Your thermostat gives you basic control over your heating and cooling. But does it do it in a smart way? A smart thermostat can make your HVAC system more efficient, which saves you money and reduces your impact on the environment. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium wants to deliver energy efficiency, customized heating and cooling, and smart home integration. I installed it in my home and here’s what I found.

Setting up the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium

I was impressed with the Ecobee from the moment I opened the package. They use cardboard and paper as packaging which minimizes the plastic used. This is a part of their efforts to make the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium as ecologically friendly as possible.


This was the most nerve-wracking part of installing the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium. I know that I took the necessary steps to make the wiring changes safe, but I have a deep psychological fear of electricity lurking in wait to lash out at me. But once I mustered my own irrational fear, the process was straightforward and easy. The Ecobee app has very clear step-by-step installation instructions, covering the various wiring scenarios you might encounter.

I only had two challenges during the wiring phase. One, I skipped the step where the app takes a photo of the existing wiring for reference. And as you might guess, I forgot where one wire was supposed to go. Don’t worry, I learned my lesson and took photos at every step like the app suggested from that point on.

The second challenge had nothing to do with the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium itself. My home is about 50 years old, and the wiring has not been replaced. And old wires get stiff and brittle. I was apprehensive about every bend I made in my old wiring, fearing that it would snap off. Of course, if that happened I would just have to strip the wire a little further down and continue along, so it wasn’t as big a deal as I made it out to be to myself.

Software configuration

In comparison to the work of wiring the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium into your HVAC system, the settings configuration is incredibly quick and easy. Your Ecobee app will walk you through a few basic settings, and you are done. I appreciated the ability to sit and make additional configuration changes from my couch, instead of standing in front of the thermostat itself. But that’s not a slight against the thermostat’s touchscreen interface. The touchscreen is large and responsive, and the system is easy to navigate.

Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium features

  • Occupancy sensors: The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium uses radar to determine the occupancy of the area around it, and adjust your house temperate accordingly. And it comes with a second remote sensor that you place in the room of your choice. That second sensor will ensure that the chosen room’s temperature is a priority. 
  • Smart recovery: This is a neat little feature that I am very grateful for. As the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium learns your home’s heating and cooling patterns, it starts to pre-emptively adjust the temperature. So when you wake up in the winter, it’s already warmed the house up. Or it starts cooling the house down as you get close to bedtime in summer.
  • Automatic rebates: There are a growing number of incentive programs to encourage you to upgrade to a smart thermostat. And the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium makes it easy to take advantage of them. As I finished the configuration set up, the Ecobee automatically checked for an available rebate program with my local utility. It found one and walked me through the simple 2 step process to enroll. So I’ll get a rebate on my hydro bill, and reduce my overall energy usage.
  • Security system upgrade option: Your smart home plans may involve a home security system, and the Ecobee can play a part in that plan. Ecobee offers a Smart Security subscription service that allows you to remotely monitor your home. By purchasing additional sensors for your doors and windows, and an Ecobee security camera, you can have full security coverage. As an added benefit, since the door sensors tell the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium when the door has been opened, it will automatically pause heating or cooling until the door is closed again.

Controlling the thermostat remotely with the Ecobee App

The Ecobee app does a very good job at giving you full control of the thermostat from the comfort of your couch or the coffee shop across town. And it will notify you when you need to replace the air filter, or if there’s a sudden change of temperature in your home. I used the app after I went for a particularly sweaty run so that the air conditioning was already blissfully cooling my home upon my return.

Air quality monitoring

Your indoor air quality varies throughout the day, and it can affect your quality of life. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium monitors the air quality and responds by turning on the fan and sending you a notification when the air quality lessens. Stale air is unenjoyable, so I appreciated the Ecobee maintaining a better level of air quality in my house. It will also remind you to change your air filter, which is very helpful. I usually end up with a forgotten and very dirty furnace filter.

