Why Is My Ecobee Not Turning on the Heat?

A glowing red heater.A glowing red heater.

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As we head into winter, you will likely be using your Ecobee smart thermostat for heat more often. However, what if your Ecobee doesn’t turn on the heat?

If your Ecobee smart thermostat isn’t turning on your heater, your heat set point, or desired temperature, may be the same or lower than the current temperature in your home. Other reasons that the heat may not be turning on are specific thermostat settings or a furnace problem. 

Now that you know the potential causes of Ecobee not turning on the heat, you will want to know how to troubleshoot this problem.

Why Isn’t the Ecobee Turning on the Heat?

There are four possible reasons why an Ecobee thermostat isn’t turning on the heat when it’s supposed to:

  • The heat point on the thermostat is set lower than the temperature in the house.
  • Specific thermostat settings may be preventing the heat from turning on.
  • The furnace is not receiving power.
  • The furnace is overheating.

Not sure if the heat is on? Look for the orange flame icon on the thermostat display. If the flame icon is white, the thermostat is not calling for heat.

Check the Heat Set Point

This may seem obvious, but the first thing you should do if Ecobee isn’t turning on the heat is to check the heat set point. It should be higher at least 1 degree higher than the current temperature in the house.

Changing the heat set point can be done on the thermostat interface or in the app.

  1. First, make sure your thermostat is set to Heat or Auto mode.
  2. Then, use the slider on the main display screen to increase or decrease the desired temperature. You will see the set point temperature displayed in a box under the current temperature.

Adjust the Thermostat Settings

Ecobee gives users a lot of control over their thermostat. For example, you can change the minimum difference between the current temperature and the set point required to turn on the heater. You can also tell the auxiliary heat to stop working when the temperature outside your home reaches a certain degree.

Adjusting these heat settings can only be done on the Ecobee thermostat interface. It cannot be done using the Ecobee app or website.

Here are the directions to adjust the heat threshold settings:

  1. Under the main menu, select “Settings.”
  2. Select “Installation Settings.”
  3. Select “Thresholds.”
  4. Choose the settings you want to adjust.

Depending on the temperature inside and outside your home, changing the heat threshold settings may allow your heat to turn on when it wasn’t before. For example, lowering the heat differential temperature will cause your heater to turn on sooner. Keep in mind that changing these settings may also increase your utility bill or put extra stress on your HVAC system.

Some users have reported that switching their fan control from the thermostat to the furnace has worked for them when their heat wouldn’t turn on. Follow these steps to change the fan control: Main Menu > Settings > Installation Settings > Equipment > Furnace > Fan Control in Heat Mode > HVAC.

Check the Furnace Power

Your Ecobee thermostat calls heat from your furnace, so if the furnace doesn’t have power, there will be no heat. Try switching the breaker for the furnace power to see if that restores power. If your furnace still isn’t turning on, you may need to hire an electrician to service it. 

Even when the furnace has power, some users have found that switching the breaker solves their problem because it resets the furnace.

If this isn’t the first time you have had an issue with receiving power from your furnace, you may want to use the Power Extender Kit that came with your Ecobee thermostat. Check out this article for more information about the Power Extender Kit and how to install it.

Make Sure the Furnace Isn’t Overheating

An overheated furnace can cause a fire, so furnaces have an automatic shut-down trigger for safety. If the temperature inside the furnace reaches an unsafe level, the furnace may turn off. The fan may stay on to help cool down the furnace, but it will not send heat throughout your house until it has cooled down to a safe temperature.

There are a few things you can do to prevent your furnace from overheating:

  • Check to make sure the vents are clear; there shouldn’t be anything directly in front of them.
  • Clean and replace the air filter regularly.
  • Clean the furnace’s blower fan and evaporator coil every year.
  • Avoid running your heater for long periods during the winter.

In Conclusion

When your Ecobee thermostat isn’t turning on the heat, the solution may be to change your heat set point, the heat threshold settings, or the fan control. Other solutions to try are resetting the furnace power at the breaker box and cleaning your furnace. If your heat still isn’t turning heat, call Ecobee customer service for additional support: 877-932-6233.

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