ecobee vs Nest: Don’t Overlook These 8 Crucial Differences

The ecobee and Nest are widely considered the best two smart thermostats available. If you read just about any smart thermostat review, you’ll see these two almost always come out on top.

I’ve used both products and I’ve found 8 key differences. The differences between ecobee and Nest aren’t huge. But, they ARE different and the differences DO matter. So read on and I’ll fill you in on what I’ve learned.

Which Thermostat Is Better For You?


Are you a hands-on tinkerer with a love of customization and endless data? Then, ecobee is your match.


Do you want a  thermostat that looks great and just works with barely any thought from you? In that case, Nest is a better fit.

3rd Generation Nest Thermostat

1. Look and Feel

Put one of these thermostats on your wall and impress your friends. Who would have thought that a thermostat could be a topic of conversation?


The Nest Learning Thermostat has a modernized look of the classic Honeywell Round.

The old Honeywell Round
The new Nest…look familiar?

It has a stainless steel outer ring that reflects your wall color and allows it to blend in with any décor. The face lights up with blue light when your system is cooling and orange light when it’s heating.

The solid construction is obvious when you handle the thermostat. Its heavy and feels sturdy.


ecobee decided to take the rectangular look from the programmable thermostats of the past 30 years and round the corners. The result is something that looks a bit like an oversized smartwatch.

It comes in black plastic with a glass screen and sports a significantly larger screen than the Nest. The screen is also a touchscreen which gives you access to many control settings from the base unit if you desire.

Which is Better?

I’m a proud ecobee user, but I have no problem admitting that the Nest looks great. The ecobee looks good, too. It just doesn’t have the same “cool” factor as the Nest.

If you prefer your thermostat to be something that doesn’t say “look at me”, you may prefer the look of ecobee. You could also consider the lower-cost Google Nest E, which I mention below.

Shop Now: Google Nest | ecobee SmartThermostat

2. Schedule Learning

One of the big marketing hooks for Nest is that it “automatically learns your schedule”. So what does that even mean? Is it a magic, mind-reading thermostat?


When you first install the Nest, it makes a few assumptions about you based on typical humans. It uses those guesses as a baseline for its schedule.

Sooner or later, you’ll feel too warm or too cold and you’ll use either the app or the thermostat to adjust the temperature up or down.

When you make an adjustment, Nest records it. After a week or two of adjustments, Nest will “learn” your schedule and the temperature settings you prefer.

Over time it will continue to respond to your adjustments. So rather than keeping a fixed schedule, it will continually evolve.

If you don’t like the way Nest learns, you can always shut the feature off. Nest can be programmed to run on a conventional schedule if you shut off the learning feature.


The ecobee uses a more conventional schedule. You choose your desired times and temperatures for when you are home, away, and sleeping.

Once the times and temperatures are set, they don’t change unless you change them.

Setting up the schedule is not difficult and can be done from the thermostat, the mobile app, or the web console.

Which is Better?

Is Nest’s schedule learning feature better than a regular schedule like ecobee’s? Or, is it just another gimmick that seems to be all too common in the smart home universe?

I suppose it depends on who you ask.

For people that are really hands off, I can see a definite benefit to Nest’s way of doing things. However, if you’re a more hands on person like myself, you might not find Nest’s learning feature very useful.

Personally, I prefer knowing the heat/AC is set to come on at a specific time. Then, if something turns on when its supposed to be off (or vice versa), I know something is wrong.

Either way, Nest’s learning feature is an extra option that ecobee doesn’t have. If you have a Nest and you like the learning feature, you can use it. If not, turn it off.

Shop Now: Google Nest | ecobee SmartThermostat

3. Voice Control

Voice control is the number one way I interact with my smart thermostat. I’ve found it’s almost always easier to adjust the thermostat with a voice command rather than open the app or get off the couch (gasp!) and adjust it manually.

I mostly use Alexa for my smart home, but Google Assistant and HomeKit can work just as well. It’s a little weird talking to a machine at first, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty nice.


ecobee seems like they’re really dedicated to voice control. They support all three major voice assistants.

Also, the ecobee has an Alexa speaker built into it. If you don’t already have a smart speaker near your thermostat, it could be useful.


Nest supports both Google Home and Amazon Alexa. However, it doesn’t directly support Apple HomeKit and it’s unlikely that it ever will.

