The ecobee vs Nest both are broadly considered the best two smart thermostats available. If you read just about any smart thermostat review, you’ll notice these two almost always come out on top.
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 acquired.
Ecobee Smart Thermostat
The Ecobee smart thermostat can stream Spotify and music directly from your phone, thanks to Bluetooth. The speaker won’t impress an audiophile, but it’s not a wrong way to have some background noise. It also works with HomeKit, roles as a hands-free calling and intercom device, and learns and adapts to your routine thanks to Eco+.
The Ecobee smart thermostat also includes a Smart Sensor in the box. The Smart Sensor is a remote occupancy and temperature sensor placed in a different room and linked to the thermostat. This means, if you have a room in your home that never matches the rest of the house, the thermostat can automatically modify its output to keep that room just as comfortable.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat has many of the same features as the Ecobee smart thermostat. It will automatically turn itself down while you’re apart to conserve power, and you can control it from anywhere through the Google Home app. It will also provide alerts if the temperature rises or drops rapidly or detects a problem with the HVAC system.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is cooperative with 95% of HVAC systems, and it also works with the Nest Temperature Sensor. This sensor can monitor the temperature in the home in a different room than the thermostat itself is in. Of course, the Nest Learning Thermostat can also be managed through a smart speaker.
Ecobee vs Nest Installation Process
Both ecobee and Nest have created through the installation process for customers. Both of them include easy to follow directions that are meant for the end-user to install. In complicated setups, you still might need to hire an HVAC technician, but otherwise, if you follow added guides, you’ll be up and running in no time.
One key difference between the two models is that ecobee requires a standard wire (or the PEK module listed below) where Nest does not. You might be thinking, well, that is an advantage for Nest. In reality, it’s a bad design, though. Without a standard wire, Nest does pulse charging. I remember this because my upstairs unit started going offline recently. After researching, I found out my standard wire wasn’t wired in (it was still in the wall), so the Nest was getting low on battery. This situation was happening in mild weather, so the unit wasn’t running a lot. Once I got the standard wire plugged in, it ran fine.
ecobee has a different design, though. If you don’t have a standard wire, they require installing a Power Extender Kit that they include in the box for free. This PEK module will add a method for the ecobee to receive power.
Interactions with Support
As luck would have it, I had extended interactions with both Nest and ecobee support. When I was working on the low battery problem with my Nest, I talked to Nest support. The phone call was an abysmal experience. The person on the line told me my Wi-Fi was too dominant at one point, and it was overloading the Nest. He had access to my unit at the time, so he could have easily known there was no standard wire.
When I was installing the ecobee, I ignored to turn the unit off outside. During the installation process, I must have crossed two of the wires, and it made the ecobee not boot since there was no power. I should have turned off the unit, but I just was tired. I called ecobee support, and the person was excellent. He explained to me that I had probably shorted a fuse, and it was a simple fix. I took the cover off the unit, sent him images via email, and he showed me exactly what to fix. A $3 fuse is all I required to replace.
Ecobee App vs Nest App
Since I have been utilizing the Nest app for so long, it’s taken a little time to get used to the ecobee app. Both apps are very well done, but they work in different ways.
Both apps allow you to make schedules, control your app remotely, and modify settings. All in all, they are both extremely well done.
The Nest is a round design where the ecobee is more square-ish. I don’t have any complaints about the Nest, but I like how the ecobee model is more extensive and allows you to touch the screen. The larger footprint performs it easier to cover the holes from your old thermostat as well. Both models include a backplate for that purpose, but I prefer not to use it. ecobeesupports playing music from Spotify and utilizing Alexa with it, but those features aren’t of interest.
Both units maintain temperature sensors, but I prefer how the Nest uses them. You can create schedules to base how the unit runs at certain times based on your preference. With ecobee, it picks the data from all your sensors to create a heating and cooling schedule.
Ecobee App vs Nest Price
Comparing Nest vs. Ecobee from a price standpoint, there is no clear winner. The Nest Learning Thermostat and the Ecobee smart thermostat (the top-tier versions of both models) are $250 each. If you’re looking for absolute top-of-the-line performance, either one of these models is a magnificent pick.
On the other hand, if you need to save a bit of money, you can opt for lower-end models that still have smart features but do not cost quite as much. For instance, Google recently released a current model of the Nest Thermostat. It lacks the learning features and isn’t quite as smart, but it also costs $130.