ecobee is one of the biggest names in Smart Thermostats. When paired with Alexa, these smart home devices become even smarter.
In its simplest form, Alexa can offer you voice control of your HVAC system, but this only scratching the surface. Alexa devices are capable of integrating ecobee smart thermostats into entire smart home ecosystems.
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know to connect and use Alexa with your ecobee.
What are Alexa Skills?
Fundamentally, Alexa skills are the equivalent of apps. Content can be created using a custom framework known as the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).
There are hundreds of skills available for Alexa-enabled devices like Echo smart speakers and other Amazon devices, such as the Fire TV stick. It is also available on third-party compatible devices that are Alexa enabled.
Alexa Skills and ecobee Smart Thermostat Compatibility
Across the range of ecobee thermostats, there are some fundamental differences between the models as to how they are set up and function.
The main models and details of how they integrate with Alexa are detailed below.
- ecobee3 Lite – This is the entry level model of the ecobee range. It is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa although it doesn’t have it integrated, with this model you will require a separate Alexa-enabled device.
- ecobee4 – This is the fourth generation ecobee, but the first generation that shipped with Alexa built-in to the thermostat. The only thing you need to activate Alexa is to sign in with an Amazon account.
- ecobee SmartThermostat – This is the fifth and latest generation of ecobee smart thermostats. It also ships with Alexa integrated.
- Related Articles: Best Smart Thermostats for Alexa
Does the Amazon Echo Device and ecobee Need to be on the Same Wi-FI Network?
Your ecobee thermostat does not have to be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Alexa device.
However, they do both need to be connected to a Wi-Fi Network to work together. This means that as long as both devices are connected to the internet, you have the ability to use Alexa to remotely control your ecobee thermostat.
It also allows you to control multiple thermostats from different properties.
How to Set Up Alexa Skills on ecobee Smart Thermostats
ecobee4 and ecobee SmartThermostat ship with Alexa integrated into the thermostat. To activate Alexa skills on these devices you only need to link your ecobee and Amazon accounts. All the steps necessary to do this and activate Alexa skills are detailed below.
- Before you begin, ensure that your ecobee smart thermostat is connected through Wi-Fi to the internet, and has been registered with ecobee.
- You will also need to have the ecobee app installed, or access to the ecobee web portal.
- You will also require an Amazon account and the Alexa app installed, you can set up an account for free, if required.
There are two methods to setting these up depending on whether you use the ecobee app or web portal to complete the set up.
Setting up Alexa Skills using the ecobee app
- Make sure the app is signed in to your ecobee account and if necessary sign in.
- In the app, select the thermostat you wish to set up. In the bottom-right corner of the app you should see a microphone icon. Tap this to proceed.
- You will now be directed to a screen with a message saying “Your ecobee has Amazon Alexa built-in.”
- Click the “Sign-in with Amazon” button and enter your Amazon account email and password when prompted.
- Press “Allow,” to enable the Alexa voice control service to function on your thermostat.
- Go to the Alexa app and click the Devices button.
- Click the + sign to add a device.
- Then select Discover Devices, your thermostat will now be displayed.
- You can also use voice commands, simply say “Alexa, discover devices.”
- Click Done to complete the set up.
- You are now able to issue Alexa voice commands through your ecobee.
Setting up Alexa skills using the ecobee web portal
- Log on to the ecobee web portal
- Select the tile marked Alexa Voice Control: Unlinked
- The Alexa Voice Control screen will now be displayed, click the Next button.
- Where prompted, sign in to your Amazon account. This step allows your Amazon and ecobee accounts to be linked.
- Add your thermostat by selecting Discover Devices.
- You’re now ready to start giving voice commands to Alexa.
How to Setup ecobee and ecobee Plus Skills
To control more features using voice control, with your ecobee thermostat you need to install the appropriate skills.
Installing a skill on Alexa is straightforward. If you activated Alexa through the ecobee app or web portal, these will be automatically activated. If you need to add these manually, follow the steps below.
- Open the Alexa app
- Click the Browse Skills button
- Type ecobee or ecobee plus into the search bar.
- Select the appropriate skill from the results and tap enable to activate it.