Which is Better?

The integrated Alexa speaker on the ecobee is a minor advantage. But, if you already have a smart speaker nearby, the extra one might end up causing problems. If it does cause problems, you can disable it.

Nest doesn’t support HomeKit directly, so if you’re a HomeKit user, the ecobee would be a better choice.

4. Geofencing

This is not the Geo fencing we’re talking about.

I know what your thinking. Why is there a picture of a Geo Metro in a championship fencing bout? Well, it’s because I have a super lame sense of humor. Moving on…

Many smart home products can use your phone’s GPS as a means of determining whether you are home or not. This is called geofencing.

If you cross the geofence leaving your home, the thermostat can switch to away mode. Then, when you cross the geofence on your way back home, the thermostat will resume heating/cooling.


Nest’s geofencing is built right into their app. You can even set up multiple accounts so that geofencing works with multiple phones.

It automatically combines the use of geofencing with cues from other Google Nest devices to determine whether you’re home or not.

If you take your phone and travel outside your geofence, the thermostat will go into away mode. 

Okay, but what if the kids are still at home?

Let’s say for example that you also have some Nest Protects (that’s the Nest smoke detector) at home. They have motion sensors on them.

The Nest Protect motion sensors will detect motion in the house. Therefore, it knows someone is home so it will ignore the geofence trigger to switch to away mode.


Ecobee supports geofencing too, but only for one phone.

This is a bit of a problem for my wife and I. If I happen to leave the house for a few hours, my phone always goes with me. Therefore, the thermostat goes into away mode.

If it happens to be the middle of January, it won’t be long before everyone in the house is freezing.

Fortunately, there is a way to set up geofencing with multiple phones on the ecobee. Unfortunately, it requires the use of a couple third party apps (IFTTT and Life360).

It’s not difficult, but it did take me about an hour to get everything set up. I’ve written detailed instructions on how to do it here so you should be able to do it in about 15 minutes.

Which is Better?

Geofencing is one way I save money with my smart thermostat. I consider Nest’s geofencing the biggest advantage it has over ecobee.

The fact that I have to “hack” together a geofencing solution (for multiple phones) with ecobee is disappointing. Although the third-party app solution works, its less than ideal. It’s extra work and it just seems like a hack job. Plus, it doesn’t seamlessly integrate with other products like Nest does.

Shop Now: Google Nest | ecobee SmartThermostat

5. Is a C Wire Really Necessary?

In order to power their big screens and maintain their WiFi connections, smart thermostats need a constant source of power. Most of the time, the wires that connect to the thermostat can provide that power.

But, if your wires don’t include a c wire, you may have to jump through a few extra hoops to get your smart thermostat working correctly.


If your current thermostat wiring doesn’t have a c-wire, you could eliminate some wiring by going with the Nest.

The Nest thermostat can be installed without a c-wire. This allows you to avoid the hassle of installing a c-wire yourself.


Ecobee cannot be installed without a c-wire. Instead, ecobee includes an extra set of wires they call the PEK (power extender kit).

If your system doesn’t have a c-wire, you’ll be instructed to install the PEK. The installation requires attaching a few wires to your HVAC control board.

Which is Better?

Nest works without a c-wire and ecobee does not. Advantage Nest, right?

Well, not necessarily.

In order to avoid needing a c-wire, Nest powers the thermostat using an electrical trick often referred to as power stealing. Nest’s power stealing is capable of causing certain systems to behave erratically.

Therefore, even if I had the Nest, I would recommend installing a c-wire anyway. It’s really not that difficult and you’ll avoid a potential source of major headaches in the future. The easiest way to add a c-wire is to use an add-a-wire kit, which you will have to buy separately.

On the other hand, ecobee includes their add-a-wire kit (PEK) with your purchase. So if you need it, you’ll have it.

For more information about c-wires, how to add one, and how power stealing can lead to problems, see my article all about the c wire.

6. Low-Cost Version

Both companies have released lower cost versions of their flagship models. ecobee has the ecobee3 Lite and Nest has the Nest Thermostat E.


The ecobee3 Lite looks almost exactly the same as the ecobee SmartThermostat and it functions nearly the same, too.

