Why Does My Ecobee Say “Calibrating?”

ecobee thermostatecobee thermostat

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Homes are getting smarter, and devices like the Ecobee smart thermostat system are taking home comfort to the next level. But problems can occur, and a commonly encountered one is when your Ecobee’s screen displays “Calibrating: Heating and Cooling Disabled.”

The “Calibrating” message indicates that the Ecobee thermostat sensor must be re-tuned to function properly. Your Ecobee automatically does this after initial installation and every time it reboots. The calibration process takes 5-20 minutes.

While an Ecobee is calibrating, your heater or air conditioner is disabled. Frequent calibration is not only inconvenient, but it can indicate that something is wrong with your device.

Why Does an Ecobee Need To Calibrate? 

The Ecobee smart thermostat system automatically regulates your home’s temperature for you. To do this, it constantly monitors the indoor temperature with a built-in sensor.

ecobee thermostat

The Ecobee thermostat can also measure humidity. When Follow Me mode is activated and SmartSensors are used, an Ecobee can even detect room occupancy to optimize its performance.

To regulate your home’s temperature efficiently, the Ecobee has a self-calibration function. This calibration process ensures that the thermostat accurately reads the current temperature inside your home or office.

In addition to the built-in sensor, you can purchase wireless sensors to place in other rooms.

When Does My Ecobee Calibrate Itself?

One of the features of your Ecobee is it can tune itself and keep its temperature sensor calibrated to take accurate measurements.

So when does your Ecobee perform a self-calibration? 

Calibration After Initial Installation

After installation, the Ecobee will perform a calibration to ensure that it takes accurate temperature readings of your indoor space. This process takes 5 to 20 minutes to complete.

During this time, you cannot use your heater or A/C.

Calibration After Ecobee Reboots

Following the initial installation, whenever your Ecobee thermostat reboots, it will recalibrate its temperature sensor. 

An Ecobee thermostat can reboot for many reasons, such as:

  • Your home loses power temporarily or a tripped breaker. The Ecobee thermostat will automatically recalibrate when power is restored.
  • Following a firmware update. This may take slightly longer than a regular calibration.
  • A malfunction in your heating system, such as a furnace overheating.
  • A problem in your cooling system, such as water build-up.
  • The thermostat wires are corroded or damaged.

Ecobee Calibration Troubleshooting

When it functions normally, an Ecobee should calibrate after initial installation and a system reboot. Frequent reboots and thermostat calibrations are not normal.

If your Ecobee reboots and calibrates frequently, there may be an underlying issue with the thermostat or your HVAC system.

The following are a few troubleshooting steps if your Ecobee is not calibrating properly:

Problems With Your Heating System

Frequent calibrating by your Ecobee smart thermostat system can indicate a problem with your heating system. 

The most common issues include

  • An overheating furnace caused by a clogged filter.
  • Inadequate power, particularly when your furnace or boiler shares the same 24VAC transformer as the Ecobee thermostat.
  • Overworked motors, such as for a blower fan, can also cause your Ecobee to reboot unnecessarily.

More complicated issues may require contacting Ecobee support or an HVAC specialist.

Problems With Your Cooling System

Problems with your cooling system can also cause an Ecobee thermostat to reboot and calibrate unnecessarily.

For instance:

  • Over-accumulation of condensation in the drain pan of an air conditioning unit can cause the float switch (a safety device) to trip, cutting power to the Ecobee thermostat.
  • Clogged drain lines can cause the condensate pump to cut power to an Ecobee.
  • Incorrect wire connections, especially if a Power Extender Kit (PEK) is utilized, can cause an Ecobee thermostat to reboot frequently as the cooling system is called upon.

Ecobee Calibrating for Too Long

An Ecobee thermostat sensor calibration should only take 20 minutes at most. If your Ecobee says calibrating for longer than that, there is an underlying malfunction, and you should investigate the cause.

To remedy this issue, you can try a few things:

  • Power cycle your Ecobee by removing the thermostat from the wall and putting it back. Then, wait 20 minutes to see if it stops calibrating.
  • Power cycling your Wi-Fi. Unplug the router and modem for at least one minute and plug them back in.
  • Remove the thermostat from the wall and confirm that all wire connector tabs are firmly pressed down.
  • Verify that each color-coded wire is inserted into the correct connector. The color codes for an Ecobee’s wire connections are as follows:
ecobee wire connections
WireWire Color
CBlue or black
R, RC, or RHRed
Y or Y1Yellow

Note: If you use a Power Extender Kit, you will not have a C wire.

Contact Ecobee customer service for additional support if your Ecobee’s wires are colored differently, or your thermostat still says calibrating for longer than 20 minutes.

You may also need the assistance of a professional electrician if you suspect that complicated wiring issues may be the source of your problem.

Incorrect Ecobee Thermostat Calibration

No technology is perfect, and sometimes after calibration, the temperature reading on your Ecobee may be wrong.

To solve this issue, you can manually adjust the temperature reading:

  1. Click on the menu button on the Ecobee display screen.
  2. Select “Settings.”
    Open the Settings menu
  3. Select “Installation Settings.”
    ecobee installation settings
  4. Select “Thresholds.”
    ecobee thresholds
  5. Select “Temperature Correction.”
  6. Change the temperature reading as needed.

A variance of one degree is normal. But when the temperature is off by more than that, adjust your Ecobee manually to ensure that it regulates your home or office to a comfortable temperature.

Where Should Ecobee Sensors Be Placed?

Ecobee SmartSensors should be placed in areas:

  • That are hotter or colder than the rest of your home or office.
  • Approximately four feet off the ground and facing the room for occupancy mode.
  • Away from temperature-affecting conditions like a window, vent, or fan.

We have additional troubleshooting steps if your Ecobee sensors keep disconnecting and reading the wrong temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions about the Ecobee smart thermostat system.

Can you use an Ecobee thermostat while it’s calibrating?

While an Ecobee is calibrating, heating and cooling functions are disabled.

Can you force an Ecobee thermostat to calibrate?

Your Ecobee smart thermostat is designed to calibrate itself automatically. You can force it to calibrate by disconnecting it from power, but this may not be advisable.

How do you update the firmware on an Ecobee thermostat?

Your Ecobee must be connected to Wi-Fi to operate on the latest firmware. It will update automatically whenever Ecobee releases new firmware versions.

How many sensors can an Ecobee have?

One Ecobee thermostat can have up to 32 connected sensors!

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