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#4786936 - 06/14/18 06:45 PM Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat?
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 429
Loc: MN
Xcel Energy is running a KILLER deal on smart thermostats right now, so I went ahead and ordered an Ecobee3 Lite for the house. $63 shipped! Anyways, my house doesn't have central air and uses a boiler and radiant heat. I posted a question about this before, however I think the Ecobee should help in my situation.

Here's how the genius that installed the boiler and zone valves set up the system:

Thermostat #1, located on the ground floor in the living room controls ALL free standing radiators in the house. That's the basement, dining room, entry way, living room, sitting room, 3 of 4 upstairs bedrooms, and the upstairs bathrooms.

Thermostat #2 is located in the kitchen, approx. 15 feet from 'Stat #1. It controls the baseboard heaters in the kitchen itself AS WELL AS the baseboard heat in the master bedroom, directly above on the second floor.

The problem with my setup is this: 'Stat #2 simply can't acquire a proper temperature reading to maintain comfort in the master bedroom! The laws of convection just don't allow it. The entire main level is basically open, and anyone who's had old-school radiators in their house knows that the really pump out the heat. It's incredibly easy for the 3 large radiators on the main floor to keep the kitchen warm, thereby causing the the #2 'Stat to turn off long before the master ever gets warm.

My initial thought was to use the Ecobee in conjunction with a room sensor to separately control the two zone valves at the boiler, however it seems that's really not possible. I'm not sure why, exactly, because it's a simple matter of programming: built-in sensor commands zone #1 water valve, room sensor reports back and main unit commands #2 zone valve, but I digress. In my application, I plan on using a room sensor in the master and telling the Ecobee to ignore it's own internal sensor, which I do believe is possible after reading the instructions.

Apologies for the long winded post, but I like detail! Does anyone else have experience installing/living with a smart thermostat? I'd love to hear feedback!
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#4786973 - 06/14/18 07:49 PM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: 14Accent]
Rat407 Online   content


Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1496
Loc: North Carolina
We have an Ecobee but not the new one that you can connect up to zones.

You sound like what you want to do is the way to go. Why he hooked up to the upstairs baseboard with the thermostat downstairs doesn't make sense.
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#4786978 - 06/14/18 07:55 PM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: 14Accent]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7228
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I live in South Florida and smart thermostats are not worth the trouble in my experience. The claimed savings don't really materialize and if your schedule changes, you come home to a hotter house, right when you want it cool.

Back to your requirements, it seems like you are just turning this device into a bedroom thermostat that controls the system. The cold room situation was a major reason behind forced air systems. Without changing your system for more even heating, I don't think it's going to work.
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#4786981 - 06/14/18 07:58 PM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: 14Accent]
Donald Online   content


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20550
Loc: Upstate NY
I think you need to straighten out the zones before the Ecobee can help. Each zone should bring all the rooms it heats to roughly the same temperature. I am sure a plumber can make plumbing changes that will allow the zone to work properly.

I am not sure how much the Ecobee will really help because radiant heat is very slow. It takes hours not minutes to come up to temp from a setback temp.

I installed a small electronic device that sets the boiler high temp based upon the outside temp, along with some other parameters. It will help more than an Ecobee.
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#4787020 - 06/14/18 08:27 PM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: Cujet]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5722
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Cujet
I live in South Florida and smart thermostats are not worth the trouble in my experience.


I live in south Florida and smart thermostats are DEFINITELY awesome, in my experience. Program it to turn up right before you leave, and turn down, right before you come home. It saves a lot of energy and money. When in bed I can adjust the temp right from my smart phone without having to get up.

When I go on vacation I set the AC to 82, and then when on my way home, I'll cool the house down to 74 a few hours before I get home, right from my smart phone. I love it and highly recommend them.
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#4787095 - 06/14/18 10:51 PM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: Donald]
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 5203
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Donald
I think you need to straighten out the zones before the Ecobee can help. Each zone should bring all the rooms it heats to roughly the same temperature. I am sure a plumber can make plumbing changes that will allow the zone to work properly.

I am not sure how much the Ecobee will really help because radiant heat is very slow. It takes hours not minutes to come up to temp from a setback temp.

I installed a small electronic device that sets the boiler high temp based upon the outside temp, along with some other parameters. It will help more than an Ecobee.



I have an emerson sensi. It has options for fast cycle or slow cycle. I use the slow cycle on my system because I want it to run for longer periods at once.

The directions say that the slow cycle is appropriate for boilers also.

It also has a methodology of getting the house to a certain temp by a certain time, so it will start early to be at that temp when you get home.
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#4787129 - 06/15/18 12:11 AM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: 14Accent]
flanso Offline


Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 365
Loc: Tampa, Florida
Nest offers a wireless sensor that can be placed remotely from the main Nest thermostat. Nests are pricey but probably cheaper than repiping your boiler.

