ecobee FAQ's | Alexa Commands for ecobee | ecobee3 vs. ecobee4

ecobee FAQ's

Here is your one-stop-shop for any and all information you may need about ecobee products. ecobee is a Smart Home solution for managing your heating and cooling. We get so many questions about these hot-selling smart thermostat solutions that we figured we'd create a list of ecobee FAQ's and answers. Here are the topics covered, in order:

ecobee Comparison Infographic

ecobee comparison infographic: ecobee3 vs. ecobee3 lite, vs. ecobee4

ecobee3 vs. ecobee4

With the announcement of the ecobee4 smart thermostat, many customers have wondered what the difference between the ecobee3 and ecobee4 is. The short answer is that the ecobee4 has a built-in Amazon Alexa voice service.

With that voice-enabled feature, you can do many things by just asking with a simple command: set a timer, play music, adjust the temperature, ask for a recipe, add eggs to the shopping list, and more! Because of that, the ecobee4 features embedded microphones with far-field voice recognition and a speaker so you can speak and be heard even when you're from across the room.

In terms of appearance, ecobee3 vs. ecobee4 is a tight comparison. If you are trying to figure out what type of thermostat you have, the microphone icon and voice control settings are a dead giveaway. Also, the ecobee4 is just slightly larger than the ecobee3.

ecobee3 vs. ecobee3 lite

One of the most common questions we get is what is the difference between the ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite? Well, the short answer is that there's not much of one, but nevertheless, you should be aware of the distinctions.

The main difference is that the ecobee3 supports humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilators, HRV, and ERV, while the ecobee3 lite does not. The ecobee3 can regulate indoor humidity, so that's a great option for homeowners in a position to take advantage of it.

Though both of these smart thermostats work with room sensors, the ecobee3 comes with a room sensor while the ecobee3 lite does not include a room sensor. However, you can always buy ecobee Room Sensors separately.

As an aside, the ecobee3 is just slightly smaller than the ecobee3 lite.

ecobee3 lite vs. ecobee4

When comparing the ecobee 3 lite vs. the ecobee4, there are a couple of key differences to remember. The most impactful distinction is that the ecobee4 has a built-in Amazon Alexa, and the ecobee3 lite does not.

Another difference is the ecobee3 lite does not support humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilators, HRV, and ERV, while the ecobee4 does.

Both smart thermostats work with room sensors, but only the ecobee4 comes with a room sensor. You can buy room sensors for the ecobee3 lite separately.

ecobee Alexa Commands

Everyone seems to get excited about the ecobee Alexa commands feature. It can do many things for you without touching the thermostat, giving you a hands-free experience. All you have to do is ask!

The Amazon Alexa voice service is compatible with all ecobee thermostats, but the ecobee4 is the first thermostat with built-in Amazon Alexa. You can control your Alexa-enabled devices from your ecobee4. You can also control other ecobee thermostats from any Alexa-enabled device using the ecobee Smart Home Skill. To enable voice commands on your ecobee, you can either go through the web portal or the ecobee app.

What are the Alexa voice commands for ecobee?

You can use it to do so many useful tasks, such as answering questions on a variety of subjects, adding items for your to-do list and shopping list, checking the weather, to tell you about the traffic in the location and the commute time, playing music, listening to radio stations, managing your calendar events, setting alarms, and so much more!

Here are some samples of Alexa ecobee commands:

Useful Phrases:

  • "Alex, turn/down the volume"
  • "Alexa set the volume to (number from 0-10).
  • "Alexa, what time is it?"
  • "Alexa, what can I say?"
  • "Alexa, stop"
  • "Alexa, help!"

Questions and Answers:

  • "Alexa, Wikipedia (subject)."
  • "Alexa, convert (units) into (units)"
  • "Alexa, what's the definition of (word)?"
  • "Alexa, how do you spell (word)?"

To-Do Lists and Shopping Lists:

  • "Alexa, what's my To-Do/Shopping List?"
  • "Alexa, add (item) to my To-Do List"
  • "Alexa, I need to make an appointment with..."

Weather Forecasts:

  • "Alexa, what's the weather?"
  • "Alexa, will it rain tomorrow?"

Traffic and Commuting:

  • "Alexa, what's my commute?"
  • "Alexa, how is traffic?"
  • "Alexa, what's traffic like right now?”

