ecobee

Room Sensor: FAQs, Setup Guide, and Troubleshooting


This article applies to all ecobee thermostats except Smart, Smart SI, EMS and EMS SI.

 

FAQs

ecobee Room Sensor and the next-generation SmartSensor are the only thermostat sensors that detect both temperature and occupancy.

They are designed to supplement the temperature and occupancy sensors built into your ecobee thermostat*—unlocking your ecobee's full potential.

Install these portable powerhouses throughout your home for targeted comfort in the rooms that matter most (bedrooms, nursery, living room, etc.), and place them in rooms that run too hot or too cold for a more balanced temperature throughout the home.

Access their readings remotely with the ecobee app or the Web Portal.

Room Sensors are compatible with SmartThermostat with voice control, ecobee4, ecobee3 lite and ecobee3. If you decide to upgrade or switch thermostats, you can unpair your sensor(s) from the old thermostat and pair them to the new one.

* ecobee3 lite does not have a built-in occupancy sensor. Not to worry! You can pair Room Sensors to it to take advantage of ecobee Smart Features like Smart Home/Away and Follow Me mode.

There's no wrong way to use your Room Sensors.

Place a sensor in a high-traffic room to detect occupancy to take advantage of ecobee Smart Features like Smart Home/Away and Follow Me mode. Other spots that are great for Room Sensors include areas that are either warmer or cooler than the rest of your home. Using Room Sensors with your ecobee can help you achieve a more balanced temperature throughout your home by minimizing hot or cool spots.

Every time you pair a Room Sensor to your ecobee thermostat you'll be asked which Comfort Settings (e.g. Home, Away, and Sleep) you'd like it to participate in. For example, if you're putting a Room Sensor in your bedroom, but you don't spend a lot of time there when you're not sleeping, you can choose to have the bedroom Room Sensor only participate in the Sleep Comfort Setting. Doing so will ensure that your bedroom remains the temperature you like throughout the night. No more going to bed too hot or too cold!

In order to best detect occupancy changes, the best placement for a Room Sensor is about five feet off the ground in a location that's facing the entire room. Avoid locations that may have the sensor come into contact with any external factor that may influence its readings. These can include vents, fans, and direct sunlight.

Occupancy and Temperature Detection

  • Detects both temperature and occupancy and communicates those readings to the thermostat.
  • Occupancy detection uses infrared technology to detect body heat signatures.
  • Occupancy is based on a person's continued presence within a Room Sensor's viewing angle—not merely motion detection. The more time you spend in front of a particular sensor, the more weight your ecobee assigns to that sensor's readings.

Communication

  • Room Sensors use 915MHz radio waves—not Wi-Fi—for secure, energy-efficient communication with your ecobee thermostat.

Range and Viewing Angle

  • Range: up to 45 feet from the thermostat (barriers and obstacles such as thick walls or different floors, and other devices broadcasting on the same 915MHz frequency, such as a baby monitor, cordless phones, etc., may lower range).
  • Viewing angle: approximately 120° horizontal and 25–30° vertical.

Battery

ecobee thermostats can support up to 32 Room Sensors.

Room Sensors are compatible with the following thermostats:

  • SmartThermostat with voice control 
  • ecobee4
  • ecobee3 lite
  • ecobee3

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

mceclip2.png The sensor is currently active/participating (sensor is filled in with white)

mceclip1.png The sensor is currently inactive/not participating (sensor is hollow)

mceclip0.png The sensor is not connected and not participating (sensor is hollow and has no signal waves)

Check out the section below on Sensor Participation and Comfort Settings for more information.


Setup and features

To activate a Room Sensor, ensure that your ecobee is awake (pictured below) by either standing in front of it or touching the screen. You may need to back out of the menu or clear any full-screen alerts first.

Once your thermostat is on the Home Screen:

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

2) Look for a message on your ecobee’s screen. The 4-digit ID should match the 4-digit code on the back of your sensor. Tap Pair now to confirm pairing.

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

4) Choose what Comfort Settings (i.e. Home, Away, and Sleep) you want the Room Sensor to participate in by checking or unchecking the boxes. When a sensor participates in a Comfort Setting its temperature readings are used in tandem with the thermostat’s readings to calculate an average temperature across multiple rooms.

5) Tap Next, then Finish when you're done.

Tips:

  • If you're 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 in question > PARTICIPATION. Learn more about sensor participation in the next section.  
  • If the Room Sensor pairing prompt does not appear on your ecobee’s screen and you're certain you're on the Home Screen, please check out the section on troubleshooting pairing issues.

