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How to Install the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium

Follow these steps to set up Ecobee's flagship smart thermostat.

The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium against a purple background
Some electrical work is involved, but installing the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium is pretty quick and easy.
Ecobee

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET's collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

The Smart Thermostat Premium is Ecobee's new flagship app-enabled thermostat. This $250 model competes directly with the Nest Learning Thermostat and has a lot of features to somewhat justify its high price. As a replacement to the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control, the latest iteration keeps the built-in Alexa speaker but also adds an integrated air quality sensor as well as an updated thermostat interface.

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Along with the built-in Alexa speaker, the Smart Thermostat Premium also supports Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, if you have a compatible smart speaker or display. Because of its many options and voice integrations, the new Ecobee made our list of best thermostats. We're going to walk through the steps to install the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium so you have a better idea of what's involved if you're considering one for your home.

Read more: Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium vs. Nest Learning Thermostat

1. Download the Ecobee app and create an account

If you don't already have an Ecobee account, start by downloading the Android or iOS app on your phone and setting up an account.

2. Choose 'Add a device' from the home screen

Select "Add a device" from the home screen, then "Thermostat" and "No, open installation guide" to get to the tutorial. If you already installed the thermostat, you can skip ahead by selecting "Yes, it is installed." For the purposes of this article, we're going to assume the thermostat isn't installed yet.

The app walks you through the installation step by step.

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET

3. Scan the QR code on your thermostat

There's a small QR code on the back of your Smart Thermostat Premium. This tells the app which Ecobee model you have to ensure you get the right installation guide.

4. Turn off power to your HVAC system

Before you remove your old thermostat or install the new one, make sure to turn off power to your HVAC system. If you have any questions about the electrical work required for this installation, consult a qualified technician to help. 

5. Remove your old thermostat faceplate and get a photo of the wiring

Now that the power to your HVAC system is off, you can remove the faceplate of your old thermostat. Some models separate easily from the baseplate; others might require a screwdriver. Before you disconnect the wires from the thermostat, take a picture so you know what configuration you had before. The app will then ask you a series of questions about the wiring you see -- including listing the wires you see connected to your old thermostat. If the wires aren't labeled, use the stickers Ecobee provides to ensure each wire is clearly and accurately labeled. Now you can remove the rest of the thermostat and set it aside.

6. Optional: Install the Ecobee trim plate 

Your purchase includes a trim plate if you want to cover a larger section of the wall if it has older paint or holes. This is completely optional. Feed the thermostat wires through the opening in the center. 

7.  Install the baseplate

Line up the baseplate with the trim plate (if used) and mark where you need to drill new holes if they don't line up with your old thermostat. Ecobee says to use a 3/16-inch drill bit to fit the included wall anchors and hardware. 

8. Reconnect the wires to the new thermostat 

Connect the labeled wires to the appropriate wire terminal on the baseplate and attach the thermostat faceplate to the baseplate. This step doesn't require any more hardware; the faceplate should just press into place. 

9. Turn power back on to your HVAC system

Now it's time to turn the power back on. Your thermostat display should light up and read: "Hi."

10. Configure your thermostat 

Your thermostat is now installed and working, but you still need to connect it to your local Wi-Fi network and a few other initial configuration steps so you can use it with the Ecobee app. Follow the steps in the app to complete this process and you're done.

Want more information on smart thermostats? Start here:

And check out Ecobee's support page for the Smart Thermostat Premium if you have additional questions about the installation.