Why is My Ecobee Not Turning on the A/C?

The vent in a home to the air conditioner.The vent in a home to the air conditioner.

When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If your Ecobee isn’t turning on the air conditioner anymore, you came to the right article! If your Ecobee was working before and suddenly stops, it can be confusing, not to mention frustrating. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to troubleshoot this before giving up.

Your Ecobee can stop turning on the A/C for a couple of reasons:

  • Your Ecobee is not set in a way that would trigger your air conditioner.
  • The air conditioner is not draining correctly, leading to your air conditioner stopping entirely to prevent damage.

If your Ecobee is no longer turning on the air conditioner, keep reading to find out how to troubleshoot these most common causes.

The Ecobee is Not Set to Trigger Your A/C On

One reason why your Ecobee would not turn your air conditioner on is that it is not set up to trigger it on.  

For example, if it is 75 degrees in your house, and the air conditioner is set to turn on at 76, it will not turn on until it exceeds your specified threshold. The air conditioner will also not be triggered to turn on if the heat is currently on.

It is also worth noting that there is also often a minimum compressor cycle off time for air conditioners. This means that if your air conditioner just finished running, its compressor will stay off for at least five minutes (or whatever manually set time you have). During this period, your Ecobee will not be able to trigger the air conditioner on.

The Air Conditioner Is Not Draining Properly

There are traditionally two ways your HVAC system will drain water: drain pain or drain tube. Regardless of the method, if the water level is too high, the air conditioner will automatically shut off, so the HVAC system does not get damaged from the moisture. In these cases, your Ecobee will be unable to override this shut-off mechanism.

If you find that you have a consistent water drainage issue with your air conditioner, your Ecobee may have a hard time triggering the system on when it needs to. Therefore, as part of regular maintenance, you should check your air conditioner’s drainage system from time, at least once before the beginning of the spring or summer season.

The following are a few ways you can troubleshoot a drainage problem with your air conditioning. Note: Before you troubleshoot this issue, make sure you turn off the power for your HVAC unit; this should be done directly at the breaker box.

Fixing a Full Drip Pan

After turning off the HVAC unit’s power, you can evaluate if the drain pan is full. You’ll likely need a flashlight to see this.

Remove the pan entirely from the bottom of the HVAC unit to clean it. You can dump the drain pan out and wash it with mild soap and water before putting it back in place.

Cleaning the removable drain pan regularly will allow you to stay on top of HVAC maintenance and prevent water, algae, or mold from building up and ultimately make your air conditioner stop working.

Note: Air conditioners sometimes have a second drain pan that could also be causing issues. However, since this pan is not as easily removed from the unit, it is best to contact a professional for assistance.

Fixing a Clog in the Drain Line

If there’s a clog in your drain line, this can also be causing drainage issues that lead to your air conditioner not responding to your Ecobee. To fix this issue, you can unclog it DIY-style, or you can contact a professional to unclog your AC drain line.

If you go the DIY route, you can vacuum out clogs by attaching a vacuum hose to the end of your AC drain, typically on the outside of your house. You can also pour bleach down it to get rid of stubborn clogs, but only in the summer when condensation will be regularly dripping down to clean out the bleach.

Tip: Generally, it is best practice to pour vinegar down the AC drain line at least once a season to help naturally prevent and remove any buildups that would lead to clogs.

Perform Regular Maintenance

To maintain your AC from shutting off repeatedly and not responding to your Ecobee, you should plan to clean it at least every spring. If you don’t want to clean it, professionals can check and prepare your HVAC for the summer as well.

In Conclusion

The most common causes of the Ecobee not turning on you’re A/C are the Ecobee not being set to trigger it, an overfilled drain pan, or a clogged A/C drain line. Each of these has a DIY solution to resolve it. However, if you are still stumped after completing these fixes, or your A/C still is not working properly, you may need to contact a professional.

Ecobee not turning on the heat? Check out this article for troubleshooting tips!

Keep Reading