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Author Topic: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin  (Read 47014 times)

Offline TC1

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 12:52:06 pm »
Took a look at the Ecobee3, I'm on the fence on whether I want to swap out my current Z-wave t-stats.

Question for anyone that might know: Do you think there's a chance that the EB3 remote temp/pir sensors will be exposed through their API? If so, this might make a compelling argument to go wit the EB3 system, since we might be able to get double duty from their sensors in order to do lighting control within a room.

Thoughts?

Offline watou

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2014, 01:21:15 pm »


Question for anyone that might know: Do you think there's a chance that the EB3 remote temp/pir sensors will be exposed through their API? If so, this might make a compelling argument to go wit the EB3 system, since we might be able to get double duty from their sensors in order to do lighting control within a room.

I think the remote sensors will be exposed through the API, but it would take up to the polling interval (a minute or two) to get feedback. It won't be the "Z-Wave experience." I have no empirical evidence that the sensors will be exposed in the API, but I think it's likely.

watou


Offline TC1

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2014, 03:24:22 pm »


Question for anyone that might know: Do you think there's a chance that the EB3 remote temp/pir sensors will be exposed through their API? If so, this might make a compelling argument to go wit the EB3 system, since we might be able to get double duty from their sensors in order to do lighting control within a room.

I think the remote sensors will be exposed through the API, but it would take up to the polling interval (a minute or two) to get feedback. It won't be the "Z-Wave experience." I have no empirical evidence that the sensors will be exposed in the API, but I think it's likely.

watou

Good point watou, appreciate the feedback. And I agree, there would be too much lag for a good PIR based lighting control experience.

I still like the the idea of a learning thermostat that can not only do temp averaging across the rooms, but also build it's own temperature efficiency model of my house, thus knowing when to turn the heat on in the morning in order to reach a target by a given time. I was going to try to do this all in Vera or some other HA controller, but a system that can do this on its own seems to be a better idea.

Do you know if the EB3 can do all these functions without having access to the Internet? I understand it needs the cloud for long term data storage, but if the Internet is down does all the intelligence adjustments still get computed and executed locally?

Offline NickTheGreat

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2014, 09:19:46 am »
^^^ I'd like to know that too.  That's the thing that has stopped me from these smart thermostats.  I don't like the internet dependency. 

At least with Vera and my stuff, it works w/o an internet connection.   :)

Offline tomgru

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2014, 07:34:25 pm »
This is now available on Amazon (PRIME!) in the US.  All good reviews so far. 

Offline Sig

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2014, 08:24:40 pm »
I installed my Ecobee3 earlier this week.  I really like it.  I think it's superior to the Nest, especially its display.  It has a couple of quirks - things like non-intuitive messages in the display when the "At Home" detection override kicks in (I originally thought I had accidentally set something wrong myself, or the thermostat was setting things on its own).  I also struggled a bit with my installation because it took me a while to find how to change the Reverse Valve action to get cool air when the A/C turns on (I have a heat pump).  That isn't clearly documented anywhere - I eventually found it through trial and error after about an hour of frustration.  Otherwise, it's running and works very well, not to mention looks very good.  Glad to have that dated looking (albeit very functional) Trane thermostat off the wall. 

I will also add that I submitted about four support requests this week for random things, including the aforementioned quirkiness with the "At Home" override, and responses from Ecobee were very prompt on every one - no more than 24 hours, in a couple cases within just a few hours.  The Web interface is very easy to use to set schedules and change settings, and the iPhone app is also very well designed and functional - completely mimics the touch-screen interface of the thermostat itself (minus some of the detailed configuration settings, which you can only change on the thermostat).

The standard package ships with the thermostat and one remote sensor, which is sufficient for my primary home.  There's another bundle that ships with the thermostat and three sensors (currently at a small discount), so I decided to buy that one for my weekend home and will install it there next weekend.  They include a power extender module in the package at no charge (although I didn't need it) if you don't have a common wire running to your thermostat.

I eagerly look forward to when I can control it through Vera.

PS: I ordered both directly from Ecobee.  Orders were shipped within one day via 2-day Express (free).
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 08:33:43 pm by Sig »

Offline tomgru

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2014, 08:33:15 pm »
I decided to get one of these and installed it earlier this week.  I really like it.  I think it's superior to the Nest, especially its display.  It has a couple of quirks - things like non-intuitive messages in the display when the "At Home" detection override kicks in (I originally thought I had accidentally set something wrong myself, or the thermostat was setting things on its own).  I also struggled a bit with my installation because it took me a while to find how to change the Reverse Valve action to get cool air when the A/C turns on (I have a heat pump).  That isn't clearly documented anywhere - I eventually found it through trial and error after about an hour of frustration.  Otherwise, it's running and works very well, not to mention looks very good.  Glad to have that dated looking (albeit very functional) Trane thermostat off the wall. 

