Nowadays, one of the most popular thermostats for home HVAC systems is the Ecobee thermostat. All Ecobee models offer specific benefits and features. However, like any technology, your Ecobee thermostat might sometimes give problems. Perhaps you wonder what the most common problems are and how easy it is to troubleshoot and fix an Ecobee thermostat.
The most common problems that Ecobee thermostat users encounter are caused by issues related to incorrect or loose wiring, too low voltage, tripped circuit breakers, blown fuses, malfunctioning sensors, overheating, or wrong settings. Fortunately, you can easily troubleshoot and fix most of these problems without calling an HVAC technician.
In this article, I’ll discuss 8 of the most common problems you might experience with your Ecobee thermostat. For your convenience, I start with a list of the issues I’ll deal with and briefly mention the possible reasons for the problem. Then I’ll discuss the issues in more detail and offer some tips on how to troubleshoot and fix the issues.
Most common problems which make an Ecobee thermostat stop working effectively
|Ecobee Problems||Possible reasons|
|The thermostat doesn’t turn on – blank/black screen.||Bad wiring. Loose wiring. No C-wire. The voltage is too low. Tripped circuit breaker. Blown fuse.|
|The thermostat doesn’t turn on the air conditioner.||Tripped circuit breaker. Water build-up in the HVAC system.|
|The thermostat doesn’t turn on the furnace.||Tripped circuit breaker. Overheating. Open furnace door. A too small difference between inside and outside temperatures.|
|The thermostat’s touchscreen is not working.||Loose connection between the thermostat and its base.|
|The thermostat has a Wi-Fi communication problem.||Too weak or no Wi-Fi connection. Sensors too far away from the thermostat.|
|The Ecobee sensor is not working effectively.||The sensor is incorrectly placed. Pets are interfering with the sensor|
|The Ecobee thermostat indicates the temperature incorrectly.||Air blowing on the thermostat. Need a temperature correction setting.|
|The thermostat keeps turning off.||Firmware update in the process. Testing wiring changes. Restarting after a power outage. Bad sensors.|
Thermostat not turning on – blank/black screen
Reason 1: Loose or incorrect wire connections
When your Ecobee thermostat doesn’t turn on, there may be multiple reasons, but usually, it is bad wiring that is causing the problem. Bad wiring can prevent your thermostat from getting power from the circuit. When the thermostat is not turning on, the screen will stay blank or black.
To rectify a bad wiring issue, turn off all the power to the thermostat and your HVAC devices. Ensure that all the wire connections are secured and that the thermostat’s wiring is correctly connected. Consult your Ecobee manual to determine the right way the wiring should be.
If you can’t find your manual, you can check on the Ecobee website. Look for the online manual of your Ecobee model and compare the wiring instructions with how your thermostat has been wired. Correct where necessary.
Usually, your Ecobee thermostats (except for the Ecobee3 Lite), require an R/Rc/Rh wire to power the unit. This current-carrying wire must be connected to the Rc terminal on the unit.
Reason 2: Ecobee needs a C-wire
Also always remember that Ecobee thermostats require a C-wire to power the thermostat. Verify whether you’ve connected a wire to the C terminal on the thermostat. If not, look for a spare wire in the bundle of wires and connect this wire to the C terminal on the HVAC system and the correct C terminal on the thermostat.
In some instances, you can find that there is not a C-wire and no spare wires, but wires labeled as “R,” “G,” and “Y.” Then you require a Power Extender Kit (PEK). You can install and wire the PEK yourself, but if you think you don’t have the necessary skills to do it, your HVAC technician can install it for you.
Reason 3: Voltage might be too low
Another wiring-related problem could be a voltage issue. If your thermostat is not receiving sufficient voltage, it will not turn on. The minimum requirement for Ecobee thermostats is 24VAC. You’ll have to use a multimeter to check the voltage output. If you can’t check it yourself or if your test indicates that there is insufficient voltage, the best is to contact your HVAC technician to fix it.
Reason 4: Tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse
Always remember that if the thermostat started to malfunction after it had worked fine before, the circuit breaker might have tripped, or a fuse might have blown. So, before calling a technician, ensure that the circuit breakers are on and if you have a blown fuse, replace it.
Air conditioning not turning on
A common problem is that the Ecobee thermostat is not turning on the air conditioning.
Reason 1: Build-up of water – safety measure stops thermostat
If there is a build-up of water in your HVAC system, the Ecobee thermostat may cut the power to the air conditioning. This is not a fault in the thermostat, but it is a built-in safety mechanism in Ecobee thermostats.
If build-up water is the issue, fix it
To determine whether it is a water build-up causing the thermostat not to turn on the air conditioning, look for water leakages and excessive moisture around the air conditioner. If it is wet, the draining system might be clogged. Turn off the power to the thermostat and the air conditioner and clean the clogged draining system and let it dry.
When everything is dry again, turn on the power to the air conditioner and thermostat and reset the safety device. If everything works again, you’ve solved the problem.
The furnace not turning on
Sometimes the Ecobee thermostat doesn’t turn on the furnace when you want to heat your home. Generally, any of two main issues may be the reason why you encounter this problem. It might be due to either no power going to your furnace or your furnace is overheating.
Check the provision of power.
