How does ecobee know if a room is occupied?

Answered by Edward Huber

Ecobee utilizes a technology called occupancy detection to determine if a room is occupied. This is achieved through the use of infrared sensors that can detect body heat signatures. Unlike traditional motion sensors, which only detect movement, occupancy detection focuses on a person’s continued presence within the field of view of the Room Sensor.

The infrared sensors in the ecobee system are capable of detecting the heat emitted by the human body. When a person is in the vicinity of a Room Sensor, their body heat creates a unique thermal signature that can be detected by the sensor. This allows the ecobee thermostat to determine whether or not someone is present in a particular room.

It is important to note that the ecobee system does not solely rely on motion detection. While motion can be a factor in determining occupancy, it is not the sole indicator. Instead, the ecobee thermostat assigns more weight to the readings from a particular Room Sensor based on the amount of time a person spends in front of it. So, the longer you stay within the viewing angle of a Room Sensor, the more importance your presence is given in determining occupancy.

In practice, this means that if you spend a significant amount of time in a room, such as a living room or bedroom, the ecobee thermostat will recognize that as an occupied space. Conversely, if you only pass through a room briefly without spending much time in front of the Room Sensor, the ecobee may not consider it as occupied.

The ecobee system is designed to be intuitive and adaptive. It takes into account the patterns of occupancy in your home and adjusts its settings accordingly. For example, if you usually spend evenings in the living room, the ecobee will learn this pattern and prioritize maintaining comfort in that room during those times.

To summarize, ecobee determines if a room is occupied by using infrared sensors to detect body heat signatures. It goes beyond simple motion detection and considers the amount of time a person spends in front of a Room Sensor to assign weight to the readings. This allows the ecobee thermostat to adapt to your occupancy patterns and optimize comfort and energy efficiency in your home.