Music and Media:

  • "Alexa, play some music"
  • "Alexa, play music by (artist)"
  • "Alexa, play (song name)"
  • "Alexa, play (genre) music"
  • "Alexa, Stop" or "Alexa, Pause"
  • "Alexa, Play" or "Alexa, Resume"
  • "Alexa, Shuffle" or " Alexa, stop Shuffle"
  • "Alexa, next" (to skip a song)

Radio Controls:

  • "Alex, play (radio station)”

Audiobook Controls:

  • "Alexa, play (title) on Audible" or "Alexa, read (title) or "Alexa, play the book (title)"
  • "Alexa, resume my book"

Calendar and Events:

  • "Alexa, what's on my calendar for tomorrow?"
  • "Alexa, add (event) to my calendar for (day) at (time)"
  • "Alexa, add an event to my calendar"

Fun with Alexa:

  • "Alexa, tell me a joke"
  • "Alexa, tell me a joke about (subject)"
  • "Alexa, surprise me"
  • "Alexa, beatbox for me"
  • "Alexa, flip a coin"
  • "Alexa, tell me a story"
  • "Alexa, play Jeopardy"
  • "Alexa, ask question of the day"
  • "Alexa, launch name that tune"

Announcements:

  • "Alexa, tell everyone... "
  • "Alexa, announce... "
  • "Alexa, broadcast... "
  • "Alexa, make an announcement"
  • "Alexa, repeat"

Alarms & Timers:

  • "Alexa, set the alarm for (time of the day)"
  • "Alexa, set a repeating alarm for (day of the week) at (time)"
  • "Alexa, set a timer for (duration)"

Since the lists of commands are constantly growing, you can try and experiment some more!

ecobee4 Alexa Skills

If you have older ecobee models, you can find and enable skills through the Alexa app. There is an "Enable Skill" button for you to select, making the skills accessible on all your Alexa devices. It will be automatically enabled for ecobee4.

ecobee4 installed on wall

Amazon Alexa voice service enhances the functionality of your ecobee4 smart thermostat. You have to be specific with the name of the device and sensor when using the skill. There is a long list of commands that can help you with your tasks. The ecobee4 Alexa skill commands are...

  • "Alexa, what's the (thermostat or sensor name) temperature?"
  • "Alexa, what is the (thermostat name) set to?"
  • "Alexa, set the (thermostat name) to (desired temperature)"
  • "Alexa, raise/lower the (thermostat name) temperature by (desired number) degrees"
  • "Alexa, increase/decrease the (thermostat name) temperature"
  • "Alexa, turn on/off (Switch+ name)"

Here are the ecobee plus skill commands:

  • "Alexa, ask ecobee the (thermostat or sensor name) temperature"
  • "Alexa, ask ecobee what (thermostat name) is set to"
  • "Alexa, ask ecobee what equipment is running on the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, set the (thermostat name) temperature to (number) degrees"
  • "Alexa, tell ecobee I'm hot in the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, tell ecobee I'm cold in the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, raise/lower the (thermostat name) temperature by (number) degrees"
  • "Alexa, tell ecobee to resume schedule in the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, tell ecobee I'm back home in the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, tell ecobee I'm leaving in the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, tell ecobee good night in the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, ask ecobee to set the (thermostat name) to home/away/sleep"
  • "Alexa, ask ecobee to turn the fan on"
  • "Alexa, ask ecobee to switch to Heat/Cool/Auto/OFF mode in the (thermostat name)"
  • "Alexa, tell ecobee I'm going on vacation from (start date) to (end date) in the (thermostat name)"

ecobee Compatibility

We get all kinds of questions about ecobee compatibility, like for example, what is ecobee wiring compatibility? We'll get to that in a minute, but first, let's cover some basics. You can use ecobee with lots of home automation devices such as iOS and Android devices. For Windows user, you can remotely control your ecobee from your web portal. The ecobee works with various devices, not limited to the following:

  • Amazon Echo
  • Apple HomeKit
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Wink
  • Haiku Fans
  • IFTTT
  • Logitech Harmony
  • Vera
  • Control 4
  • Keen Smart Events
  • Tendril
  • EnergyHub
  • Cooper
  • Siemens
  • AutoGrid
  • Earth Networks

HVAC and ecobee Wiring Compatibility

Aside from those compatible brands and smart home integrations, your ecobee must be paired with an HVAC system that can support the technology. They work with a variety of residential and cooling systems in North America, including gas, oil, electric, and dual-fuel systems. The newer your unit, the more likely it is to be a match.

Electrical Requirements

  • compatible with 24VAC controls
  • not compatible with:
  • millivolt systems (fireplaces and wood stoves)
  • DC voltage (heating and cooling systems in recreational vehicles)
  • line /high voltage systems (electric baseboard heaters)

Conventional (Furnace and Air Conditioning)

  • supports up to 2 stages of heat and 2 stages of cool
  • supports a single accessory such as a humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, ERV (ecobee3 and ecobee4 only)
  • supports single-speed fan control
  • can be installed with the PEK if a C wire isn't present

    Heat Pumps

    • supports air-to-air and geothermal heat pumps
    • supports up to 4 stages of heat (2 stage heat pump, 2 stage auxiliary heat) and 2 stages of cool
    • supports single-speed fan control
    • supports a single accessory such as a humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, ERV (ecobee3 and ecobee4 only)
    • can be installed with the PEK if a C wire isn't present