Your first step should be to check whether the circuit breaker and switch are turned on and stay on and whether the fuse is not blown. If getting power seems not to be the problem, your furnace might be overheating.
In most furnaces, there are internal sensors that turn off the heat whenever the furnace overheats. This is a safety mechanism in the furnace itself, and there is nothing wrong with your Ecobee thermostat if the furnace is not turning on. Overheating often occurs when the air filters are clogged. Clean or replace the air filters, and your problem will most probably be solved.
The furnace door is open
But other issues might also be the reason why the furnace cannot turn on. Your Ecobee thermostat will also not be able to turn on the furnace if the furnace’s door is not correctly closed. Check that it is fully closed.
Outside and inside temperature differences are too small
Another reason why your thermostat cannot turn on the furnace is that your thermostat is not asking for heat. If it is asking for heat, there will be an orange fire symbol on the thermostat. If the symbol is white, it means the thermostat is not asking for heat.
Your Ecobee thermostat cannot ask for heat if the difference between the inside and outside temperature of your house is not large enough. If you need the heat to turn on, override your thermostat’s settings and set the required temperature higher. As soon as the difference is large enough, the thermostat will call for heat and the furnace will turn on.
Ecobee touchscreen not working
There may be power coming to the thermostat, but the touchscreen is not working. Here is how to fix it;
Remove and replace the thermostat from its base
The first thing to do to try and rectify this problem is to remove the thermostat from its wall mount and just place it back in again. In many instances, something had been loose and it automatically “repaired itself” by removing and putting back the thermostat.
Reboot the Ecobee thermostat
If the touchscreen is still not working, turn off the circuit breaker for the furnace, wait for 30 seconds, and put the power on again. As this is a process to reboot the heating system and the thermostat, it might also automatically rectify the unresponsive touchscreen issue.
Reset the thermostat
The last resort to get the touchscreen working is to reset your Ecobee thermostat to factory settings. However, you must remember that when you’ve reset your thermostat to factory settings, you usually have to reconfigure all the settings again.
It is easy to reset your Ecobee thermostat. You just open the Ecobee app on your smartphone and select “Settings.” When you’ve then selected “Reset,” click the option “Reset All.” You’ve now reset your thermostat to factory settings and the touchscreen should work.
Wi-Fi sensor connection problems
One of the common problems you can experience with your Ecobee thermostat is a Wi-Fi signal issue. With a weak Wi-Fi signal, the thermostat cannot connect to the remote sensors.
One solution is to move the sensors nearer to your Ecobee thermostat.
To prevent later Wi-Fi connection problems it is good to check the following aspects when you install your thermostat for the first time.
- Check whether your router uses a 2.4 GHz network.
- Check whether your thermostat’s firmware is up to date.
- Ensure that your router encryption settings are set to WPA/WPA2-AES.
Ecobee sensor not working
A common issue which is related to sensor communication is that the sensors as such may not be working properly. If the sensor is not working correctly, you can have a strong Wi-Fi signal and still don’t have communication between the sensor and the thermostat.
An Ecobee sensor can only be effective if it is in contact with the object it’s trying to measure. If the sensor has to measure temperature in a room it should be in the middle of the room and not near a window or door.
If it seems as if your Ecobee sensors are not working effectively, move them around until you get the best spot. Also, ensure that your pets cannot interfere with the sensor.
Ecobee indicates temperature wrong
A common issue that you can encounter with an Ecobee thermostat is that after you’ve used the thermostat for a while it doesn’t show an accurate temperature reading anymore.
Ensure that no cool air blows on the thermostat
If you are having this problem and want to fix it, ensure that there is no cool air being blown from the wall cavity behind the back plate onto the thermostat.
Make a temperature correction
If this is not the problem, start by trying to make a temperature correction. Go into “Settings” and set an offset temperature correction. You can modify the thermostat sensor reading’s sensitivity variance and permanently correct it by up to 10 degrees.
Reset the thermostat
Sometimes you can rectify the problem by resetting the thermostat. Go to the main menu on your thermostat and select “Settings,” “Reset,” and then “Reset All.” Just remember that when you reset the thermostat back to the factory settings you’ll have to reprogram your thermostat again.
The Ecobee thermostat keeps turning off
When your Ecobee thermostat keeps on turning off keep the following in mind:
- Firmware updates: Your thermostat might reboot to finish the installation. It can take about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Wiring changes: After you’ve changed some wiring your Ecobee might reboot to ensure everything is connected properly.
- Power outages: If there’s been a power outage your Ecobee might reboot when the power supply comes back on.
- Bad sensor: If one of the Ecobee sensors doesn’t work, it might cause a rebooting of the thermostat.
I hope that the tips I’ve given in this article will help you to understand why your Ecobee thermostat is sometimes not working effectively or even not working at all. As I’ve said at the beginning of this article that although Ecobee thermostats are becoming very popular and are excellent thermostats, they also sometimes encounter issues.
Fortunately, you can easily troubleshoot most of the problems and usually, you can fix the problems yourself. This is possible because, generally speaking, the issues are related to aspects even laymen can understand and fix, such as loose wiring, tripped circuit breakers, blown fuses, and malfunctioning devices.
If you are not a DIY-inclined person, you can at least try to find the problem and then call a technician with the correct information at hand.