It doesn’t come with a built in Alexa speaker (so no blue light on top either) and it doesn’t have the accessory terminal. The ecobee3 Lite is also typically sold as a standalone unit (no remote sensor included).


The main functional difference between Nest Thermostat E and Nest is it’s missing an accessory terminal.

The other obvious difference is the look. Nest E has a much more subtle appearance than Nest.

The shiny outer ring is replaced with plastic and the screen has a matte finish that’s designed to blend in rather than stand out.

Which is Better?

Both economy versions are missing the extra accessory terminal. That means you won’t be able to connect the thermostat to an accessory (e.g. whole-home humidifer, HRV, ERV). 

Other than that, they function basically the same as the more expensive models. ecobee3 Lite loses its Alexa ability (not a big loss if you ask me), and Nest E doesn’t have Nest’s flashy looks.

Unless you need the extra accessory terminal, most people prefer saving some money with the ecobee3 Lite over the ecobee SmartThermostat. However, when choosing between Nest and Nest Thermostat E, I think more than a few people pay the extra money to get the looks of Nest even if they don’t need the accessory terminal.

7. Energy Reports

How do you know if your smart thermostat is working the way it should? Some people will be content to just slap it on the wall and let it do its thing. But, that’s not me. I want to see some details.


The ecobee data reports blow the competition (Nest) away. It records and analyzes HVAC data for a full 18 months. All temperature and motion data from both the thermostat and the remote sensors is recorded.

Their analysis tool is called Home IQ. It’s accessible via the web console and it’s provided free of charge by ecobee for as long as you own the thermostat.

Home IQ gives you features such as System Monitor, Weather Impact, and Home Efficiency. These features help monitor your total usage, how much the local weather influences your usage, and how your home efficiency compares to other users in your area. (See my ecobee review for more details on Home IQ).


The Nest includes data feedback, too. However, compared to ecobee’s reports, Nest data reports are child’s play.

Nest only records 10 days of data. It doesn’t give you any fancy analysis either. It just shows a visual of the times your system turned on and off during those 10 days. It will also mark the times when the thermostat set point was changed.

Using that, you can compare total usage between certain times of the day and different days.

Nest also sends out a monthly home report via email. It includes a summary of your energy usage and compares it with past months and other Nest users.

Which is Better?

With ecobee, everything is recorded and visible in chart form. Every time you manually change the setpoint, it gets recorded. Every time the thermostat takes any kind of smart action, it gets recorded.

You can go back 18 months and see minute-by-minute data from the sensors (motion and temperature), home temperature and outdoor temperature, set points, hold events, and smart events. 

Bottom line: If you’re looking for energy reports and analysis, ecobee with Home IQ is the way to go. Nest has closed the gap some, but ecobee remains the superior option here.

Shop Now: Google Nest | ecobee SmartThermostat

8. Remote Sensors

The temperature where your thermostat is installed might be different than the temperature where you spend most of your time. Remote sensors allow the thermostat to take readings from any room throughout your home and adjust accordingly. This can be a huge advantage if your thermostat is located next to a door (cold drafts) or in direct sunlight.


ecobee’s remote sensors can be placed wherever they are needed in your home.

ecobee Smart Sensor | Check Price

They send temperature and motion data back to the ecobee (more info). Using that data, the thermostat can keep the areas you use the most at the temperature you prefer.

The retail ecobee SmartThermostat comes with one remote sensor. Extra sensors are available for purchase in packs of two.


Ever since the release of the ecobee3 several years ago, the ecobee remote sensors have been wooing would-be Nest customers over to the ecobee side.

However, that may have come to an end. Nest has released sensors of their own.

Nest Sensor | Check Price

They serve mostly the same purpose as the ecobee sensors save for one notable exception: Nest sensors only include temperature sensing. There’s no occupancy sensing.

Which is Better?

ecobee’s sensors have motion sensing and Nest’s do not. That means Nest’s sensor driven features are at a disadvantage (relative to ecobee) from the start. 

Shop Now: Google Nest | ecobee SmartThermostat

Quick Summary

1. Look and Feel

  • ecobee looks good, but doesn’t have the same “wow” factor as Nest.
  • Nest has a beautiful, modern design and sturdy metal construction.

2. Schedule Learning

  • ecobee doesn’t have schedule learning capability.
  • Nest records your changes and learns your preferences over time. It automatically makes small adjustments to try to save energy.

