With Alexa’s ever-increasing popularity, new Alexa-enabled products deliver almost daily. Some are duds – some are interesting and valuable. Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa add-on hardware you might want to consider adding to your Alexa device farm.
This week’s hardware: ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat
Description: With built-in Alexa voice service, Ecobee4 can listen to your voice commands and respond. Have it set a timer, read you the news, adjust the temperature, and more. It also comes with a room sensor that helps manage hot and cold spots in your home, delivering comfort in the rooms that matter. And because they can detect occupancy, they can automatically enable the right mode on your Ecobee4 for energy savings when it senses no one is home.
- Comes with built-in Alexa Voice Service, so you can ask your ecobee to set a timer, read you the news, adjust the temperature, and more. With Far-field voice technology your ecobee4 can hear you from across the room.
- Room sensors help manage hot and cold spots in your home, delivering comfort to the rooms that matter most.
- Easily adjust temperature and comfort settings from anywhere using your Android and iOS devices. Also works with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT and more
- Save an average 23% on heating and cooling costs each year.
Real world use: Unless you’ve built a house in the last 10 years, there’s probably many aspects of your heating and cooling system that is antiquated and inefficient. Such was the case for us. Our home was built in the 1970’s (not as old as some) and has been limping along on a 40-year-old air conditioning system. I can’t even begin to tell you how much our monthly electric bill was due to the old technologies. We’ve yet to replace the inefficient system (its on the short list), but just adding a sensing device like the ecobee4 has done wonders. We’re not as efficient as we should be, but we’ve seen significant savings.
And, to top that off, the ecobee4 has full Alexa capability – well, except for a few caveats. The ecobee4, sadly, doesn’t support the Calling and Messaging feature and it only plays music from Amazon sources (not Spotify or Pandora). The music issue is not a problem for us since we’re Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers, but the ability to use the thermostat as a drop-in device would be nice.
Where to get the hardware: Amazon has the thermostat for $246.00: ecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexa
Where to get the Alexa skill: ecobee plus
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