I will also add that I submitted about four support requests this week for random things, including the aforementioned quirkiness with the "At Home" override, and responses from Ecobee were very prompt on every one - no more than 24 hours, in a couple cases within just a few hours.  The Web interface is very easy to use to set schedules and change settings, and the iPhone app is also very well designed and functional - completely mimics the touch-screen interface of the thermostat itself (minus some of the detailed configuration settings, which you can only change on the thermostat).

The standard package ships with the thermostat and one remote sensor, which is sufficient for my primary home.  There's another bundle that ships with the thermostat and three sensors (currently at a small discount), so I decided to buy that one for my weekend home and will install it there next weekend.  They include a power extender module in the package at no charge (although I didn't need it) if you don't have a common wire running to your thermostat.

I eagerly look forward to when I can control it through Vera.

PS: I ordered both directly from Ecobee.  Orders were shipped within one day via 2-day Express (free).

Glad to hear.  I shipped mine via one-day through Amazon Prime, and it's not here as expected  :'(

I did spend the afternoon running a new 7-wire setup from the wall to the Furnace/Heat pump control.  I currently have a Honeywell that uses an Equipment Interface Module at the furnace, so only 4 wires were run to my thermo. 

Ecobee (through lots of pictures I've sent) says this should be a 6 wire hookup, but admittedly i'm nervous to try this on my own.  Lots of pictures of the existing setup - I even left the old wire in place for ease of switching back if need be. 

I'm interested in your heatpump configuration, and/or any other things to look out for.


Offline Sig

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2014, 08:43:45 pm »
I'm afraid I'm very uninformed in the HVAC category.  All I know is that I have a heat pump :-) and that I have a reversing valve "on cool."  My primary home is a condo, and the heat pump is in a cabinet literally next to the thermostat.  I have five wires - G, Y, C, Rc, O.  Perhaps your 6th wire is for auxiliary heat? I was able to easily mark them and connect them to the Ecobee - no issue there.  However, that's when my frustration started, because the thermostat showed that the wires were hooked up correctly, and detected I had a heat pump, but I was getting warm air when the A/C came on.  I wasn't paying close enough attention to the display - once I did I noticed the message "Equipment Must be Configured" when it booted up.  When I finally noticed that message, I followed the prompts and eventually came to the question "Reverse Valve...On Cool/On Heat" which is the setting I needed.  Once I set it to "On Cool" I was in business.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 08:45:16 pm by Sig »

Offline tomgru

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2014, 09:06:24 pm »
I'm afraid I'm very uninformed in the HVAC category.  All I know is that I have a heat pump :-) and that I have a reversing valve "on cool."  My primary home is a condo, and the heat pump is in a cabinet literally next to the thermostat.  I have five wires - G, Y, C, Rc, O.  Perhaps your 6th wire is for auxiliary heat? I was able to easily mark them and connect them to the Ecobee - no issue there.  However, that's when my frustration started, because the thermostat showed that the wires were hooked up correctly, and detected I had a heat pump, but I was getting warm air when the A/C came on.  I wasn't paying close enough attention to the display - once I did I noticed the message "Equipment Must be Configured" when it booted up.  When I finally noticed that message, I followed the prompts and eventually came to the question "Reverse Valve...On Cool/On Heat" which is the setting I needed.  Once I set it to "On Cool" I was in business.

thanks!!!!!  i'll go slow.

Offline Sig

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2014, 03:54:25 pm »
In case anyone is interested, I thought I'd share two more factoids about the Ecobee3.

Relative to the Trane I used to have, this thermostat is _extremely_ sensitive/responsive to temperature changes.  I suppose part of that has to do with the remote sensor.  As a result, I've had to fine-tune some of the configuration settings to prevent too-frequent cycling of my HVAC and/or over-cooling/heating.  My home tends to heat up/cool down pretty quickly.  The defaults in the thermostat for the temperature thresholds are 0.5 degrees (I think most thermostats refer to this setting as "swing"), and the default HVAC minimum on times are 5 minutes.  As a result, a very small change in temperature, which could even happen when I just stood next to the thermostat, would activate the HVAC, and because of the minimum on-time, it would cool to a point well below my cooling setpoint (I have my cooling setpoint set to 74, and when the temperature hit 75, HVAC would kick on and it would get down to 69 before the HVAC turned off).  So I changed the thresholds to 1 degree, and the minimum on-times to 3 minutes.  For my particular situation, this has reduced the cycling of the HVAC and the temperature swing, which I think is more efficient.  The net result is my home temperature stays relatively constant, with much less variability than when I had the Trane.  It just takes some tinkering to get it where you want it.

And second, there is nothing in the quick start or installation guides about the range/coverage of the sensors, nor was I able to find anything in their Knoweldgebase.  They only tell you to mount it about 5 feet off the ground in a high-traffic area.  So I submitted a support inquiry to which, again, they were quickly responsive.  FYI, the sensor has a range of about 15 feet with a 120-degree coverage area.  That has informed my sensor placement and prompted me to purchase an additional sensor for my primary home.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 04:01:22 pm by Sig »

Offline watou

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2014, 05:17:27 pm »
I am happy that you were able to tune it to calm down the cycling.  One thing I hadn't thought about much with the ecobee3, and I assume the makers did, is that the follow-me comfort feature would be potentially changing the ambient temperature much more frequently and unpredictably than a single temperature sensor would at a fixed location in your house.  So if you moved into a warm room in summer, the thermostat now knows a higher ambient temperature than just the one at the thermostat itself, which in some pathological situations could lead to more cycling than a traditional thermostat.  But I know they built in delays to dampen down cycling, and obviously you found the settings to further control it.