3. Voice Control

  • ecobee supports all 3 major voice assistants and has an Alexa speaker built into it.
  • Nest supports Google assistant and Alexa but not Apple HomeKit.

4. Geofencing

  • ecobee natively supports geofencing for 1 phone. To make it work with multiple phones requires extra work and third-party apps.
  • Nest has native geofencing with multiple phones and works seamlessly with other Nest devices (Home/Away Assist).

5. C-Wire

  • ecobee requires a c-wire, but comes with a c-wire adapter called the Power Extender Kit (PEK).
  • Nest doesn’t require a c-wire. Uses “power stealing” instead.

6. Low-Cost Version

  • ecobee3 Lite has the same features as the ecobee but doesn’t come with a sensor, Alexa speaker, or support for an accessory. 
  • Nest Thermostat E has all the same features of Nest but it lacks support for an accessory. It also looks way less shiny.

7. Energy Reports

  • ecobee keeps 18 months of detailed charts for temperature, motion, and weather.
  • Nest has improved its data feedback but lacks the charts and detail of ecobee.

8. Remote Sensors

  • ecobee sensors record temperature and motion. Included with purchase of ecobee SmartThermostat.
  • Nest sensors sense temperature only (lacks motion). Must be purchased separately.

Final Thoughts

3rd Generation Nest Thermostat

Right out of the box, Nest looks great and feels like a quality product. It has the most comprehensive home/away system and is the original thermostat that can “learn” your schedule. It has sold a ton of units and was the one thermostat that really put smart thermostats in the public eye.

The ecobee gives you nearly as much smarts as the Nest and backs that up with superior customization and data feedback. Plus, it’s remote sensors give it some unique abilities. It’s a solid product from a solid company that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

58 thoughts on “ecobee vs Nest: Don’t Overlook These 8 Crucial Differences”

  1. Spencer D Lloyd

    Good article. I’m moving, and based on this will go with a Nest compared to my current Ecobee. I think my wife will find the Nest easier to use.

  2. We are retired so we aren’t on a daily schedule. How does the Nest react or know when we aren’t there?

    1. The best way is the geofencing feature. It can keep track of your location using your smartphone’s GPS and switch to away mode if you leave your home.

  3. Good review but Nest’s ‘power stealing’ does not work reliably on modern systems that use low-power electronic controls. And, Ecobee’s system reports can be used to detect when a system is not performing well. It will show extended run-times. Schedule learning is only useful when household members follow a strict schedule. If not, it just adds confusion and needs to be over-ridden to maintain comfort. Ecobee wins hands down.

    1. My nest 3rd generation thermostat is too smart. Geofencing works when you leave, but turns off only when you get home to a too cold or too hot house. I’ve been having a lot of problems getting nest to start my ac compressor when it’s needed. The screen says +2 hours to target temp and the compressor isn’t on. Been troubleshooting with Google. Doesn’t seem worth it.

  4. Good article. I’ve had a nest 2nd gen for 9 years but lately felt the inside temps were off. So I’m trying out the Ecobee Smart. I was always ticked that Google purchased Nest and there would be no home kit features available for nest.

    I am liking the sensor being able to detect movement. I can see this being useful for future smart home projects since I can use homekit to do things if the sensor is recording activity.

    The only thing I don’t like is you have to set the schedule in ranges and to add different types of schedules you have to do it via the website but I plan on giving the Ecobee at least a weeks worth of running to see if I get past what I was used to on Nest.

    I couldn’t really use the learning feature too much because people at home would mess with temp and throw things off.

    At least it’s an alternative to feeling I have to give all my life to Google products.

  5. From a A/C tech perspective, the Ecobee is a better product. Even using the Nest add a wire kit, it can act up and requires making a bigger hole in the wall, the Ecobee kit is hands down better. The occupied reading of their sensors helped knock my electric bill in half from last year’s summer. And finally to me the settings are easier on the Ecobee to navigate. I do respect the Nest, but Ecobee is the one I’ve recommended.

  6. The Ecobee has a plastic face, not glass as mentioned in some people/articles. I really wanted to like it but it looks cheap and the promotional pictures are very misleading. There is also a black sticker on the lower left corner. Cheap materials.

