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ecobee Smart Si Review

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PROS / The ecobee mobile app is one of the most user-friendly of those we reviewed.

CONS / This thermostat does not have light and motion sensors.

 VERDICT / The ecobee Smart Si's sophisticated web portal uses data specific to your heating and cooling system to make automatic adjustments to your programming. As such, it's a great affordable option for people concerned about conserving energy.

With its user-friendly design, ecobee's Smart Si is a great smart thermostat for your home. This programmable thermostat has excellent temperature control and compatibility features. The Smart Si stands out with all of the reports and analysis it provides, as well as the way it uses data points to reduce your energy use.

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While it lacks energy-saving motion and light sensors that detect when you arrive home or enter a room, this device generates a report analyzing weather data to maximize energy savings. It has an interactive compatibility check, so you can make sure it works with your system before you buy it, and it's relatively easy to install. These features, along with its affordability, make it a solid choice and one of the best programmable thermostats on the market, deserving of the Top Ten Reviews Bronze award.

  1. This is the number of heating stages a thermostat supports.
    Higher is Better.
  2. 3 ecobee Smart
    3 Stages
  3. 3 Stages
  4. 4 Stages
  5. Category Average
    3.20 Stages

Temperature Control

Once you install the ecobee Smart Si, you can control it remotely with the free app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms. With this app, you can do things like turn off the air conditioning from the airport if you happen to forget. The ecobee mobile app offers one of the best user experiences of the smart thermostat apps we tested. The user-friendly features work before you even buy the thermostat by providing an interactive compatibility check, which lets you know if the ecobee is even compatible with your heating and cooling system. Set up is easy, and the phone app is quite intuitive, corresponding nicely with the thermostat’s interface. Using the app, you can control your home's temperature from wherever you are. 

This thermostat has three heating and two cooling stages. These stages allow for efficient temperature control. If one stage doesn't heat to a comfortable temperature in the desired timeframe, the next stage kicks in and adjusts to a comfortable room temperature.

The ecobee Smart Si has a 1-degree temperature swing, which keeps your home within 1 degree of the thermostat’s programmed target temperature. It can use a ventilator system to circulate outside air throughout your home in a process called free cooling. Free cooling is especially effective during summer nights when outside air is often cooler than the air in your home.

Energy Management

Remote control functionality is a feature common to home thermostats, but the Smart Si takes it many steps further with a sophisticated web portal. You can set up alerts that remind you to change air filters and modify temperature programming. This portal also shows information about your home's overall energy use, including easy-to-understand charts about heating and cooling efficiency. You can also connect your ecobee login to the IFTTT task automation service to add geofencing and other tools.

ecobee's DataRhythm uses information about your specific system, including historical data, weather information and run times, to make automatic adjustments to your heating and cooling plan, which can result in savings for you. In addition to tracking the current weather outside, this ecobee thermostat reports area-specific, full forecasts so you know what temperatures to expect.

The Smart Si doesn't have motion or light sensors to detect when you come into a room, but it is sophisticated and helpful in many other ways. This unit supports heating systems with up to three heating stages and two cooling stages, similar to the other thermostats we reviewed. The full-color screen goes into standby mode at night to save power.

Design & Setup

In our testing, the Smart Si wasn't as easy to install as some of the top thermostats, but it was still fairly simple and straightforward. You need a small flathead screwdriver to secure the wires in place during installation. The manual and tutorial videos walk you through the process, letting you know where each wire goes. This thermostat requires a C wire. There are advantages to having a C wire; for example, it provides an extra negative charge, which means there is extra power for features like Wi-Fi, and it can extend the thermostat's battery life. The C wire made the installation process longer and more complex than that of other thermostats. The device is also missing a built-in level to help mount it on the wall evenly, which is a minor inconvenience.

You have to download an app and enter information to connect the thermostat to Wi-Fi, which adds time to the installation. The thermostat's physical interface is simple, small and easy to use. The full-color display is attractive and easy to read and navigate through. It doesn't have a touch screen, but you follow quick steps from the main menu to program your settings. It has one of the best web portals of any of the thermostats we reviewed. You can create a heating and cooling schedule quickly and easily with the drag-and-drop web interface.

To change the temperature, you simple go to the Home screen and use the up and down arrows. This doesn’t interfere with the settings you programmed into the thermostat. You can specify how long you want to run the adjusted temperature and when that time expires, the thermostat returns to the programmed settings.

Help & Support

This thermostat comes with a three-year warranty, and you can reach customer support over the phone, via email and in an online forum. However, ecobee does not offer online chat support, but its customer service is reliable and responsive via email. You can access tutorial videos on the website or through YouTube. Overall, ecobee's support options are above average.

Summary

The ecobee Smart Si is a standout in many ways, with its DataRhythm technology, easy-to-use interface and attractive design. It is an affordable option with a number of strengths, including advanced reporting technology that can save you money on utility bills as you conserve energy over time. It’s missing a few features, including motion and light sensors and a built-in level function. However, this device is a nice upgrade from the average thermostat and can save you money on utilities with its advanced technology.

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