Activating room sensors and smart features

To activate a room sensor, you’ll first need to stand in front of your ecobee thermostat and ensure it is on the Active screen pictured below. You may need to back out of the menu or clear any full-screen alerts first, or tap the screen to wake it from Standby mode.

Once your thermostat is on the Active screen:

1) Gently pull the plastic tab on the back of the sensor

2) On the ecobee’s screen, look for a message. The 4-digit ID should match the 4-digit code on the back of your sensor. Tap “Yes” in the bottom right to confirm pairing

3) Choose a sensor name from the list, or enter your own custom name by selecting “Enter Your Own.” Tap “Next” when you are done

4) Choose what Comfort Settings you want the room sensor to participate in by checking or unchecking the checkboxes. When a sensor “participates” in a Comfort Setting, its temperature readings will be used in tandem with the thermostat’s readings to calculate an average temperature across multiple rooms. Tap “Next,” and then “Finish” when you are done.

If you are unsure what settings you’d like to use, leave all of the boxes checked for now. You can always change participation settings later by going to MAIN MENU > SENSORS, tapping the sensor, and then tapping “PARTICIPATION.”

If the room sensor pairing prompt does not appear on your ecobee’s screen and you are certain you are on the Standby screen, please check out our troubleshooting article on sensor pairing.

More information about room sensor installation and optimal location placement can be found in our Room Sensor Installation Guide.


Your ecobee’s schedule consists of temperature profiles called “Comfort Settings.” By default, your ecobee will have Comfort Settings for Home, Away, and Sleep. You can create additional Comfort Settings from the Web Portal.

Each Comfort Setting will have its own set of “Participation” rules that tell the ecobee which temperature sensors to use (including the thermostat itself) when calculating the current average temperature.

You can tell the ecobee to include or ignore any sensor readings when averaging the temperature, including the temperature sensor on the thermostat itself.

For example, you may want to set “Away” to only use the temperature reading from the thermostat base unit, but for “Sleep,” you may want to place the room sensor in a bedroom and only use the room sensor’s temperature.

When a sensor is not participating, it will still report the temperature to the ecobee, but its temperature reading will not be factored in when the thermostat calculates the average home temperature.

You can change participation settings via one of two methods:


MAIN MENU > SENSORS > Tap the sensor you wish to change > PARTICIPATION

sensor1.png sensor2.png sensor3.png


MAIN MENU > COMFORT SETTINGS > Tap the Comfort Setting you wish to change > “Participating Sensors”

sensor4.png sensor5.png

sensor6.png sensor7.png

At least one sensor must be participating in each Comfort Setting.

NOTE: If there is a difference in sensor participation rules between scheduled Comfort Settings (for example, Home to Sleep), the ecobee will gradually transition into the new sensor participation rules rather than suddenly switching and having to face a sudden drop or rise in averaged temperature. This process usually takes about 30 minutes.


How to tell if a sensor is participating:

Go to MAIN MENU > SENSORS on the thermostat or Web Portal and look for the following icons:

sensori.png The sensor is currently participating (sensor is filled in with white)

sensori2.png The sensor is not currently participating (sensor is hollow)



With Smart Home/Smart Away enabled, if your ecobee senses that you are home during your scheduled Away period, or away during your scheduled Home period, it will automatically override your schedule to maximize comfort (Smart Home) and savings (Smart Away). This is done through occupancy detection, either through any of your thermostat’s paired room sensors (regardless of participation settings) or through the built-in occupancy sensors on the ecobee3 or ecobee4 (the ecobee3 lite does not have an occupancy sensor).
Smart Home and Smart Away are ideal for brief unscheduled periods of occupancy or no occupancy in tandem with the ecobee’s Schedule feature.
To enable Smart Home/Smart Away, do the following on the thermostat screen:

How Smart Home and Smart Away Work

  Smart Home Smart Away
Trigger conditions
  • Occupancy is detected during an Away period or an “I’m Usually Away” custom Comfort Setting
  • The Away/I’m Usually Away Comfort Setting has been active for more than the 1 hour grace period
  • Smart Home has been inactive for the past 2 hours
  • No occupancy has been detected for 2 hours during a scheduled Home period or Smart Away activity
Duration (runs until one of the following occurs)
  • 2 hours pass with no occupancy detection
  • Smart Home is manually cancelled by cancelling the Hold or setting another Hold
  • A scheduled Comfort Setting change occurs (i.e: Away to Home or Away to Sleep)
  • Occupancy is detected
  • A scheduled Comfort Setting change to an Away period occurs
Temperature set points
  • Same as your "Home" Comfort Setting
  • Determined by an algorithm which uses a temperature that will allow the ecobee to get back to “Home” temperatures quickly while still conserving energy (typically 3-5 degrees lower than your "Home" set point)
Neither Smart Home nor Smart Away will trigger during a scheduled Sleep period.
NOTE: Occupancy is measured roughly every 5 minutes, so the ecobee will not immediately go into Smart Home or Smart Away mode until the next 5 minute interval has been reached.
How to tell when Smart Home/Smart Away are active:
Look for the following indicators on your thermostat:
Smart Home:
Smart Away:
When Follow Me is enabled, the ecobee will only utilize sensors that have recently detected occupancy in temperature averaging, rather than relying on the participation settings used by your Comfort Settings.
In other words, the temperature averaging feature of the ecobee will follow you throughout the home, delivering comfort to the rooms you inhabit.
When Follow Me is disabled, the ecobee will follow your sensor participation rules assigned to each Comfort Setting.
  • Follow Me will include sensors that have detected occupancy within the past 30 minutes.
  • If 30 minutes pass with no occupancy detected, that sensor will then be excluded until occupancy is detected again
To enable Follow Me, on the thermostat’s screen:
MAIN MENU > SENSORS > FOLLOW ME > set to “Enabled”
NOTE: The thermostat will follow the “Home” Comfort Setting participation rules and ignore Follow Me if one of the following occurs:
  • No occupancy is detected from any sensors
  • A manual temperature Hold is set on the thermostat


How does Follow Me function under the “Sleep” Comfort Setting?

In the Sleep period when no motion is detected, Follow Me defaults to averaging temperature across the selected sensors in your network. However, if any motion is detected, Follow Me will  use this information to heat/cool appropriate rooms.
  • Room sensors use 915MHz radio waves to communicate with the thermostat
  • Sensors communicate both temperature readings and occupancy readings to the thermostat
  • Room sensors have a built-in occupancy detection sensor that uses infrared technology to detect body heat signatures
  • Sensors have a range of 45 feet from the thermostat
  • A room sensor is powered by a CR2032 coin battery
  • A single CR2032 battery will last approximately one year (this can vary based on factors such as the distance the sensor is placed from the thermostat)
  • An ecobee thermostat can support up to 32 room sensors
  • The sensors have a viewing angle of approximately 120 degrees horizontal and 25-30 degrees vertical
  • Occupancy detection is based on continued presence within a sensor’s viewing angle, not merely motion detection. A person must be within a sensor’s range for several minutes to trigger occupancy

Was this article helpful?

Have more questions? Submit a request