Ecobee adds radar to smart thermostat range

  • June 1, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Canadian home automation company Ecobee has expanded its smart thermostat offering with versions that use radar to improve comfort, home health and security.

Since launching what it claims was the world’s first smart thermostat in 2009, Ecobee has continued to redefine what a thermostat can do. The introduction of the Premium and Enhanced models is said to push the boundaries of the category, while continuing to deliver energy saving features.

The Premium and Enhanced models are said to be the company’s most sophisticated smart thermostats yet. They are built with radar for improved occupancy and motion detection, while a refreshed user experience and larger display make them easier to use.

The flagship Premium unit combines design and function, and has both an indoor air quality monitor and an embedded smart speaker with a choice of Siri or Alexa built-in, encased in a zinc body.

“At Ecobee, we believe the future smart home will be more resilient and efficient, and we remain committed to achieving these goals by offering advanced technologies designed to improve everyday life and create a more sustainable world,” said Ecobee CEO Stuart Lombard. “Our all-new smart thermostat line-up is our smartest yet, with industry leading technology including radar and a new intuitive user experience, and is designed to bring families more comfort, energy savings and peace of mind, while improving home health and looking great on your wall.”

Premium and Enhanced have been designed with a glass face and smooth waterfall edges. The radar technology can detect motion and occupancy from further away and around corners. Plus, unlike an infra-red sensor, it can be hidden inside the thermostat without a visible lens in the corner, for a sleeker and smoother design, all while improving energy saving capabilities.

A more responsive display is 50% larger than previous models and has more colourful and vibrant resolution, while the refreshed user interface embraces the company’s signature squircle shape and improves ease of navigation. Larger temperature sliders make changing the temperature easier, and an easy-to-find menu helps users discover and engage with new features.

A monitor built into the device displays data about indoor air quality, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), estimated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and relative humidity. It will alert users through the app when indoor air quality is poor and provide tips on how to improve it.

The thermostats are designed to turn into a home security system to keep homes safe, while helping families live more comfortably and save energy.

With SmartSensor for doors and windows and a smart security plan, Ecobee can help protect against break-ins, fires and frozen pipes, and automatically pause heating or cooling when a door or window is left open. Premium also comes with a SmartSensor in the box, which can be placed anywhere throughout the home to detect motion and provide a more accurate reading of the home’s occupancy and temperature to help manage hot or cold spots.

By signing up for Smart Security Complete with professional monitoring ($10 per month), currently available in the USA, users can save up to an additional 10% on their monthly home insurance. When added to the thermostat’s up to 26% savings on annual heating and cooling bills, average annual savings total up to $360.

From energy conservation to recyclable packaging, the thermostats were designed with sustainability in mind. Every home consumes energy differently, which is why the company created Eco+, a suite of smart features that helps users save on energy by improving the home’s energy efficiency, while maintaining comfort.

With Eco+, the Energy Star certified thermostats automatically help users save up to 26% on annual heating and cooling costs by learning and adapting to people’s routines while at home and reducing energy use while away.

Each package size has been reduced by 30%, allowing more product to fit into each shipment, to lower the carbon footprint of shipping the thermostats. Inside the box, recycled paper packaging has been replaced with tapioca starch trays, which use less water and energy, are compostable, and are sourced near the assembly facilities to reduce shipping emissions.