To unpair a Room Sensor:

1. On the thermostat, select the hamburger menu (mceclip2.png).

2. From your thermostat's Main Menu, select Sensors.

3. Tap on the sensor you'd like to remove.

4. Select the trash icon in the top-right corner, then select Unpair.

 

 

Your ecobee’s schedule consists of temperature profiles called Comfort Settings. By default, your ecobee has three Comfort Settings: Home, Away, and Sleep. You can also create additional custom Comfort Settings via the Web Portal.

Comfort Settings make sure your home is the right temperature during specific activities in your schedule.

For example, when you’re home, your ecobee thermostat can turn the heating on if the temperature falls below 70F and turn the cooling on if the temperature rises above 78F. Or when you’re away, only turn heating on if the temperature falls below 62F and turn cooling on if the temperature rises above 85F.

By choosing which sensors participate in each Comfort Setting, you'll have complete control over which sensors your ecobee thermostat uses to calculate the average temperature. Keep in mind, each Comfort Setting must have at least one participating sensor.

Customize your comfort by adjusting your sensor participation settings

To maximize overnight comfort, you might decide that the only sensor you want to include in your Sleep Comfort Setting is the one in your bedroom.

During the busiest time of day, when your Home Comfort Setting is active, you may want to have multiple sensors participating; e.g. your living room sensor, the one in the kitchen, and your thermostat's built-in occupancy sensor.

There are two ways to change your Participation Settings:

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

sensor1.pngsensor2.pngsensor3.png

OR

MAIN MENU > COMFORT SETTINGS > Tap the Comfort Setting you wish to change > Edit participating sensors

sensor4.pngsensor5.png

sensor6.pngsensor7.png

 

Room Sensor participation questions and answers

How does my ecobee thermostat manage sensor participation when it's changing from one Comfort Setting to the next (e.g. from Home to Sleep, or Home to Away)?

Because each Comfort Setting might have an entirely different mixture of participating sensors, a sudden change from one Comfort Setting to another could result in a rapid rise or drop in average temperature. To avoid this, your ecobee makes the transition from one Comfort Setting to the next gradually. This process usually takes about 30 minutes.

How does sensor participation work when I adjust the temperature manually?

Adjusting the temperature with your ecobee's temperature slider or in the app activates your Home Comfort Setting. (This is called placing a Manual Hold.)

When your Home Comfort Setting is active, your ecobee sets the temperature by averaging out the temperature readings from each Room Sensor participating in that Comfort Setting. (To resume your scheduled Comfort Setting, tap the X icon on your ecobee's Home Screen; using the app? Press Cancel on the thermostat Home Screen.)

Good to know: By default, a Manual Hold continues until you cancel it. You can adjust this setting according to your preference by going to the following screen on your thermostat or in the app: MAIN MENU > SETTINGS > PREFERENCES > HOLD ACTION 

When a Room Sensor isn't participating in a Comfort Setting, what does my ecobee thermostat do with its reading?

When a sensor isn't participating, it still reports the temperature to the thermostat, but the reading isn't used to help determine the average home temperature.

How can I tell which sensors are participating in the current Comfort Setting?

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

mceclip2.png The sensor is currently active/participating (sensor is filled in with white)

mceclip1.png The sensor is currently inactive/not participating (sensor is hollow)

mceclip0.png The sensor is not connected and not participating (sensor is hollow and has no signal waves)

With Smart Home/Smart Away enabled, when your thermostat senses you're home during a scheduled Away period or away during a scheduled Home period, it will automatically override your schedule for comfort (Smart Home) or savings (Smart Away). So even when your schedule changes, your ecobee knows to adjust on its own—helping you save energy and stay comfortable.
 
Smart Home/Away works independently of the sensor participation rules you've set up for your Comfort Settings. That's to say, it acts upon the occupancy readings from all of your sensors—not just the ones participating in the scheduled Comfort Setting. Smart Home and Smart Away cannot be triggered during a scheduled Sleep period.

How it works

By using the occupancy information reported by your ecobee thermostat's built-in occupancy sensor* and the Room Sensors paired with your ecobee, Smart Home/Away tracks your household's comings and goings to set the temperature for comfort or savings.
 
 

Smart Home

When your ecobee senses someone's home during a scheduled Away period... 
 
And the following conditions are met:
  • The Away or Custom Away Comfort Setting has been active for over an hour.
  • Smart Home hasn't been active for at least two hours.

Smart Home intelligently switches on your Home Comfort Setting for maximum comfort. 

How long does Smart Home run for?

When it's active, Smart Home will stay in effect until a) two hours pass with no occupancy detected; b) it is cancelled; or c) the start of the next scheduled Comfort Setting.

What temperature set points are in effect when Smart Home is running?

Smart Home uses your Home Comfort Setting's hot and cold set points.

 

Smart Away

When your ecobee senses nobody's home during a scheduled Home period... 
 
And:
  • No occupancy has been detected for two straight hours during a scheduled Home period or when Smart Home is running.

Smart Away intelligently overrides your usual schedule—helping you save on your energy bill.

How long does Smart Away run for?

Smart Away runs until it detects occupancy or until the start of the next scheduled Away period.

What temperature set points are in effect when Smart Away is running?

Since your ecobee thermostat knows that it will have to recover the temperature gap should you return, it sets the temperature to where it can quickly get your home back to your Home Comfort Setting set points, while still conserving energy. (Typically, 1–4° Fahrenheit lower than your Home set points.*)

*Actual number is based on your ecobee's ongoing analysis of your HVAC's equipment's ability to recover the temperature gap.

How to enable Smart Home/Away 

On your thermostat's screen or in the app, go to: MAIN MENU > SENSORS > SMART HOME/AWAY > set to Enabled
 

How to tell when Smart Home or Smart Away is active

Look for the following indicators on your thermostat:
 
Smart Home:
Smart Away:
 
 
Working hand-in-hand with your Comfort Settings, Follow Me mode allows you to target comfort where it matters most. With Follow Me enabled, your Room Sensors detect which rooms you and your family are in and your ecobee sets your home's temperature to prioritize comfort in those rooms.
 

How it works 

When Follow Me mode is enabled your thermostat:

  1. Takes the temperature and occupancy readings from each of the sensors participating in the scheduled Comfort Setting.
  2. Ranks them according to wh­ere you’re spending the most time.
  3. Based on the rankings, calculates the optimal home temperature for the active Comfort Setting.

How to enable Follow Me mode

Go to MAIN MENU > SENSORS > FOLLOW ME > set to Enabled from your thermostat's screen or in the app.
 

Follow Me mode questions and answers

What happens if none of the sensors participating in the active Comfort Setting report motion?

If none of your participating sensors report motion for 30 minutes, your ecobee will set the temperature based on the average of all participating sensors (even in the Sleep Comfort Setting).

I'm spending most of my time in the living room this evening, and I just walked by my kitchen's Room Sensor. I don't want a single reading from my kitchen sensor to determine my home's temperature. In Follow Me mode, how much weight does my ecobee assign to a single reading versus the many readings from the living room sensor?

If you walk by a sensor and it detects occupancy, the weight your ecobee assigns to that single reading in calculating the home temperature will be low. In this scenario, most of the weighting will be given to the occupancy readings from your living room sensor. To put it differently, the more time you spend in front of a particular sensor, the more weight your ecobee will assign to that sensor's readings.

When I leave a room, how long will it be until that Room Sensor's temperature readings no longer factor into my ecobee's temperature averaging calculation?

Follow Me includes participating sensors that have detected occupancy within the past 30 minutes.

If you leave a room and its sensor stops detecting motion, that sensor's temperature readings will be gradually (not immediately) removed from your ecobee's set point calculation over a 30-minute period.

If 30 minutes pass with no occupancy detected, that sensor's reading will be excluded until occupancy is detected again.

What happens to Follow Me mode if I manually adjust the temperature while it's running?

Adjusting the temperature on your thermostat or in the app with the temperature slider (i.e. placing a Manual Hold) activates the Home Comfort Setting. When Home is active the sensors participating in that Comfort Setting participate in Follow Me mode.

To cancel a Manual Hold and resume your scheduled Comfort Setting, tap the X icon on your ecobee's Home Screen. Using the app? Press Cancel on the thermostat Home Screen.

 

 

Troubleshooting Room Sensors

If you’re experiencing issues pairing your Room Sensor:

  1. Confirm that your ecobee thermostat is running the latest firmware by going to MAIN MENU > ABOUT on the thermostat and looking for the number listed under Version.

    If your firmware version is not up-to-date, please contact ecobee Support at 1-877-932-6233 or via Live Chat to request a firmware upgrade. Please have your ecobee's serial number ready (found under MAIN MENU > ABOUT) or your ecobee's registered email address.
  2. Ensure your Room Sensor's battery isn’t too low. If you’re uncertain, try replacing the battery just to be safe.

Once you’ve confirmed the above, follow the below steps to pair your Room Sensor:

  1. Remove the back cover from the sensor and remove its battery.
  2. Power-cycle your ecobee thermostat by removing it from the wall and leaving it off for about two minutes.
  3. Place your ecobee thermostat back on the wall and wait for it to power up.
  4. Re-insert the battery into your Room Sensor and hold it close to your ecobee.

You should see a prompt to pair your Room Sensor on your ecobee's screen. If no prompt appears, please contact our Support team at 1-877-932-6233 or via Live Chat for further assistance.

