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Error: Network or other communication failure occurred

I'm controlling an Ecobee 3 thermostat and a couple of switched outlets with my app (called AirCompare in the Apple app store) using HomeKit. It works well and I've been running the app continuously for well over a year.

The thermostat responds more slowly than the switches and sporadically I get the rare error when attempting to change the temperature setpoint:

Error Domain=HMErrorDomain Code=54 "Network or other communication failure occurred."

By comparison, I also have two Homekit wall plugs (the iHome SmartPlug and a Koogeek P1) and never encounter the communications error that I see with my Ecobee 3 thermostat. I thought this error might have something to do with the thermostat's slow response causing something to time out, but the text of the error suggests something else is screwy.

The error can usually be cleared by the user by taking any of a number of actions in the app that will call the Home Manager again, which resends commands to the Ecobee.

Could the problem be similar to the one in this old post?

At a loss where to begin.
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