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ecobee3 Update 3.6: What are the new smart features?

by on April 2, 2015

Update 3.6 delivers several great new smart features that ecobee3 customers have been asking for. We appreciate all your feedback and are excited to share these features with you. Let’s take a look at each.

The information you want, at a glance

You can now see the outside temperature on the ecobee3 idle screen. As always, you can get a detailed weather forecast by tapping on the weather icon from the ecobee3 home screen.


Real-time visibility and more granular control of your wireless remote sensors

The sensor participation feature enables you to choose which of your sensors to use for each of your comfort settings (Home, Away, Sleep, and custom comfort settings).

For example, using the Sensor Participation setting, you can choose to use the sensor in the living room when you’re “Home” (say from 6 PM to 9 PM) and use the sensor in the bedroom during “Sleep” (say from 9 PM to 7 AM), but use the sensor in the baby’s room during both the “Home” and “Sleep” periods.

To configure your sensor participation settings, navigate to Menu > Sensors > Sensor Name (the sensor you want to edit the settings for) > Participation > and select all of the comfort settings you want this sensor to participate in.

Alternatively, you can also navigate to Menu > Comfort Settings > Select a comfort setting > and choose all of the sensors you want to participate in this comfort setting. Please review our FAQs to learn more about about the remote sensor status icons.

Please note: you must have at least one sensor participate in each comfort setting (by default this will be the sensor in your ecobee3 thermostat).

Smarter home comfort with Thermal Protect

The Thermal Protect feature of your ecobee3 is designed to keep your home comfortable if your thermostat ever loses its connection to a wireless remote sensor, or a sensor measures an unusually high or low temperature as a result of being placed in a suboptimal location.

You can ensure that the wireless remote sensors measure your home’s temperature accurately by not placing them in sub-optimal locations such as enclosed areas (closets, drawers), near sources of heat (next to the stove or windows) or cold (such as drafty  windows).

By navigating to Settings > Installation Settings > Thresholds > you can configure the Thermal Protect range. This range tells your thermostat the maximum difference allowed between the thermostat and hottest or coldest rooms in your home. If a sensor measures a temperature that is significantly outside of this range, it likely means the reading is inaccurate, and it will be ignored by your ecobee3 to prevent your heating or cooling from running excessively.

If you intentionally place a sensor in a room that significantly deviates from the Thermal Protect range, you may want to exclude this temperature reading from your home average to prevent your heating or cooling from running excessively.

To further protect your home from extreme cold, if your ecobee3 detects that your home is below 5C/41F, your thermostat will automatically run your heating to maintain this temperature.

Better comfort and more savings for heat pump users 

We’ve made several improvements to heat pump algorithms used by ecobee3 to improve comfort and increase energy savings. The algorithms now use the heat pump to deliver more of the heat you need which is more efficient than using your auxiliary heat. This allows us to reduce energy loss incurred during equipment start, operate the heat pump at its most efficient level and run auxiliary heat as little as possible. This does not modify any heat pump settings set by the user.

  • If your system is configured for reverse staging, the algorithm now transitions optimally between stages to reduce energy consumption while improving comfort.
  • If the temperature is very close to the desired temperature, the maximum runtime for default heat pump staging is now ignored and the algorithm will not stage up or engage auxiliary heat. This will not impact user comfort but increases energy efficiency.
  • When both the heat pump and auxiliary heat are configured to permit reverse staging, the algorithm will now reverse-stage auxiliary heat back to heat pump only. This allows the heat pump, which is the most efficient source of heat to run longer and limit expensive auxiliary heat.
  • Just as before, the algorithm will not run auxiliary heat during smart recovery.

Please note that we will be doing a staged rollout of update 3.6 over the course of April to ensure a great customer experience. You can download the new ecobee3 mobile app for iOS and Android right away, however, the new features will become available on your app, thermostat, and web portal, once update 3.6 has been applied to your ecobee3 thermostat. 

Thank you for your continued support. Keep the great feature suggestions coming and we’ll keep on delivering!