HomeKit Weekly is a series that focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and also everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework. In this article, we are going to talk about Nest VS Ecobee – Which one is Best Smart Thermostat.
Despite Nest do not have native HomeKit support, it is still an incredible thermostat. The hardware is reliable, the software helps you to save money, and the iPhone app is very well execute. Outside of the lack of native HomeKit support, I do not have any complaints about the Nest thermostat.
The Nest smart thermostats are circular with a stainless steel outer ring and also a glass screen. They are significantly heavier than the ecobee thermostats in spite of having a smaller screen size.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is available in multiple color options — Polished Steel, Mirror Black, Brass, Stainless Steel, White, Black, and also Copper. Like, you can get the color that corresponds best to the color of your wall. The latest Nest Thermostat E is only available in one color that is White. Both Nest thermostats feature touchscreens with which you can also control the base unit.
The ecobee design is inspired by the rectangular programmable thermostats from the past decades. Their update on the design leaves the ecobee smart thermostats that looks like large rectangular smartwatches with rounded edges.
The ecobee smart thermostats are made of a black plastic body with a glass screen. All of them have a screen size of 3.5”, that actually makes them significantly larger than the Nest thermostats. The touchscreens can used in order to control the thermostats from the base unit as well.
nest vs ecobee – Installation
ecobee thermostats are the easiest ones to install with c-wire, also known as a common wire. C-wires provide a constant flow of power to your thermostat and they are generally only found in new HVAC systems.
Installing an ecobee thermostat will be easiest if you have a c-wire in your current HVAC setup. If you do not have a c-wire, then you will have to go through a slightly extended workaround. The ecobee thermostats come with a PEK (power extender kit). As such, if you do not have a c-wire, then follow the instructions to install the PEK. You will have to attach a few wires to your control board. Once you do that, you can also connect your ecobee thermostat.
As such, installing ecobee thermostats is really easy for those with c-wire HVAC units but really complicated for those without c-wires.
Just as is the case with ecobee thermostats, You can Nest thermostats can install easily if you have a c-wire HVAC unit. However, as previously mentioned, c-wires are not mostly available in older HVAC units.
If you do not have a c-wire in your HVAC unit, then you may need to go through a workaround referred to as power stealing. This is actually a method in which the thermostat’s battery is charge by running the HVAC fan. However, you should avoid this workaround because it can destroy your electrical system or thermostat.
Ideally speaking, if you do not have a c-wire, you should purchase an add-a-wire kit to install the c-wire into your HVAC unit. This will also protect your Nest thermostat and prevent potential damages down the line.
nest vs ecobee Voice Control
ecobee thermostats work along with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and also Apple HomeKit devices. You can also control ecobee using any of their native voice assistants. Furthermore, ecobee4 and ecobee5 also have an inbuilt Alexa speaker so that they can also function as Alexa hub themselves.
Nest thermostats work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and also Microsoft Cortana devices. They do not have an inbuilt Alexa speaker and they are not likely to ever have Apple HomeKit support.
ecobee is the clear winner when it comes to voice control and compatibility as well. ecobee4 and ecobee5 are equipped with an inbuilt Alexa speaker and ecobee thermostats support Apple HomeKit but Nest thermostats don’t.
ecobee app vs Nest app
Since I have been using the Nest application for so long, it took a little time to used to the ecobee app. Both applications are very well done, but they operate in very different ways. Both apps allow you to create schedules, control your app remotely, and also modify settings. All in all, they are both actually very well done.
The Nest is actually a circular design where the ecobee is more square-ish. I do not have any complaints about the Nest, but I like how the ecobee model is larger and also allows you to touch the screen. The larger footprint makes it easier to cover the holes from your old thermostat. Both models also include a backplate for that purpose, but I mostly prefer to not use it. ecobee supports playing music from Spotify and using Alexa along with it, but those features are not of interest to me. Both of the units support temperature sensors, but I prefer how the Nest uses them. You can also create schedules to base how the unit runs at particular times of the based on your preference. With ecobee, it pulls the data from all your sensors in order to create a heating and cooling schedule.
nest vs ecobee – Best at Updates?
ecobee regularly rolls out updates for its smart thermostats and devices. Recently, ecobee roll out an update that is called eco+ for all of its ecobee thermostats.
This update is meant to health you conserve energy via many new features. Such as, a new feature called Time of Use will take the benefits of time-of-use electricity rates to cool. Or heat your home when the electricity cost is low and also conserve energy when the cost is high. This can automate your energy-saving considerably.
The updates are automatically push to your ecobee thermostats and you can also activate them by simply updating your ecobee application. You will get a notification that an ecobee app update is available. When you update your app, the eco+ update will send to your ecobee thermostats.
Nest keeps introduces new software updates. Their updates mostly focus on fixing bugs and glitches but they also introduce new features occasionally. Their latest update — version 6.1 — was released on November 18, 2019.
Just like ecobee, you can also update your Nest thermostat by downloading the latest Nest application on your phone.
nest vs ecobee Zone Control
Smart thermostats respond to the external temperature in order to help maintain the optimal temperature according to your preference. But, the temperature of the location where the thermostat is install may be different than where you spend your time. If the thermostat is close to an open door, it may register a lower temperature because of cold drafts. And if it is in direct sunlight, then it may register higher temperatures.
ecobee corrects this issue along with its remote sensors. You can install also these remote sensors in different rooms across your home. They send temperature and also motion information to the ecobee thermostat. Just like that, the thermostat knows exactly where you are at all times so it can adjust the temperature in the necessary rooms. This makes sure that your room always has the optimal temperature. However, also conserving energy because the HVAC unit does not cool or heat unused rooms.
Each and every ecobee thermostat comes with one remote sensor. But, you can purchase additional remote sensors in packs of two separately.
Ever since ecobee3 also introduced remote sensors, Nest users have been shifting their allegiance slowly. To prevent that, Nest recently released its own set of remote sensors in order to control the temperature in different zones of your home.
The Nest remote sensors are the same as the ecobee remote sensors but with one major difference — they can only record the temperature and not motion or occupancy as well. When you place Nest remote sensors in different parts of your home, then they send temperature data to the thermostat so that you can optimize the temperature in different rooms.
However, Nest remote sensors do not send motion information, that means there is no occupancy information either. So that, Nest thermostats can’t identify which rooms are occupied or unoccupied. They may continue heating or cooling rooms even when they are unoccupied, that actually makes them less energy efficient.
nest vs ecobee Ease of Use
Its ease of use and simplicity depends on how easily you can program the smart thermostat or set schedules. It is importantly a culmination of all the aforementioned qualities, that is, the features and the smartphone app.
ecobee has an extremely user-friendly smartphone app and also a user-friendly smart thermostat design. You can also create schedules easily, even though you have to do it manually by establishing the temperature for different times and days as well.
Nest has a user-friendly smart thermostat but the smartphone app is not as intuitive as it can be. The greatest advantage of the Nest thermostat, but, is the presence of Algorithmic Learning.
This feature, as we have already learned, makes it so the thermostat learns your schedule and routine automatically as you adjust the thermostat. Really soon, you won’t have to make any adjustments or set schedules because the thermostat will simply follow your established patterns. If you do not like this feature, you can also enable the traditional scheduling feature.
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