    1. The new version of the ecobee, the ecobee Smart Thermostat, does have a glass face now. Previous versions did have a plastic face.

    2. I have the Ecobee 5 and the face is absolutely glass. It feels very sturdy, although I’m not much of a fan for the white faceplate that comes with the thermostat to cover any holes left by my old one.

  7. I have a nest e controlling my basement in-floor radiant heat. All it does is turn the boiler and pumps off and on per the temperature I select.

    I question the temperature accuracy of the nest. I have a recording digital thermostat next to the nest. So for example if I set the nest at 68, sometimes the nest starts the boiler at 67.5 and it runs a period of time, say 75-90 minutes until the nest is satisfied and the boiler shuts off. The temperature will typically overshoot and the nest will read 69.. not a problem. What I question is several times a day the nest will start the boiler when the digital thermometer reads 68.5 (nest says 68) and the boiler runs 20-30 minutes until apparently the nest is satisfied and shuts off. When the nest is set at 68 for example, shouldn’t it trigger at 67.5 (or something like that) and shut off at 68.5 (or something like that). I realize I’m being picky here but why is the nest triggering when it already reads 68 and is set at 68. Would the ecobee be more accurate?

    1. I haven’t had the opportunity to use these thermostats with any sort of boiler system. Both Nest and ecobee use past performance and weather data to try to predict future heating needs. My guess is that the Nest is anticipating that if it waits until the temperature gets to 67.5 to turn the boiler on, it will take too long for the heating effects to kick in and in the mean time the temperature will overshoot to the low side.
      I can’t say whether the ecobee would be more accurate, but we’re talking only fractions of a degree. If your thermostat keeps the temperature within a 2-3 degree range, I think it will be difficult to improve on that.

    2. If the system is overshooting, it may be due to the fixed 1 degree “swing” default on the Nest that is not adjustable (last time I checked) whereas a swing feature on the ecobee can be adjusted to be more or less sensitive to temperature change. If the thermostat is in a place where it takes longer for the warm air to register on the thermostat, then it will more likely overshoot.
      Swing is an important feature, sadly lacking on the Nest and Honeywell thermostats, that is useful to balance room temperature fluctuation with system cycle frequency.
      (“swing” is the temperature delta between call for heating or cooling and system shut off)

  8. What happens if the power goes out? You will freeze in the winter or is there some sort of a backup system that would continue to run your heating in the house?

  9. I’ve had a nest 2nd gen for three years. Today it quit calling for heat. The ac part works bit not the heat. It should have lasted longer than 3 years. Nest was no help. I think I will try out the eccobee.

  10. The ecobee only supports 1 physical fan speed, while the Nest 3 supports up to 3.

    This would matter more for the condo users who use an HVAC system with multiple fan speed wires.

    1. This isn’t true, at least for the current ecobee offerings. My smart ecobee runs my two stage heat pump and furnace no problem.

  11. there are even more crucial advantages to the ecobee (and nest) that have been missed here. i have used the ecobee3, ecobee4 and the nest gen 3.

    reminders – the ecobee allows users to set reminders for filter, maintenance and humidifier and allows you to set the # of months

    humidifier – the nest requires a nest pro to install the humidifier. the ecobee doesnt. the ecobee also allows you to set a prefered humidity %, where as the nest is just a random value from low to high.

    wifi/connectivity – the nest has better connectivity. the ecobee can be spotty with some networks and drop connection (becoming a dumb thermostat)

    warnings – this is a HUGE one. the ecobee allows users to set notifications for warnings. low temp, high temp, humidity and emails you if it senses issues with the furnace. the nest has no such feature.

    interface/tactility – the nest has a physical button/ring. whereas the ecobee is touch. as mentioned already in comments, glass nest vs plastic ecobee

    i currently am using the nest as the ecobee3 would drop connection every other day(replaced to the ecobee4 under warranty) and the ecobee4 would drop connection about once a week, but even with that issue, i may switch back to the ecobee4

  12. Doesn’t the learning nest thermostat have a sensor for motion for the auto-away? It used to work but google may have disabled it now.

    1. Yes, the sensor is in the thermostat. It also takes cues from other Google Nest products that have motion detection capabilities. Nest’s remote sensors do not have motion detection.