Smart home system integration

I’m not far along in building a fully functional Smart Home system, but the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium has accelerated my implementation timeline. The Ecobee works with the leading Smart Home ecosystems. I used Amazon Alexa as my smart home ecosystem, and the Ecobee as the central hub. And I have to admit, it’s been an eye-opening experience. I can use voice commands to adjust the thermostat, add things to a grocery list, or have music played through the speaker of the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium. You can even connect external Bluetooth speakers to upgrade the sound quality, though the built-in speaker was more than good enough for my needs.

Should you get the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium?

I was immensely impressed by the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium. Quite simply, it delivered on each and every one of its promises. I was especially taken aback by the easy, guided enrolment in the available energy rebate program. That put $75 directly back into my pocket. And I was surprised at how much I am enjoying being able to have music playing through the Ecobee. As I cook and clean in the kitchen, I can tell Alexa to play some inspiring music. Overall, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium is a valuable addition to your home and a beneficial part of your smart home ecosystem. 

Chris Loblaw
Chris is a novelist, avid gamer, tech enthusiast, and proud dad of a 13-year-old video game master.


  1. That is some awsome stuff man. It will be so convenient and less stress. If people are over they would be impressed eh? Id like on, hope i win this one.

  2. I love that this smart thermostat can help me control the temperature in my house, even when I’m not home. I want to reduce my energy consumption, and this is the perfect way to do so.

  3. This would really help solve an issue for me by controlling the unit remotely. This way when I’m away on extended leave I can dial down the settings to save money.

  4. having a smart thermostat would definitely save a lot of energy and money, especially able to remote into it, or set a schedule for when i am away from home and when i will be back home

  5. The voice control would allow me to stay in bed in the mornings while the house warms up. I could allow be sitting in my arm chair and adjust the heat in my home

  6. The advanced sensing technology would make my life easier. The thermostat would know whether I am home or not and would adjust the temperature accordingly, so I don’t have to worry about it. That is what I call smart!

  7. Remote use would be great to make life easier and save money I always forget to turn down the heat when I leave the house

  8. I think the remote access would be awesome as we are away a lot and this would allow to check things out while away and make adjustments if need be

  9. The remote access would make my life a little nicer. I always lower the thermostat when I go out, but come home to a cold house. It would be nice to raise the temperature while I am still out so I can come home to a nice warm house.

  10. A good investment in the long run by saving energy and costs via the Remote Access function, particularly when away for long periods. You can adapt to weather updates when abroad.

  11. A smart thermostat makes life easier with so many of the amazing things it does like the occupancy sensors perfect as I am alone all day then the house has anywhere from 6 to 12 people. I also like the indoor air quality feature as we have toddlers, dogs, birds and some suffer from allergies. The rebates, able to control and this will save me money and time I’m sold.

  12. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium would make life easier because it would learn the home heating and cooling patterns and would adjust the temperature accordingly. We would wake up to a warm home and go to sleep to a cooler home.

  13. Great post – I’m more interested now in having more tech savvy products in the home to help save money where I can!

  14. The remote control makes my life easier as my body sometimes doesn’t work well, but this would allow me to turn up the heat without having to climb stairs.

  15. I’m just trying to save wherever I can. I think this combined with my system would help me save some money and be energy efficient.

  16. Reducing energy use and costs is always a priority in our house. The remote access and voice access features would also help make our busy lives a little bit more smooth

  17. I’m just trying to save wherever I can. I think this combined with my system would help me save some money and be energy efficient.

  18. The Smart Recovery would be great for us as it warm up the house before we wake as it gets quite cold early in the morning. It would be great in the summer to cool it down before we come home at the end of the day.

  19. Having a smart thermostat would make my life a little easier by automatically adjusting the temperature based on my routine and who’s home. I wouldn’t have to worry about wasting energy or forgetting to change the settings when I leave or come back. I could also control it remotely with my voice or phone, which is very convenient.

  20. A smart thermostat makes life easier with the Smart recovery: The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium learns the home’s heating and cooling patterns and starts to pre-emptively adjust the temperature. When you wake up in the winter, it’s already warmed the house up, or it starts cooling the house down close to bedtime in summer.

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