When a sensor loses connection from an ecobee thermostat, it will appear under MAIN MENU > SENSORS on your thermostat and in the app as a hollow sensor with no signal waves and with "N/A" showing underneath:

A sensor could lose connection from your ecobee thermostat if:

  • The battery is low.
  • It’s too far from your ecobee (more than 45 feet).
  • There’s interference from environmental factors (walls, or other devices broadcasting on the same 915MHz frequency, such as a baby monitor, cordless phone, etc.)

Unpairing and re-pairing a Room Sensor

  1. Unpair the sensor in question from your ecobee thermostat by going into MAIN MENU > SENSORS, selecting the sensor, then tapping the trash icon and following the prompts.
  2. Remove the back cover from the sensor and remove its battery.
  3. Power-cycle your ecobee thermostat by removing it from the wall and leaving it off for about two minutes.
  4. Place your ecobee thermostat back on the wall and wait for it to power up.
  5. Place the battery back in the sensor and the battery cover or sensor stand onto the battery slot.
  6. You should now receive a prompt on your ecobee’s screen to pair the sensor.

If this pairing method was unsuccessful, try replacing the battery in your sensor. A low battery will cause frequent disconnects and may prevent the sensor from re-pairing.

Tip: A sensor that is placed too far from your ecobee thermostat and/or interference from other electronic devices could also be the source of frequent disconnects. To test if this is the case, try leaving the sensor close to your ecobee for 24 hours; if the sensor stays connected during those 24 hours, it’s safe to assume that you may have originally placed the sensor too far away from your ecobee or that there may be devices in other areas of your home interfering with the signal.

Replacing a Room Sensor battery involves gently prying off the battery cover, popping the battery out, and replacing it with a fresh CR-2032 coin-cell battery, inserted positive side up.

ecobee Room Sensors use 3-volt CR-2032 batteries that can be purchased here.

If your sensor uses the sensor stand:

  1. Place your thumb and index finger on the narrow part of the sensor stand, and your other hand on the front of the sensor.
    ecobee_sensor_battery_stand.png
  2. Gently pull upwards to release the sensor.
  3. Remove the battery by gently prying it out of the battery compartment with a thin tool such as a pen, plastic card, or screwdriver.

If your sensor uses the circular battery cover:

  1. Using a thin tool such as a pen, plastic card, or screwdriver, slip the tool into one of the recessed corners of the battery cover.
    ecobee_sensor_battery_cover.png
  2. Gently pry the battery cover off.
  3. Using the same tool, gently pry the battery from the battery compartment.

Inserting a new battery:

Ensure the battery is inserted positive (+) side up as shown here. You will need to push the battery gently to allow the metal prongs to hold the battery into place.

 

ecobee-sensor-battery.jpg

 

  1. Remove the battery cover or sensor stand from the back of the sensor.
  2. Remove the battery by gently prying it out of the battery compartment with a thin tool such as a pen, plastic card, or screwdriver.
  3. Gently lift the prongs in the middle of the battery slot with your index fingernail.
  4. Place the battery back into the battery slot with the positive side (+) facing down for two minutes.
  5. Remove the battery and place the battery back in with the positive side facing up.
  6. Place the battery cover or sensor stand onto the battery slot.

    A message should appear on the thermostat screen asking you to pair the Room Sensor with the thermostat. Follow the prompts.

If your ecobee thermostat is attempting to pair to a Room Sensor, it means there is an unpaired Room Sensor with a battery inserted within the detection range (45 feet) of the thermostat.

Consider the following:

  • When the sensor pairing message is displayed on your ecobee, note the 4-digit ID on the top of the message. This ID corresponds to the ID on the back of the Room Sensor. Ensure this does not match any of your sensors.
  • If you live in a populated area where a neighbor owns an ecobee, your ecobee thermostat may be detecting their unpaired sensor. If this is the case, follow the below steps to add the unwanted Room Sensor to the Ignored Sensors List.

How to add a Room Sensor to the Ignored Sensors List:

1) Ensure your ecobee firmware is up to date by going to MAIN MENU > ABOUT on the thermostat and looking for the number listed under Version.

If your firmware version is not up-to-date, please contact ecobee Support at 1-877-932-6233 or via Live Chat to request a firmware upgrade. Please have your ecobee's serial number (found under MAIN MENU > ABOUT) or your ecobee's registered email address on hand.

2) When the remote sensor pairing message appears on your thermostat, tap No, Don't Ask Again, and then Yes, Ignore.

pair1.png

This will add the sensor to the Ignored Sensors list. If you would like to re-enable pairing for that sensor, tap Ignored Sensors (found under MAIN MENU > SENSORS) and re-enable pairing.

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