  13. I’m thinking of upgrading my thermostat at home, but am wondering how it will work if you have multiple furnaces? How do smart thermostats work together when I have a basement furnace for the first floor and a second furnace upstairs heating the bedrooms and loft? I have an open floor plan so first floor heat tends to rise and mix up into the second floor area and the second floor cool air tends to drop to the first floor when cooling in the summer.

  14. Carly Campbell

    Great article.

    Nest can’t tell temperature accurately. Its 3 degrees off.
    Enough said. Forget all the bells and whistles, who wants a thermostat that can’t accurately report the temperature?
    Ecobee for the win.

  15. Ok where is the click here to buy Ecobee button??? I’ve gone through a lot of Youtube videos etc. Most only tell you trivial stuff. I thought this was quite informative. or “You should by Nest if you have Google products!” WHY? Does that give me some added capability?

    Thanks the article was great.

  16. I live in a rural area of Texas. I am a teacher and my wife works irregular hours at the hospital (hours and days change weekly). We have 3 teenagers and 3 dogs. We use a heat pump. As I type this, our heat pump system is being replaced. One problem that we have is that the thermostat is too close to the air return and the kids’ bedrooms at the other end of our house. A setting of 67 on the thermostat is about a 74 in our bedroom during the summer days, and sometimes my wife works nights/sleeps days. I keep going back and forth on these. I wish I could blender them into the perfect one! Advice?

    1. The fact that you’re thinking about these problems and writing this post tells me that you would probably prefer the power of ecobee.
      With all the people in your house, there’s probably too much chaos to make use of Nest’s learning feature or get much use out of home/away.
      A thermostat alone won’t be able to even out the rooms, but a sensor in the areas that matter most will help to keep the temperature comfortable. Both Nest and ecobee have sensors but ecobee’s are better. Also, if you ever decide to add some sort of smart vent system to help even out the temperatures, ecobee will be more compatible.

  17. Two and a half years ago we purchased a new home and went all in with Nest. Protect, Secure, Thermostats (2), Camera, and all the window/door sensors we felt we needed. All told, close to $2k was spent on an ecosystem that was promised to be HomeKit compatible “soon”.

    An unplanned, but welcome promotion is moving us two hours away. We will begin many of the updates in the new house that we did here, starting with the security system. I ordered a pretty comprehensive Abode system last night. I will soon order two Ecobee thermostats.

    I learned my lesson with Nest – don’t buy based on promises. I will not buy anything that doesn’t support HomeKit out of the box, even if it might mean giving up a little in terms of style or features (depending, of course). The Nest thermostats are pretty sexy, and aside from a few minor bugs with our upstairs unit with the Nest, but I’m done with Alphabet in terms of consumer goods. The fact the they purchased a company with a large user base expecting a feature that they quickly abandoned with no statement of intent or reason tells me all I need to know about their customer concern.

  18. I have a nest and like it for the most part. I did disable the learn feature which drove me crazy. However, my friend that owns his own hvac company said that the nest thermostats have a problem in their design that allows the compressor to short cycle, which is bad. He recomended the ecobee.

  19. Great article! I had my HVAC unit replaced last year. Installer insisted I go with the Nest. My wife and I are retired and, so, do not have a regular schedule. We found ourselves constantly tinkering with the Nest b/c the house was a little too warm or a little too cool. Then our utility company had a sale on the Ecobee3 Lite. Decided to try it out and haven’t looked back since. My wife and I just find the house comfortable all the time with the preset schedules. We do use geofencing since we are usually together most of the time but we do have the sensors- one in the den and one in the bedroom which might be a key factor in why we are so happy with the Ecobee. Whatever the reason we are delighted to no longer constantly trying to tweak the thermostat.

  20. Hi, my house has 2 heating/cooling zones. We’re not on a set schedule. My wife and I work from both home and the office. Sometimes we’re both home all day, sometimes nobody is home. Which product would you recommend?

    1. Since your schedule is not consistent, geofencing will work best for home/away settings. Nest has better built-in geofencing for multiple users. ecobee can do multiple user geofencing too, but you need to do a bit of DIY using Life360 and IFTTT.
      Since you have 2 zones, you will need two thermostats. The ecobee3Lite could be a good money saving choice if you don’t need to control any accessory devices.
      Basically, they can both do the job. If you’re someone that likes control and DIY, go with ecobee. If you prefer to just install and let it do its thing, then go with Nest.