I am going to be installing an ecobee3 and three remote sensors in my mother's house shortly, but as she doesn't move around too quickly these days, I probably won't be seeing those issues.  :)   And I'm happy that I will able to monitor and tune her comfort from afar.

watou

In case anyone is interested, I thought I'd share two more factoids about the Ecobee3.

Relative to the Trane I used to have, this thermostat is _extremely_ sensitive/responsive to temperature changes.  I suppose part of that has to do with the remote sensor.  As a result, I've had to fine-tune some of the configuration settings to prevent too-frequent cycling of my HVAC and/or over-cooling/heating.  My home tends to heat up/cool down pretty quickly.  The defaults in the thermostat for the temperature thresholds are 0.5 degrees (I think most thermostats refer to this setting as "swing"), and the default HVAC minimum on times are 5 minutes.  As a result, a very small change in temperature, which could even happen when I just stood next to the thermostat, would activate the HVAC, and because of the minimum on-time, it would cool to a point well below my cooling setpoint (I have my cooling setpoint set to 74, and when the temperature hit 75, HVAC would kick on and it would get down to 69 before the HVAC turned off).  So I changed the thresholds to 1 degree, and the minimum on-times to 3 minutes.  For my particular situation, this has reduced the cycling of the HVAC and the temperature swing, which I think is more efficient.  The net result is my home temperature stays relatively constant, with much less variability than when I had the Trane.  It just takes some tinkering to get it where you want it.

And second, there is nothing in the quick start or installation guides about the range/coverage of the sensors, nor was I able to find anything in their Knoweldgebase.  They only tell you to mount it about 5 feet off the ground in a high-traffic area.  So I submitted a support inquiry to which, again, they were quickly responsive.  FYI, the sensor has a range of about 15 feet with a 120-degree coverage area.  That has informed my sensor placement and prompted me to purchase an additional sensor for my primary home.

Offline Sig

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2014, 05:29:13 pm »
Actually @Watou, FYI, the settings I mentioned in my prior post are _only_ changeable on the thermostat itself, unfortunately not through the web interface or the iPhone app.  So you'll have to fine tune in person, or talk your mom through some changes.  :-\

Offline watou

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2014, 07:28:15 pm »
Actually @Watou, FYI, the settings I mentioned in my prior post are _only_ changeable on the thermostat itself, unfortunately not through the web interface or the iPhone app.  So you'll have to fine tune in person, or talk your mom through some changes.  :-\

Ah, thanks; good to know. :)  The binding for openHAB I'm working on will cover more settings than the native app, so if need be I will be able to tweak it remotely that way.  The Ecobee API lets you change lots of things (but not all you can do at the physical device).  They went "minimalist" with their new native app instead of including all the possibilities.  I hope they have API access to the ecobee3 soon; it should be good!

Offline tomgru

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2014, 10:42:11 am »
Just a quick update on my end as well.  I installed this yesterday - took about 3 hours.  As mentioned, my issue was that I previously had an Equipment Interface Module between my Heatpump and furnace (Honeywell), so I had to figure out how to get those wires to the Furnace, then from there to the Ecobee3. 

Let me say that tech support was awesome.  my first call (and second) got someone immediately. I probably worked with the guy for at least 30 minutes the first time, having difficulty communicating my issue with only pictures I had sent, etc.  He was very patient, and we got through it.  When I realized during hookup that one wire wasn't as he had suggested, I called back and again got help immediately.

Once all connected, it booted as expected... and the guided walkthrough went fine.  In the end, I wasn't really sure it was working or not... and the "test" settings said only do it if you are a certified HVAC installer.   ;D

I called again... now after working hours, and left a message for the oncall support. Same guy actually called me back an hour later and walked me through the test settings.  I honestly couldn't believe someone called me back after hours.  Anyway.... it seems to be working, although i'm admittedly skeptical with all the wiring I had to do... so time will tell. 

Web interface is nice.  I can't get the 3rd party Windows Phone app to work (yet) due to the PIN issue.  And the official app I loaded on my Android wall mounted tablet will only show in portrait for some VERY ANNOYING reason. 

Otherwise, very happy so far.  Now can we get the plugin updated?   :D

Offline watou

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Re: New ecobee3 thermostat should work with existing plugin
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2014, 10:48:26 am »
I just saw word that "PIN support" for the ecobee3 is days away, and I believe it should work fine with UI5. I am trying to finish some paying work right now so I can focus on updating the plugin for UI7.  Shouldn't be too far off!

watou