This is ultimately a fairly simple question about the Ecobee3 thermostat and the wireless room sensor functionality, but I'll explain my situation first.

Twin home, 2 stories + finished below grade basement.

I'm looking at an Ecobee to replace our first floor thermostat. Our HVAC is a forced air attic unit, so the 2nd floor is much warmer than the first floor and basement when the heat is on. (Cooling does fine since the cold air wants to move down naturally) The basement has a gas fireplace (it operates on it's own thermostat-I'm NOT looking for Ecobee to control that) which when on heats the basement very well and even raises the 1st floor temperature decently. Rather than spend the money on a true zoned HVAC system at the moment I'd like to try using the central heat to cover the 2nd floor and set the basement fireplace to a comfortable temperature and allow it to cycle on/off throughout the day, and also set the ecobee to run the fan occasionally to help pull the heated air from the basement to the first floor.

From reading it sounds like the Ecobee room sensors would allow me to turn the HVAC system control over to JUST a room sensor, rather than working alongside the main thermostat unit to average out the house. So I would put the room sensor in an upstairs hallway and set the entire system based on what temperature I want up there. (the other ducts throughout the house will of course still get air when the unit runs to heat the 2nd floor, which is perfectly fine)

to my question---So in this Room-Sensor-only setup, what number does the main thermostat (1st floor) actually display? The temperature of where the room sensor is located (2nd floor), or the actual temperature of the 1st floor?

I ask because I would prefer it to show the actual first floor temperature so I can gauge how well the fireplace is heating the rest of the house and determine if my fake zoning is working, and not becoming a horrible gas wasting mistake...

  • The ecobee only shows the actual temperature of the main floor it's installed in. However, you can see the temp of all locations on the phone app. It uses the room sensors to set a happy medium through the house depending where you're located if you setup the follow me setting
    – Joseph Wit
    Nov 21, 2018 at 3:12

1 Answer 1


I have two of these thermostats installed. When you set a programed time for the thermostat, you can also select which sensor is active during that time. For instance, I have a sensor in the bedrooms and one in the main living area and then the thermostat itself. The thermostat is in an odd location and I don't like the temperature it ends up reading. So, for our "daytime" program, I have only the main living area sensor active. The system doesn't care about the other two temperatures and just turns on and off to make sure that one sensor is happy.

For the "sleep" part of the schedule, I have the two bedroom sensors active, so the temp of the main living area doesn't matter. I had a problem with one bedroom getting warmer than the other, but adjusting the dampers on the vents in the room corrected that so the rooms warm and cool at about the same rate.

There is also a setting to ensure the fan comes on for a minimum amount of time per hour. This can be set so the air circulates even if the active sensors are at the "correct" temperature.

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