  21. Does the Ecobee Smart have the feature that continues to run the fan after the compressor turns off? I read somewhere that one of these have that feature I couldn’t remember if it were the nest thermostat or the ecobee.

  22. I have a wood burning stove so I do not use my furnace a lot during the late fall, winter and early spring. How will this function when my “heat on” temperature is really low (62 degrees) and we manually bump up the thermostat when it is time to clean the ash out of the stove. Also, in the summer, I like the house really cold, 68’ish (we live in the north). If the temperature bumps up to much while we are gone, it takes to long to get back down. How does this work.

  23. Great article, wish you mentioned the fact that both can control humidifiers, but only the echobee can vary the humidity with the outside temp, in order to reduce condensation on the windows. Very important for us in the northern states, like Minnesota!

  24. Great article. I am returning the Nest thermostat because of the wide, non-adjustable maintenance band. I’ve been alternating between turning on a space heater and cracking a window open. I absolutely love the look & feel of the Nest but the feel of my home after it is installed is quite simply uncomfortable.

    After switching to the Ecobee I plan to try out the different maintenance bands to get an idea of exactly how much the Nest discomfort would have saved me. Seeing that I wouldn’t want free heat with that amount of discomfort I don’t think it’s going to matter much.

  25. Building a new home and trying to quickly get up to speed on the thermostat technology. I may have missed it, but what if a house has multiple thermostats? We are going to have 5 “zones”, needing 5 thermostats. Is there any advantage/disadvantage between Nest and Ecobee? Do either network the multiple thermostats? Thank you!

  26. I have 3 zones which are controlled by dampers in my duct system. There is the main floor which currently has the thermostat then a sensor on the other 2 floors. Which of these 2 smart thermostats would be best?

  27. Do either control a Lenex with humidifier and air to air? Will have two zones and thinking ecob we had better security unit

  28. I’ve used a nest before. Never again. Pay $300+ for a product that saves $300 in 3 years then replace it again because the battery fails and is not consumer replaceable? Sorry, not interested. Wish I knew if the same was true for ecobee.

  29. Great article! I had a Nest and as you mentioned the *power stealing* does cause issues. In the 2.5 years I lived in that house, I went through a total of three Nests. All of them going out after about 6-7 months and in the winter months due to there not being enough power for the Wifi Chip. While Google replaced it…it is a hassle to have to go through not having your heat turn on, etc. in the middle of the winter with snow outside while you wait on the replacement. Not to mention having to call and go through all of their customer service questions when you know exactly what the issue is. WOULD NOT recommend Nest if you dont have the C-Wire. Unfortunately to add a C wire it would have meant running a chord down through my wall. I like the fact that the Ecobee provides the PEK and for you and makes it easy to install at the power board and provides you with how to install it back on the wall without running a chord through it.

  30. Great article, but which is better if we want to hook up an HRV? What do the HRV settings/menus look for for both? Fan speeds? Ventilation and circulation? Dehumidifier support? Restroom fan override compatible? Thanks!

  31. I don’t have a C wire but I have 2 thermostats one downstairs one upstairs how would the nest work without AC wire together and how would the ecobee work? With the ecobee would I have to hook up both wiring kits to run both thermostats because there’s no C wire?

  32. First, thank you for the well thought out, well written review. I don’t always read every word in a review, but yours kept my interest from the beginning to the end.
    I have a multi-zone house and have owned Nest thermostats for years (about 12). I am also a tinkerer and automater. I have loved my Nests, but now wish I had gone Ecobee. The Nest is simple, which makes my wife happy. However, since Google bought out Nest, they have been mucking with the API making it harder to interface with it. Just recently, Google also deprecated a part of the interface again. I am so tired of reengineering based on Google’s latest whims. So, next chance I get, I’ll be starting my migration over to Ecobee.

  33. Thanks for the article. I have a question that I did not see answered anywhere. I have a furnace with 2 zone controls, one for downstair and one for upstairs. The house temperature is controlled by 2 thermostats – one master that can control both flors and one upstairs that only controls upstairs temperature. Can either Ecobee or Nest work with zoned set-up?
    Many thanks for the answer.

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