Fixing Your Ecobee When It Blows Hot (Or Cold) Air

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Ecobee often works fine, but sometimes this smart HVAC systems thermostat doesn’t work as expected. For example, it sometimes heats instead of cooling the room, and vice versa. In this article, I discuss this problem and how to fix it.

Why Your Ecobee Could Be Cooling Instead of Heating the Room (and Vice Versa)

Below I cover some possible reasons why your Ecobee smart thermostat may be faultily blowing cold or hot air to the room, giving unexpected results.

1. Possible Ecobee—Heat Pump Wiring Issues

An ecobee smart thermostat showing the current and expected weather
An ecobee smart thermostat showing the current and expected weather

Even though your Ecobee thermostat is very smart and intelligent, it won’t function as it’s supposed to if you’ve got the wiring for it and the heat pump wrong. For starters, the heat pump is a key component of some HVAC systems whose primary task is to extract heat from the cold external air and send it to the room, subsequently cooling the house.

If you have an HVAC system with a built-in heat pump, that is blowing hot air when it’s supposed to blow cold air or vice versa, check your Ecobee thermostat and heat pump wiring. Because if you’ve got the wiring wrong, your thermostat’s cold air settings could result in the thermostat giving you warm air contrary to cold air. 

A Possible Fix: Ensure that your thermostat(Ecobee) and heat pump are wired properly with the help of a competent professional. 

2. The Smart Recovery Feature 

Smart Recovery Setting is one of the coolest features of the Ecobee HVAC smart thermostat. This feature enables the thermostat to “learn” about your desired temperature range and schedule. Unfortunately, it takes time to learn that and as such it might make some mistakes along the way while figuring out how to optimize your experience. These typically involve it blowing cold air when you need hot air and vice versa. 

A Possible Fix: Try disabling Smart Recovery and instead use your custom settings to cater to your cooling and heating needs. To do that;

  • Go to the main menu in your HVAC system’s control panel.
  • Click “Settings.”
  • Click “Preferences.”
  • Select “Heating Smart Recovery” or “Cooling Smart Recovery.” 
  • Tap “Disable.” 

3. Your HVAC Problems

An outdoor AC air con unit sitting directly on the ground
An outdoor AC air con unit sitting directly on the ground

Your thermostat (Ecobee) still relies on your HVAC system to function, no matter how smart and intelligent it is. That means that if there’s a problem with your HVAC system, a component, or a feature, it will also be affected such that it may not be able to function properly where it blows cold air or hot air into the room as expected. Here are some of the components or features of your HVAC system that could cause your thermostat (Ecobee) to function erratically, if faulty:

a. The Fan

Besides the thermostat, your HVAC system has a fan as another important component. The fan works in collaboration with your blower (another important component of your HVAC system) to circulate cold or hot air throughout your home as needed. Now if the fan is faulty, it might be unable to circulate cold or hot air as need be. Consequently, the temperature in the room may remain unchanged, making you think that your thermostat is pushing hot or cold air faultily. 

A Possible Fix: Bring in a qualified HVAC repair technician to examine your Ecobee thermostat first. If they don’t detect a problem with it, let them examine the fan to see if that could be the cause of unexpected hot or cold air coming from your thermostat. 

b. Is Your Fun Set to Always On?

Also, your fan settings could be another culprit. Take a quick look to see if it’s set to “Always On.” Because if it is, it’ll blow air that can be either cold or hot, depending on the current air temperature, constantly throughout the room and the day. This could be felt as cold or hot air. 

A possible fix: Simply turning your fan settings to “Auto” may make this problem disappear.

4. A Wiring or Settings Problem with the Furnace or Heat Pump

An outdoor wall mounted AC compressor air con unit
An outdoor wall mounted AC compressor air con unit

A problematic furnace or heat pump for your HVAC system is another problem that may affect your thermostat (Ecobee) such that it blows hot air when it’s supposed to blow cold air or vice versa. 

But what’s a furnace? Well, it’s an accessory that you can pair with your HVAC system to provide ventilation, cooling, and heating effects in the room. Using a motor blower, this piece of equipment works by circulating heated or cooled air throughout the room thereby heating or cooling the space as a result. 

What is a heat pump? A heat pump is an alternative to a furnace. Just like the latter, it ventilates, as well as heats or cools the room if paired with an HVAC system. In other words, both HVAC accessories serve the same purpose and you’ll find that some HVAC systems use a furnace whereas others use a heat pump to ventilate, as well as cool or heat the room. 

Notably, heat pumps and furnaces require different wiring and different settings to function properly. If you don’t get the wiring or settings correctly, your heat pump or furnace may not work properly with your thermostat to provide the ventilation as well as heating and cooling effects you need. 

If you suspect that the problem could be originating from your furnace or heat pump as opposed to your Ecobee thermostat, here’s what you need to do;

A possible fix: Have a trustworthy technician take a quick look at your furnace or heat pump wiring to ensure that it’s set to work with your Ecobee. Also, have them look at the settings to ensure the same. If they find a problem with the wiring or settings, have them resolve it so that your thermostat can work well with the accessory. 

Does The Type of an HVAC System Matter For Your Ecobee Thermostat?

The answer is YES. As you know by now, your Ecobee thermostat in your smart home acts like a computer that gives you convenient control over your heating and air conditioning system. Unfortunately, your Ecobee smart thermostat is only as good as your HVAC system no matter how smart or intelligent it is

Think about this like putting an engine of a powerful car like a Lamborghini into your old junk car. That means you’ll have excessive horsepower, but you won’t be able to use it all simply because your car has lots of limitations.

Therefore, if your HVAC system can only heat your home by 10 degrees during cold days and vice versa, that’s all your Ecobee smart thermostat will be able to facilitate no matter the temperature range it can handle. Many modern HVAC systems are built to heat or cool your home by up to 20 degrees. If you have one such HVAC, it means if the temperature outside is 100 degrees high, your Ecobee thermostat will only be able to work with the system to lower the temperature inside the house only up to 80 degrees, which is still hot. This is no matter the temperature range it can handle.

Final Thoughts 

Normally, you can rely on your Ecobee thermostat to help maintain favorable temperatures inside your home regardless of the temperatures outside. But sometimes you can’t count on the device, especially when it decides to faultily cool the room further instead of heating it during cold days and vice versa. This problem is usually caused by many issues as highlighted above. Luckily, you can resolve each one of them using the above techniques to restore the normal functioning of your smart thermostat. 

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About James Beetie

James - a self-confessed nerd - has owned smart home equipment for close to a decade, and he loves communicating the best ways of setting them up... and resolving the various bugs and issues that you'll no doubt come across!