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#4787235 - 06/15/18 07:50 AM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: 14Accent]
TWG1572 Offline


Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 561
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: 14Accent
My initial thought was to use the Ecobee in conjunction with a room sensor to separately control the two zone valves at the boiler, however it seems that's really not possible. I'm not sure why, exactly, because it's a simple matter of programming: built-in sensor commands zone #1 water valve, room sensor reports back and main unit commands #2 zone valve, but I digress.


I'm not sure why you say it's not possible, unless I'm not following what you want to do. You can program the Ecobee to ignore the sensor in the thermostat and just use the remote sensor. Put the remote in your master, and you should be set. Here are the instructions:

https://beta.ecobee.com/faq/can-i-disabl...ature-readings/

I really like my Ecobees. I don't think they generate the savings they claim, but I like the features they have like auto home/away, etc.



Edited by TWG1572 (06/15/18 07:51 AM)

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#4787289 - 06/15/18 08:52 AM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: TWG1572]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 429
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: TWG1572
Originally Posted By: 14Accent
My initial thought was to use the Ecobee in conjunction with a room sensor to separately control the two zone valves at the boiler, however it seems that's really not possible. I'm not sure why, exactly, because it's a simple matter of programming: built-in sensor commands zone #1 water valve, room sensor reports back and main unit commands #2 zone valve, but I digress.


I'm not sure why you say it's not possible, unless I'm not following what you want to do. You can program the Ecobee to ignore the sensor in the thermostat and just use the remote sensor. Put the remote in your master, and you should be set. Here are the instructions:

https://beta.ecobee.com/faq/can-i-disabl...ature-readings/

I really like my Ecobees. I don't think they generate the savings they claim, but I like the features they have like auto home/away, etc.



That's how I intend to use it. However, what I really want to do and what I believe the Ecobee can NOT do is use the room sensor readings to control one of the zone valves, and use the Ecobee sensor to control the other valve. This would remove the 2nd thermostat in the system and leave the Ecobee to control everything. However, this does not seem possible. I tweeted their support team but I haven't heard back in 2 days.
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#4787324 - 06/15/18 09:24 AM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: Cujet]
gregk24 Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 5627
Loc: FL, USA
Originally Posted By: Cujet
I live in South Florida and smart thermostats are not worth the trouble in my experience. The claimed savings don't really materialize and if your schedule changes, you come home to a hotter house, right when you want it cool.

Back to your requirements, it seems like you are just turning this device into a bedroom thermostat that controls the system. The cold room situation was a major reason behind forced air systems. Without changing your system for more even heating, I don't think it's going to work.


I live in Florida and our NEST is absolutely worth it. It has saved us money and being able to adjust it from my phone or my Google Home is very nice as well.
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#4787368 - 06/15/18 10:10 AM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: Cujet]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 18991
Loc: Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: Cujet
I live in South Florida and smart thermostats are not worth the trouble in my experience. The claimed savings don't really materialize and if your schedule changes, you come home to a hotter house, right when you want it cool.



Absolutely agreed IMO. We have irregular hours so we never know exactly when we are coming home or leaving. Turn the temp up when you leave and then back down when you come home. the reason we have a highly efficient AC is to use it...
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#4789894 - 06/18/18 10:17 AM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: gregk24]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7228
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: gregk24
Originally Posted By: Cujet
I live in South Florida and smart thermostats are not worth the trouble in my experience. The claimed savings don't really materialize and if your schedule changes, you come home to a hotter house, right when you want it cool.

Back to your requirements, it seems like you are just turning this device into a bedroom thermostat that controls the system. The cold room situation was a major reason behind forced air systems. Without changing your system for more even heating, I don't think it's going to work.


I live in Florida and our NEST is absolutely worth it. It has saved us money and being able to adjust it from my phone or my Google Home is very nice as well.


I don't work normal hours, so I was constantly coming home to a warm house. Or cooling it when I was not home. Using a phone to control it is exactly as difficult as turning it (a little or a lot depending on the circumstance) up when you leave the house turning it down when you return.

I saw no savings with my digital thermostat. I actually went back to the old Honeywell dual stage mercury thermostat. While I don't doubt that people save some money over just leaving the house cold all the time, I'm not that lazy and I turn it up when I leave. Nil savings. None.

Plus, I found that moving the little lever to adjust temp was far faster than changing a digital display.


Edited by Cujet (06/18/18 10:18 AM)
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#4808794 - 07/09/18 05:21 AM Re: Anyione here have an Ecobee thermostat? [Re: 14Accent]
NeoDad Offline


Registered: 04/18/18
Posts: 3
Loc: CA, USA
I do have an Ecobee, we like how it's got built-in Alexa already however, it's been acting up recently. I noticed it won't stick to the temp I set it. It keeps on changing.

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