- Related Article: Alexa and ecobee Commands
Check out the article for a full list of commands that will be handy. You’ll have access to things like thermostat temperature, normal schedule preferences, weather services, access to other smarthome devices, and much more.
How to Configure ecobee Settings on the Alexa App
There are a limited number of additional add-on skills for ecobee that you can control through the Alexa app. These include the location of the thermostat, the time zone, region, and measurement units.
To configure these from within the Alexa apps follow the steps below.
- Open the app and select the Settings menu.
- Depending on which version of the app you are using, this selection can be found by clicking the icon with three horizontal lines. That will be either on the top-right corner or the bottom-left corner of the screen.
- Next select Device Settings and select the appropriate thermostat from the devices list.
- You are now able to change the settings.
How Far Away Can I Talk to My ecobee Smart Thermostat?
Both models use far-field voice technology for hands-free control with your voice. Using this feature, ecobee smart thermostats can pick up voice commands from anywhere within the room the thermostat is located in. From within this range, the thermostat is able to hear and respond to voice commands that are delivered in a normal, conversational voice.
Removing and unlinking Alexa and the ecobee Skill can be done through the ecobee web portal or the app on your mobile device.
- From the app home screen, select the Device you want to unlink
- Tap the microphone icon
- Select Unlink Alexa from the options
- Click Unlink when prompted to confirm.
For web portal platforms:
- Log in to your account
- Click on the Alexa Voice Control Linked tile
- Select Unlink Alexa from the menu and then select the Unlink Alexa button.
ecobee and Blue Light Troubleshooting
ecobee devices should display a blue light when awakened by the Alexa wake word (or other word if you changed your wake word).
If there’s no blue light when you say the wake word, it could be that your voice isn’t being picked up by Alexa’s voice recognition. If this is the case, try saying “Alexa” more clearly, to see if this resolves the issue.
If this doesn’t work, then you can try activating the Push to Talk function from within the app. This will manually activate the Amazon Alexa Voice Service. To do this:
- Open the Alexa app
- From the home screen, tap the microphone icon located on the bottom-left corner of the screen
- Now tap the Push to Talk icon.
After you have performed this, then you should see that the blue light is activated and the ecobee device is ready to receive ecobee skill commands.
If the problem persists, then try restarting your device, and rebooting the Wi-Fi router, and any other Alexa devices you have.
Learn More: ecobee Flashing Green, Blue, and Red Lights
Alexa and ecobee Not Responding Troubleshooting
If you receive a message saying “Sorry I need a minute,” from your Alexa-enabled device. There’s something wrong temporarily.
Or there are other issues related to your ecobee device and voice control. try the following steps.
- Reboot the thermostat -to do this remove the thermostat from its wall plate. This will switch the thermostat off. Wait for around 30-seconds, then reattach it to the wall.
- If rebooting the device didn’t work, then try unlinking your thermostat from your Amazon account and then re-linking it again. Full instructions detailing the linking and unlinking processes to follow are found earlier in the article.
- If you are still having issues, ensure that your ecobee device is getting a good Wi-Fi signal. You can check the strength of the signal by going to the Main Menu in the ecobee app and selecting About. That will give you the Wi-Fi signal strength. If the signal is low, then you could consider moving the thermostat or router, or installing a Wi-Fi booster.
Related Article: My ecobee Won’t Turn On
Alexa Not Discovering ecobee Troubleshooting
If Alexa is having trouble detecting your ecobee thermostat, then make sure your ecobee device is connected to your Wi-Fi network. This can be done from the thermostat menu.
- Select MENU
- Select SETTINGS
- Select Wi-Fi
- Select Network
- From here you will be able to tell if your thermostat is connected to your Wi-Fi router. If needed, connect the device to your network.
For ecobee4 models, you will need to connect to a 2.4ghz network.
The SmartThermostat model (ecobee5) have support for 5ghz, so this does not apply to them.
Once you have completed this step, you should be able to connect. If it hasn’t resolved it, then try rebooting your device and router and try again after a few minutes. You can also contact ecobee Support if needed.
Other Alexa and ecobee articles to check out: