Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat with Apple HomeKit Review


Best thermostat for home comfort and saving money


Some installations may need a professional

Ease of Use

Well thought out interface across all devices


Website search could be better but phone support is very good

What I Don't Like

  • Installation will most likely require working with furnace control board
  • Only one sensor included in box, have to buy more separately

What I Like

  • Room sensors provide greater control and comfort
  • Automatically sets up schedule to save money on utility bills
  • Integrates seamlessly with Apples HomeKit

Summary: After five months of testing, the Ecobee3 stands out as the best thermostat I have ever used. It combines ease of use with a number of solutions to age old problems. At the same time, while these types of thermostats are advertised as easy to install, that may not be the case for everyone.

You can find thermostats that are similar but in my opinion they won’t give you the improved comfort, convenience, or utility savings the Ecobee3 can give you.

*At the time of publishing

Why You Should Listen to Me

For 30 years I’ve been a contractor in the heating and air conditioning trade. That’s a long time of listening to manufactures and their sales people hype their products. A long time of watching most of those products fail to live up to that hype.

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Are There Benefits to a Variable Speed Furnace?

No product is pushed harder in the heating industry than variable speed furnaces. There are three reasons for this:

  • Rebates to consumers are closely connected to them.
  • Contractor pricing and bonuses are based on how well they sell these furnaces.
  • They’re high profit for manufacturers.

Because of this, it’s difficult to find anything but marketing hype about these furnaces. Most of it is not only misleading but wrong. That’s not surprising.

But using independent studies and years of consumer experience we can find the true pros and cons of these furnaces.

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What is the Best Furnace Brand?

I wonder how some consumer magazines and review sites do it? How can they pass judgment on ALL products that come into their realm?

Is it because of some divine ability to be a professional on ALL subjects? Or do they have time machines to see what products will still be around in the future?

The reason I ask is because of how many times I have seen them misjudge or cast a negative light on a perfectly good product.

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Is A Two Stage Furnace Worth It?

A common question when someone needs to replace their furnace is whether to choose a single stage or two stage furnace.

Most people pay very little attention to their furnace. The first time we even hear the option of two stage heating is from a contractor’s salesman. Often these salesman wax poetic about how much better a two stage furnace is over a single stage furnace.

But before you choose, I’d like to give you my real world experience with these furnaces. You’ll find it quite different from what salesmen are telling you.

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How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

I remember sitting in a meeting one summer as a “high tech professional” from a manufacturer described how an air conditioner works. I can honestly say I was amazed.

Not by the quality of his explanation but by how far this guy was off the mark. He used words like “atomized” and a number of other $10,000 words. None of which described the relatively simple process of air conditioning. By the time he was done I felt...dumber.

The Easy Explanation

It’s a common misconception that air conditioners put cool air into your home. An air conditioner actually removes heat from the home. The easiest way to think of an air conditioner is to think of it as a sponge.

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How Much Does A New Furnace Cost?

Let’s start by making sure we are on the same page. When we discuss new furnace cost we are talking about what a furnace replacement costs when done by a professional HVAC contractor.

A furnace installation should never be installed by a do-it-yourselfer. Install plumbing wrong in your home and you could have water damage. Install a furnace wrong and someone could die. Don't mess with it unless you know what you are doing.

When people ask, "How much does a new furnace cost?" it's not a simple answer. It depends on your choices in three important areas.

  • Furnace Efficiency
  • Furnace Features
  • Installing Contractor

You’ll notice that the furnace brand is not listed as a factor. Despite the marketing hype, the price of a new furnace has little to do with the furnace brand.

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