Ecobee Planning New Smart Thermostat With Built-In Air Quality Sensor
Canadian smart home accessory maker Ecobee appears to be preparing to release a new version of its SmartThermostat with a built-in indoor air quality sensor.
Ecobee released a new version of its iOS app this week that includes a hidden image of a SmartThermostat with an indoor air quality indicator visible on the screen. The updated app also includes descriptions such as "keep your home's air clean with your Smart Thermostat's built-in air quality sensor" and "your sensor is calibrating to your home," according to code changes discovered by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser.
Ecobee has yet to publicly announce the new SmartThermostat, so no additional details or a release date are known at this time, but the sensor will presumably turn on a home's HVAC fans when indoor air quality has fallen below certain thresholds. This would result in air circulating through the HVAC system's filters for improved air quality.
Ecobee thermostats were previously compatible with the third-party Await+ air quality sensor, but this integration was discontinued in 2020.
Ecobee's SmartThermostat supports Apple's smart home platform HomeKit and also gained support for "Hey Siri" voice control last year. The thermostat is regularly priced at $249.99 in the United States, but it is currently on sale for $199.99.
Top Rated Comments
The product itself works great but it is so ugly.
Using the term "A/C fan" is disingenuous because it implies the same power use as running the actual air conditioning unit. It does not. The blower fan draws maybe 200 watts, probably less in modern units. The air is circulated through the filter but not actively cooled in this mode.
Additionally, not all power use "lowers air quality further." Where I live, the majority of my power supply is from nuclear, which burns clean (yes there's an argument to be made about waste, but modern reactor designs largely solve this problem, so instead of having the waste storage discussion we should be having the approve modern reactor permit discussion). The grid is getting cleaner by the day, so over time this will become a moot point. It's basically the whole "electric cars just move pollution" argument; they don't, because the grid doesn't pollute as much as individual vehicles do, and the grid is constantly getting cleaner.
We can't let perfect be the enemy of good. Running your blower fan to filter your household air isn't perfect, but it has more pros than cons, even in our current energy economy.
And, yes, it works great with HomeKit. Shows up on the dashboard and you can set the heat/cool mode and control the temperature. As far as I know, it doesn’t support all the fancy “eco” modes directly in HomeKit but 1) I don’t use those and 2) you can control that via the ecobee app if you really need to.