Ecobee Occupied Vs. Unoccupied: Everything Explained

With advancements in technology, smart thermostats are gaining popularity since they can heat or cool the house automatically.

Additionally, you can monitor the home seamlessly from your iPad or the iPhone. Although they’ve been around for a while, Ecobee room sensors are consistent and reliable devices to use at home.

Ecobee sensors are bonus accessories you can use alongside your smart Ecobee thermostat.

They help in detecting temperature levels in various rooms at home and commercial establishments.

Ecobee Smart Sensor

2 Pack

  • compitible with all ecobee thermostats
  • Detects motion to deliver comfort 
  • wireless

Other than that, they are highly advanced and can detect the presence of someone in a room.

EMS thermostats have an occupied feature that switches it from an occupied mode to an unoccupied mode.

In our Ecobee occupied vs. unoccupied review, we’ll discuss everything you need to know. Keep reading.

What does Occupied mean on Ecobee?

Ecobee sensors have motion sensors that detect room occupancy. Occupied means there’s activity inside a room.

Smart Lighting for Home

You can place the Ecobee in areas around your home where you feel there’s much traffic. In this way, the smart functions such as Follow Me or Home and Away will detect occupied rooms in your home.

You can also use the sensors in either too cold or hot areas in your home to get an optimal temperature balance.

How does Ecobee know if a room is occupied?

The people detection feature of an Ecobee sensor is a state of the art function not present in most remote sensors.  

Similarly, the Ecobee design is impressive, has a long battery life, and can pair a wide range of up to 60ft. Installation is easy since it has a magnetic adhesive and various placement designs.

After a smart thermostat installation, you can set your ideal temperature and choose your comfort level.

Ecobee sensors will detect the active areas in your house and are smart enough to figure out how to ensure you get optimal comfort.

Although other sensors will not detect humidity levels in the house, an Ecobee sensor can detect.

They use infrared radiation to detect objects, whether they’re dark-colored or light. These then connect to base units by use of radiofrequency.

An Ecobee can connect to up to 32 sensors and is a money saver that can reduce your energy bill by a whopping 23%.

Ecobee smart sensor vs. room sensor

In analyzing the Ecobee smart sensor vs. room sensor, we’ll look at the functionality of each. Unlike a room sensor, an Ecobee smart sensor can detect temperature as well as occupancy.

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It functions by supplementing the built-in occupancy sensors, including temperature sensors, to unlock the full potential of your Ecobee.

Ecobee smart sensor lets you get temperature readings in your home remotely. It uses a 915 MHz band for sending signals to the thermostat, and even more incredibly, it can work at a distance of approximately 60feet.

On the other hand, a room sensor uses the same 915MHZ band to transmit signals, but the distance is only 45 feet.

Ecobee only works where there is an internet connection. With WIFI, you can get the temperature and local weather data through the Ecobee portal.

Using your PC or smart devices, you can access information remotely from anywhere on the go.

Ecobee sensors can support several homes HVAC systems as well as dual-fuel, gas, electrical, and oil systems.

It’s worth noting that a room sensor can only detect the temperature in the room it’s been installed.

Therefore, you may experience different temperatures in different rooms’ also known as hot and cold spots areas.

It can be uncomfortable living in such a house. On the contrary, an Ecobee sensor lets you know the temperature in all rooms.   Thus, you’ll have precise information about different temperature ranges in your house.

How long do Ecobee sensors stay occupied?

How long do Ecobee sensors stay occupied?  It has a Follow Me function that encompasses all the sensors that detect occupancy in a certain area within thirty minutes.

When someone leaves a room, the sensor immediately halts the sensing motion. The earlier temperature readings stay in your Ecobee sensor for thirty minutes.

How to set occupied on your Ecobee sensor

Step 01: Start by tapping your finger on the device. Slowly drag towards the right hand and select the temperature you’d like for your home in your absence.

Step 02: Click save bottom at the extreme corner. You can also select your desired heat readings when not at home.

Ecobee Sensor unoccupied while sleeping.

After pairing the room sensor to the Ecobee thermostat, you can choose the setting such as Sleep, Home, and Away.

For instance, if you put the sensor in the bedroom and don’ intend to spend time in the room when awake, you can select SLEEP COMFORT mode.

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Therefore, temperature settings do not change whether the room is occupied or unoccupied.

