Best Thermostat with Remote Sensor

ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor

You may be hearing about all these new “smart” thermostats lately. But, do you actually know what the difference between the regular thermostats, programmable thermostats, and smart thermostats is? And what does it mean when a thermostat has a remote sensor?

A quick breakdown for you:

  • Regular thermostats are control panels for your heating and air conditioning system which you use to adjust the temperature in your home.
  • Programmable thermostats let you set up a heating/cooling schedule several days in advance and the thermostat changes the temperature for you.
  • The most advanced thermostats are “smart” thermostats. They learn your preferred temperatures, adjust the temperature on their own, allow you to control the temperature in your home remotely, and even help you save some money.

Most of the smart thermostats show you monthly energy consumption so you can decide if you are heating/cooling your home unnecessarily and eventually make some changes to receive smaller bills. To take that one step further, some smart thermostats can connect to remote temperature gauges and motion sensors. This lets the thermostat better understand the temperature in each individual room and adjust the HVAC system accordingly.


Remote sensors vs. Remote control thermostats

What is the difference between a remote control thermostat and one with remote sensors?

  • Remote control thermostats are connected to wi-fi and can be adjusted using a website or a smartphone app.
  • Remote sensors are used to send temperature information to your thermostat so that it can adjust the heating/cooling based on the information it receives.

Most thermostats are placed in the hallway and the temperature in the entire house will be dictated by the temperature of the room where the thermostat is placed. That is why the temperature in other rooms may be slightly different; you may end up with a very cold room and the thermostat will think the temperature is right.

remote thermostat

That is where a remote thermostat sensor comes in. You can place a sensor in a different room and it will send temperature and motion information back to the main thermostat. If you’re relaxing in your bedroom, and the living room is empty, the thermostat can adjust the settings so you don’t waste energy heating your living room. Thermostats with remote sensor ability are a much smarter way to control the HVAC system in your home.

thermostat with remote sensor

Why Are Remote Sensors Valuable?

A wireless remote sensor is very useful for heating your entire home optimally and also saving energy. The sensors measure the temperature in several rooms and help address the troublesome hot and cold spots, keeping you comfortable all the time. Ecobee4 can support up to 32 sensors, so if you are lucky enough to live in a huge mansion Ecobee has you covered.

The remote sensors do not only measure temperature, but also occupancy. They determine which rooms have people in them to make smart heating and cooling decisions. Thanks to the sensors, you will be more comfortable when you are at home and save energy when you are away. The Ecobee4 remote thermostat sensors also know the difference between humans and pets, so your cat won’t be able to run up your electricity bill.


Nest remote sensors vs. Ecobee4

Nest made the original wi-fi thermostat and changed heating and cooling as we know it. But after a few years they had some tough competition. Ecobee was one company whose thermostats went above and beyond the Nest models from a technology perspective.

Nest was caught off guard. As of Summer 2017, there is no Nest thermostat with remote sensors. The company announced its plans to develop a Nest Remote Sensor but so far we have not seen a new product hit the market.

Like the Nest, the Ecobee4 with Remote Sensors has a very attractive and modern look. It is square with round corners and has a touch screen in the middle. In the lower left corner, a small, concealed motion sensor can be found. None of this is new. But one of the greatest smart features of Ecobee4 is that it is compatible with wireless remote sensors that help adjust the temperature in all of the rooms in your house.

We think the Ecobee4 is the best thermostat with remote sensors and the best smart thermostat for large homes.

Ecobee4 with Sensor

best thermostat with remote sensor


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Ecobee4 Pros

  • Most advanced learning thermostat
  • Remote temperature sensors allow for greater control and greater cost savings
  • Motion sensors can be spread around the house
  • Detailed energy and data reporting
  • Three-year warranty
  • C-wire is not required

Ecobee4 Cons

  • One of the more expensive units on the market
  • Installation requires more work because of the additional sensors
  • Thermostat only includes one remote sensor. Other sensors must be purchased separately.


Ecobee4 Features

The Ecobee4 offers more control than a Nest Thermostat. It works well for large houses because it allows you to control comfort settings for multiple rooms at the same time. The sensors allow you to buy one thermostat and additional sensors instead of purchasing multiple thermostat units. It learns your preferences, allows you to create custom schedules, can control every HVAC appliance in your home, and ultimately will save you money on your energy bill.

Home IQ Energy Reports

The Ecobee4 has the most advanced energy reports of all smart thermostats on the market. This feature is called Home IQ and can be accessed through the web console. Home IQ can store up to 18 months of data.

Home IQ has two amazing features – Runtime Report and Weather Impact. The Runtime Report is a monthly report that gives you an estimate of how much energy and money you saved thanks to your smart thermostat. The Weather Impact will show you how the daily temperature will influence the total run time of your HVAC system.

Ecobee4 home IQ runtime report


Advanced Fan Control

Ecobee4 offers advanced fan control options to its users – fan circulate and fan dissipation. Fan circulate allows you to specify the number of minutes per hour you would like your fan to be turned on.

Fan dissipation keeps the fan running for a set time after the heating or air conditioning turns off. The reason for this is because once the HVAC system shuts off, there is still some heating/cooling left. So, immediately shutting the fan would mean wasting a small amount of energy. Ecobee4 allows you to adjust the amount of time the fan will run (for both options), unlike many other modern thermostats.


Smart Home/Away

The smart home and smart away features are possibly the most advanced features of Ecobee4. The thermostat uses its sensors to determine if there is anyone present at home and then adjusts the temperature accordingly.

Before using these features, you should set up a weekly schedule and let your thermostat know what times will you most likely be at home or away. However, if the Ecobee4 senses that you are away during a scheduled “at home” period it will switch to away mode since there is no sense in cooling/heating an empty house.

This feature also works vice versa, meaning that if the sensors detect you during the scheduled “away” period, the thermostat will make sure to create a comfortable environment.


Easy-to-Use Interface

ecobee apple watchThe Ecobee4’s interface is incredibly easy to use both for the thermostat and the app. The sleek design is modern without being obnoxious. It looks great in homes decorated in any style, from mid-century modern to shabby chic. Making any adjustments to this thermostat is a piece of cake with the 3.5” LCD touchscreen. In addition, the display also features smart controls and icons, making the thermostat easy to read and easy to use.



Best Thermostat with Remote Sensors – Ecobee4

In most cases, a thermostat with remote wireless sensor function also has the remote control option. This means that even though sensors will do all the work for you, you can still change your settings remotely by using an app.

The big advantage of the Ecobee4 is the greater control over the temperature in your home. This makes the home comfortable in every room. It allows you to monitor both humidity and temperature. And ultimately it saves you energy, which is good for the environment and great for your bank account.

If you want to learn more about the other smart thermostats on the market and see how the Ecobee4 compares you can check out our guide to smart thermostats.