      Boilers

      • supports up to 2 stages of heat
      • supports a single accessory such as a humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator, HRV, ERV (ecobee3 and ecobee4 only)
      • supports single-speed fan control
      • cannot be installed with the PEK if a C wire isn't present - C wire must come from the air handler, not the boiler

      More to Consider

      There are also other considerations when it comes to your current thermostat and equipment proprietary features it may have (such as variable fan speed). The ecobee thermostats do not support proprietary features for communicating thermostats (such as variable fan speed), so these features will be lost. If you're unsure whether or not your current thermostat is communicating, you will have to check for:

      • Your current thermostat has non-standard terminals (ex. ABCD or 123)
      • There is an Equipment Interface Module (EIM) board present at the equipment level bridging your thermostat and furnace.

      The ecobee requires standard terminals (R, G, Y, W, C) at the furnace control board, so if you do have these terminals present, it's possible that the ecobee can be made compatible with some re-wiring of your equipment.

      Depending on the make and model of your equipment, you may need to contact your equipment manufacturer to verify the correct settings. To find out for sure if the ecobee will work in your home, be sure to check it with this resource ecobee.com/compatibility/.

      Does ecobee Work with Google Home?

      ecobee continues to make life easier and more comfortable. The engineers have integrated ecobee with Google Assistant. You can now control your ecobee3 lite, ecobee3, or ecobee4 from the Google Home, using simple voice commands. Here are a few samples of commands:

      • Ok Google, what is the current temperature in the (thermostat name)?
      • Hey Google, what's the (thermostat name) set to?
      • Ok Google, what's the temperature of my thermostat?
      • Ok Google, what's the current reading on the (sensor name) sensor?
      • Ok Google, what does the (room name) (sensor name) say?
      • Ok Google, what's the current reading on the (sensor name) sensor?
      • Ok Google, what does the (room name) (sensor name) say?
      • Hey Google, increase the temperature in the (thermostat name). This will result in a 5 degrees F (3 degrees C) increase from the current set-point.
      • Hey Google, decrease the temperature in the (thermostat name). This will result in a 5 degrees F (3 degrees C) decrease from the current set-point.
      • Hey Google, increase the temperature in the (thermostat name) by (number) degrees.
      • Hey Google, decrease the temperature in the (thermostat name) by (number) degrees.
      • Ok Google, what's the (thermostat name) comfort setting?
      • Ok Google, set (thermostat name) comfort setting to (Away, Home, Sleep).
      • Hey Google, turn off the (thermostat name) hold.
      • Ok Google, turn on the (thermostat name) schedule.
      • Ok Google, turn the (thermostat name) fan on.
      • Ok Google, turn on (heat, cool, automatic) mode in the (thermostat name).
      • Hey Google, change to (heat, cool, automatic) mode in the (thermostat name).
      • Ok Google, is the (thermostat name) (equipment type) (on, off).

      How to Register ecobee

      There are two ways for you to register your ecobee thermostat, and that is through the ecobee app or the web portal. Registering your ecobee will require you to create an ecobee account with your specified email address and password as the username and password. That allows you to login to the app or the web portal. Here are the steps on how to register your ecobee smart thermostat (ecobee3, ecobee3 lite, and ecobee4):

      1. Get the 4-digit registration code from your ecobee thermostat's screen

      • To obtain the registration code, tap the three horizontal bars on the bottom left corner of the ecobee screen to open the Main Menu.
      • Select "Registration". If it shows "2 Steps Left" under registration, you'll be taken to the Wi-Fi configuration screen first to connect the ecobee to your home network so that the code can be generated.
      • After completing the steps, the code will then be displayed on the thermostat's screen. Write the registration code down.

      Note: The registration codes are valid for only about one hour before they expire. If your code expires, you can generate it again by simply following the same procedure.

      2. Register your ecobee thermostat through the ecobee app or the Web Portal

      • ecobee app:
        • Register your device.
        • Tap the "ecobee thermostat" option.
        • Enter the registration code and then tap "Next" in the bottom right corner of the screen.
        • Fill in the required fields.
        • Once you're done, complete the registration by returning to your thermostat and tap "OK" at the bottom right corner.
      • Web Portal:
        • Visit ecobee.com/register/ in your web browser and click on the model of ecobee you wish to register.
        • Enter the 4-digit registration code and then click "Next."
        • Fill in the required fields.
        • Once you're done, complete the registration by returning to your thermostat and tap "OK" at the bottom right corner.

      Please be aware that each thermostat can only be registered to one ecobee account. That means you cannot create two accounts for one thermostat. However, you can register more than one ecobee to your existing account. You'll just have to log in first to your ecobee account from the mobile app or the Web Portal. To access your thermostat from multiple devices, you can use the app from more than one device by logging into the ecobee app on the secondary device with the same login.

      Enjoy full remote access to your ecobee using a mobile app or web portal!

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