For you to get accurate Ecobee Sensor unoccupied while sleeping readings, place your sensor at least five feet from the ground in such a way that it faces the bedroom.

You can avoid areas where there is interference, such as near vents or fans. Similarly, direct sunlight can affect occupancy changes detection.

Ecobee sensor false occupancy

In some instances, your Ecobee sensors may show false occupancy even when you’re away from home. It can be due to a low battery charge or problems with your battery.

Typically, the Ecobee uses a CR-2032 battery with a lifespan of one year.

After one year, you’ll need to replace it so that your Ecobee gives accurate readings. Some factors may cause the battery to deteriorate fast, such as placing your device with high traffic.

Also, locations with low/high ambient temperatures can contribute to short battery life.

Another factor that may cause your device to show false reading is pointing the device towards the window where there’s an Infrared source.

To prevent Ecobee sensor false occupancy, it’s crucial to pay key attention to the battery.

Ecobee smart sensor range extender

If you install the sensors far from the thermostat, they may not give accurate information since their optimal range is 45ft. Open-air sensors may have an extended range of up to 100 feet.

For Ecobee sensors, the 45ft limit is due to other things at home, such as walls and furniture that obstruct and reduce the range.  

If there are issues with connectivity, chances are you’ve reached the edge of the range of your Ecobee sensors. However, an Ecobee smart sensor range extender can help increase the distance coverage.

For motion detection, an Ecobee remote sensor can cover a vertical distance of up to 25 and 30 degrees and a horizontal distance of up to 120 degrees. The maximum range advertised is 15ft.

The main advantage these sensors have is that they’re not trigged to detect any motion; for instance, a pet such as a cat passing in the room will not set off the unit.

What is Ecobee unoccupied time?

Ecobee unoccupied time is the time the rooms stay with no activity. Ecobee occupancy is estimated at an interval of five minutes. Hence, your Ecobee doesn’t active the Smart Away or Smart Home setting until five minutes are over.

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The Smart Home/Smart Away features are enabled on your thermostat so that it can override your normal schedule for savings where you’re away or comfort when you’re at home.

For instance, if you need to adjust your diary or schedule, the Ecobee changes automatically so that you can save on your energy alongside staying comfortable.

How does Ecobee smartness evolve through generations?

There are many versions of Ecobee generations which include, Ecobee include Ecobee3 ( 1st generation), Ecobee3(2nd generation), Ecobee4, and Ecobee3 Lite. Many devices can support these models at home.

The Fifth generation is Smart thermostat that comes equipped with the voice control feature. This offers a superior experience since you can control the settings using Alexa speakers.

It has several upgrades that include a speedy performance, better speaker, and durable materials.

An ecobee3 lite doesn’t have an internal occupancy sensor but can connect with room sensors to access other smart features such as Follow Me or Home and away mode.

A room sensor can support other applications such as ecobee3, ecoobee4, ecobee3-lite. When upgrading, you only need to unpair the sensor and connect to the new thermostat.

Version Rome sensorsDimensions
SmartWired(5.5 x 3.2 x 1) inches
Smart SiWired(5.5 x 3.2 x 1) inches
ecobee3-1st generationWireless to a maximum of 32 units(3.9 x 3.9 x 0.9) inches
ecobee3 -2nd generationWireless to a maximum of 32 units(4 x 4 x 0.9) inches
ecobee3 liteWireless to a maximum of 32 units(4 x 4 x 0.9) inches
ecobee4Wireless to a maximum of 32 units(4.29 x 4.29 x.1.03) inches
Ecobee smart thermostatWireless to a maximum of 32 units(4.29 x 4.29 x 1) inches


Overall, Ecobee sensors give your thermostat an edge over other products on the market. You can install these remote sensors in any location of your house to get valuable information about activity or occupancy and temperature. Installation is not complicated and will take less time once you’ve read all the instructions. The motion detecting function is the most important since you can know the occupied areas of your home.

Additionally, the temperature detector ensures you get the best comfort. Other sensors may not give you humidity readings; however, Ecobee sensors do. Another advantage of an Ecobee sensor is that the temperature settings don’t change when the room becomes unoccupied. The occupied feature switches automatically to unoccupied when there’s no one in the room. The rooms remain comfortable even when you’re away.

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