy when you're not in the house.
How much do they cost?
On their own, a 2-pack of the ecobee room sensors cost $79 on Amazon. So if you already have an ecobee3 or ecobee4 smart thermostat, you'll need to buy the sensors.
Of course, if you don't have an ecobee smart thermostat already, you'll need to get one. The good news is the ecobee4 comes with a room sensor in the box to get you started, but if you want to buy more you'll those will be an extra cost. The ecobee4 thermostat with a room sensor costs about $249 (opens in new tab).
See ecobee Room Sensors at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
This is the main reason I chose ecobee over others. I don't understand all the hoopla around Nest and the other competitors aside from they look pretty. I'd rather have more function for something like this than something that looks really nice, and ecobee has both in my opinion.
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