Combating Solar Gain With An ecobee3

The ecobee 3 Smart Thermostat the coolest thermostat since the last cool thermostat? via ecobee.com
The ecobee 3 Smart Thermostat the coolest thermostat since the last cool thermostat? via ecobee.com

I last wrote about the new ecobee3 smart thermostat in an article titled ‘ecobee 3 Room Sensors Fail‘ and in it I took a deliberate swipe at people who are confusing the ecobee3 remote sensors as a zoning system.

ecobee 3 has marketed the remote sensors as a means to keep the rooms you live in more comfortable but some have taken that to mean it can heat rooms that are poorly ducted or suffer from an inadequate air conditioner or furnace.

The ecobee3 can not fix an over heated or an under heated room due to a poor system installation. Period.

It can however help with an age-old problem that has also been discussed before on this site, solar gain. In my home my ecobee3 is installed in my dining room and the room we spend most of our time in is our living room. The obstacle is two-fold. First off I could care less what the temperature in my dining room is since me and my family only go in that room 3 times a year for holidays. Secondly why is it dictating the temperature in my home?

The room we spend 70% of our day the living room is wall to wall glass and is heated with the REHAU RAUPanel system. So on the very sunny days this room becomes extremely hot but my thermostat in the dining room just keeps pumping heat into the room since it can not actually see the operative air temperature in my living room. Up until now I had no simple out of the box solution to fix this.

The ecobee 3 is my new simple solution.

Included with the thermostat is a wireless remote sensor which enables me to in under 10 seconds setup monitoring of a specific room in my house. The sensor not only monitors temperature but can tell occupancy.

By placing the ecobee 3 wireless remote sensor in the living room and setting it to average the temperatures between the remote sensor and my dining room thermostat I have a bit better control over the solar gain that is happening in the room. Even more significant because the sensor also has a motion detector built into it the device will turn my heating / cooling on or off whenever the room is occupied by me or my family.

This is a perfect use case for the remote sensor because I am not trying to overcome a heating or cooling system problem I am trying to solve an environmental issue of lots of sun over heating the room. Those of you who think you can make your back porch warm with a remote sensor need to leave well enough alone and hire a contractor but for those looking to combat solar gain or even make a well ducted room a bit warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer the ecobee 3 is for you.

The ecobee 3 comes with 1 free remote sensor and they also will sell you sensors in packs of two in case you decide to use them in other rooms.

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