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 feature 2
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.

Tag: Ecobee

Top Rated Comments

rdinterman Avatar
8 months ago
Dumped NEST after they were sold to Google. Love my ecobee, easy to set up in HomeKit and I love the remote temperate & motion sensors. You can also use them for motion automation.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unity451 Avatar
8 months ago
I don't trust air I can't taste.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
8 months ago
Just give me an ecobee with a nicer design and charge $50-$100 more. I mean, a nice metal casing, glass front with a laminated display. The current model has a massive air gap, a first generation iPhone level display and cheap plastic housing.

The product itself works great but it is so ugly.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Popple Avatar
8 months ago

This or Nest for Apple users? Who can share their experience?
Nest doesn’t natively support HomeKit. I‘ve not done much research but I believe there are adapters or some other kind of home-network hacks you can do to get it to play nice with HomeKit but it wasn’t worth the trouble for me. I got a Nest for free from my energy company but shelved it and bought my own ecobee so I could have it in HomeKit. But I bought the model (years and years ago by now) that didn’t have a microphone/Alexa. Not sure if you can get ecobees that aren’t Alexa enabled anymore.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
seinman Avatar
8 months ago

Turns on the A/C fan when indoor air quality is low to move the air through the filters, which increases energy consumption, which increases energy production at the power plant, which lowers air quality further. Rinse and repeat.
Two things:

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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Popple Avatar
8 months ago

Does Ecobee work well with HomeKit? The only thing I don't like about Ecobee is that it seems to have Alexa built in. Possible to switch that off?
Ha. I just edited my comment. I bought a model that doesn’t even have Alexa/microphone support. Buy one of those if you still can. Otherwise, I’m sure there’s a way to turn it off.

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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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