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Guest Post: ecobee and my babies

by on May 28, 2015

The following is a guest blog written by active ecobee community member Zach Stribling. Let us know if you would like to write for the blog!

Every new parent, whether it is their first or fifth child, wants to do right by their newborn angel. Some choices are hard. What is the best and healthiest diaper? What soap should I wash them with? Some choices are easy. Multiple sources and professionals agree that the optimal temperature for an infant’s bedroom is between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 21.1 Celsius). The sweet spot is at 68 degrees. While it sounds frigid remember that most babies are sleeping in a fuzzy one piece full body PJ and swaddled in a nice warm blanket. As they say, “Snug as a bug in a rug”. It is theorized by many that between employing these lower temperatures and a fan to circulate air on the baby the chances for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are lowered significantly.

With that in mind it is easy as a new parent to obsess over maintaining a consistent preset temperature in their child’s room. With our first child, my wife would wake up all night long to check the temperature of our baby’s room on her baby monitor. Finding it out of the golden range she would drag herself out of bed and down the hallway to adjust our antiquated thermostat in a futile attempt to correct and maintain the temperature in our baby’s room. Back and forth, up and down all night. While the baby was kept safe in her sleep, the quality of my wife’s sleep was abysmal. We all know that newborn babies are not conducive to quality sleep schedules for their parents; this took it to a whole other level.

With our first one out of diapers and another baby on the way we started discussing the temperature proposition once again. I wanted to outfit our home with a wi-fi enabled thermostat so my dear wife didn’t have to constantly wake up in the middle of the night, and if she did, she could monitor and control the house temperature right from the bed. Thinking about it more and more the problem was more complex. To keep the baby’s room at 68 some nights the thermostat down the hallway would have to be set to 64 and on some nights 72 depending on the season. The temperature in the hallway of our home just varies too wildly from that of the baby’s room. I needed a way to use the temperature in the baby’s room as the standard for our thermostat’s reading.

Extensive online research led me to many bad solutions. My options were few and far between. I could rewire the thermostat through the house and locate it in the baby’s room. I found a couple of remote thermostats using battery power and the existing wiring in the house that would let me again place the thermostat in the baby’s room. It was not widely distributed and had horrible reviews online. There was a Honeywell thermostat that could use remote sensors through its RedLink communications system, but the cost was excessively prohibitive, especially for a family with two children. Just when I was losing hope ecobee released the extraordinary ecobee3. With its low price point the ecobee3 was designed for just this type of conundrum. A thermostat in the hallway does nothing to consider the temperature of your whole home.

The remote sensors were simple and amazing. I preordered it right away and received my thermostat and sensors quickly. Install and setup was a breeze and within 30 minutes my HVAC was up and running and my new thermostat was averaging the temperature of my home between its place in the hallway, the master bedroom, our 2 children’s rooms, and the living room. Like that, the temperature fluctuations in our soon to be born baby’s room were smoothed over and we had whole house comfort.

With the latest 3.6 firmware update, things have gotten even better. Listening to their community of customers, ecobee reworked their scheduling and sensor system to allow us to choose which sensors are included and excluded from each Comfort Setting. Now we are able to tell our HVAC system to only use temperature readings from our baby’s room at night, prioritizing her comfort and safety, while still allowing for whole house temperature averages to control the system during the day.

Thank you ecobee, for knowing just what I needed for my family and home. Thank you for building such a quality product. Thank you for the amazing customer service. Thank you for your continued innovation and dedication to your clients. Thank you for helping these tired parents sleep.