Ecobee3 vs. Nest Thermostat: A Head-to-Head Comparison

The Alliance to Save Energy wrote:

Did you know that a smart thermostat can significantly boost the value of your home? It’s one of many reasons why a smart thermostat is well worth the initial investment.

But which one should you get?

If you want one that’s stable and reliable, you have two main options right now: Nest Learning Thermostat and Ecobee3 Smarter Wi-Fi Thermostat. Both of them come from reputable brands and neither is flat-out better…

…but one is definitely better FOR YOU. We’ll help you decide by comparing all of the important details of both (ease of installation, available features, pricing, etc.) so you have all the information you need to make a smart decision.

As far as ease of installation is concerned, there’s one clear winner.

The Nest can be installed by anyone who can read a basic schematic and has enough confidence to put two and two together. All you have to do is follow the instructions and plug in three wires, which should take less than 15 minutes.

I don’t think installation should be a big concern when trying to decide between the two. The Nest is easier, but they’re both easy enough that it doesn’t really matter.

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Appearance & Interface

The Nest is all about sleek minimalism, which lends to its easy-to-learn design and ensures that it will fit into pretty much any home no matter what the interior decor is like. I’m a big fan of its simplicity.
Using the Nest is as simple as turning it to change the temperature (like you would with a normal thermostat). If you want to change any settings, the spin dial is also used to make selections (similar to the dial on the first iPod). You can also interact using the Nest mobile app.

But while the Nest’s goal is simplicity, the Ecobee3 aims for usability. The thermostat itself has a full-color touchscreen that you can operate like any smartphone — with your finger using taps and swipes — or you can use the free mobile app.

My one complaint about the Ecobee3’s appearance is its size. The Nest is a circle with a 3.3-inch diameter while the Ecobee3 is a rounded square with 4-inch edges. It’s a noticeable difference that makes the Ecobee3 stand out more, but at least it’s not ugly.

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