How to Fix Your Ecobee Fan That Keeps Running

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Few things are as frustrating for a homeowner as an HVAC system “on the fritz”.

That’s why so many choose to invest in high-quality thermostats that are significantly more expensive than the thermostats of old, thermostats that offer nowhere near the customization or control that today’s modern solutions like the Ecobee bring to the table.

The last thing you expect is for your Ecobee to begin misbehaving, too!

If you have an Ecobee fan that is running when it shouldn’t – especially one that is seemingly next to impossible to turn off – you’ll want to run through the guide we highlight below.

By the time you’re done with the inside information in this breakdown, you’ll have a good idea of how to stop this problem and prevent it from happening ever again.

Let’s jump right in!

How Ecobee Thermostats Stack Up Against the Competition

An Ecobee smart thermostat mounted on a wall
An Ecobee smart thermostat mounted on a wall

Right out of the gate, it’s important to be crystal clear about one fact:

The Ecobee line of thermostat options (and HVAC-related products) are some of the best climate control products on the market today.

There’s a reason behind the popularity of Ecobee thermostats – and that’s because they flat out work better than most anything else money can buy right now. Not only is ecobee really easy and elegant to use (not to mention very good-looking thermostat units), but they also provide up to 23% reductions in overall heating and cooling costs.

Not a bad little upgrade, right?

These thermostats are great, with a lot of functionality and some capabilities that you won’t find anywhere else. That’s why it’s so important to troubleshoot the problem rather than to swap in Ecobee out completely for something else you’ll (inevitably) be unhappy with later down the line.

Are Ecobee Thermostats Known to Be Faulty?

Ecobee thermostats have a reputation for being almost foolproof to use and for real reliability.

If you’re dealing with an Ecobee thermostat that is misbehaving the odds are pretty good you’ve got a “lemon” on your hands or a problem somewhere else between the thermostat and your HVAC system and fans.

But that’s why we’ve put together this quick guide.

This isn’t to suggest that you won’t ever have problems with Ecobee products. There’s a reason we wrote this guide, after all – it does happen every now and again.

Just know that these products are (by and large) some of the best climate control options available.

Why is My Ecobee Fan Running When It Shouldn’t?

Various air conditioning units outside a home
Various air conditioning units outside a home

Your HVAC fan is a core component to keeping your home climate controlled and at the exact temperature you set on your thermostat.

Sometimes the fan is responsible for pushing heated air throughout the ventilator should duct to warm your space. Other times the fan is used to move hot air out and replace it with cold (or air-conditioned) air to keep temperatures cool.

At the end of the day, if that fan isn’t working properly your temperatures indoors are going to be all over the place. This is why it’s so important to make sure that it’s only running when it should be – and not 24/7, every day of the year.

The first thing you’ll want to look for is any issues between your thermostat and your fan, particularly in the relay setting.

You want to make sure that your fan isn’t stuck on the on position permanently, but you also want to be sure that there aren’t any broken relay switches or wiring problems that could be causing issues, too.

If you find any trouble in this area you’ll know exactly how to resolve the problem – though you might have to contact an electrician to handle the heavy lifting of this repair for you.

How to Troubleshoot Ecobee Issues Effectively

Let’s run through a couple of the troubleshooting steps you’ll want to take to figure out exactly what’s wrong “under the hood” of your Ecobee.

Check Thermostat Settings

The very first thing you’re going to want to look at is your thermostat settings.

The amount of people that have been plagued with fan and inconsistent HVAC performance that discover later that it was because a thermostat setting was incorrect is staggering. It might not be that there’s a problem with your Ecobee at all, but that a setting you thought was configured correctly isn’t.

This is why this step – checking and confirming all thermostat settings – needs to be the first stop along your troubleshooting journey.

Probe for Wiring Problems

As we highlighted earlier, you’ll want to probe or any wiring problems between your thermostat and your HVAC fan system.

The installation of your new Ecobee thermostat inevitably involves some pretty complex wiring. Master electricians do a great job at making sure your system is set up correctly, but even they make mistakes from time to time.

Sometimes the on and off switches get crisscrossed, sometimes the automatic and on controls get inverted, and sometimes wires that should have been connected never end up hooked up.

All of that is (obviously) going to have a major impact on Ecobee thermostat performance and how your HVAC fan operates.

Have a look at the wiring of your system (as much as possible, anyway). Look for any obvious issues. It might not be a bad idea to call in a professional to have them look things over, either.

If you go in that direction, though, consider hiring different electricians than the ones that handled the install. These “fresh eyes” will be more likely to spot problems that the original installation team might not have noticed.

Is “Hold” Turned On Accidently?

The HOLD settings on Ecobee thermostats are fantastic for when you want to “lock-in” certain settings regardless of the schedule you’ve created.

The only problem is that the HOLD settings will always override any other settings that have been configured, and that includes fan on/off settings as well.

Pop open the Ecobee thermostat menu and double confirm that the HOLD setting hasn’t been locked your fan settings into place. There are lots of reasons people might want to run a fan without the rest of the HVAC system kicking in, and maybe that’s the situation you find yourself in without even realizing it.

If the HOLD is in place simply release that setting and you should be good to go!

Understanding Ecobee On vs Auto Settings

A lot of people (especially those that are brand-new to smart thermostats like the Ecobee) have a tough time differentiating between the “on” setting of their thermostat and the “auto those quote setting of their thermostat.

When you have your thermostat configured to “auto”, the system is going to automatically decide when and how often – and for how long – the fan should be run. The fan might turn on, run for a couple of minutes, and then turn right off. Or the fan might turn on and then stay on permanently.

It really all comes down to the other settings that you configured (particularly when it comes to things like heat dissipation settings and your Smart Recovery setup).

The “on” setting basically just turns your fan on and will run it constantly, or at least until you flip the Ecobee setting switch to the “auto” or “off” position.

All you have to do to fix this problem is jump into your QUICK SETTINGS menu, jump down to the FAN option, and then configure either automatic or “on” settings to your liking.

You should be all set!

Heat Dispersion Configuration

Ecobee thermostats are always going to run your fan for a little bit longer, even after your HVAC system shuts off.

This is done to eliminate any of the residual heat that would be trapped inside the system, heat that would inevitably make its way into your home and cause climate changes within.

The heat dispersion configuration in an Ecobee allows you to decide how long you want your fan to run after the HVAC system has turned off. The standard-setting is pegged at 30 seconds after your HVAC system is off, but you can configure it all the way up to 900 seconds.

Plenty of people have done this without even realizing it, only to wonder later why their fan continues to run even after their HVAC system turns off.

To fix this problem you’ll have to jump into the SETTINGS menu, navigate to the INSTALLATION SETTINGS submenu, and then find your way over to the THRESHOLDS option.

Configure the HEAT DISSIPATION setting to the amount of time you want your fan to run after your HVAC setup has turned itself off. Remember to let it run for at least 30 seconds to guarantee that the excess heat generated by your climate control unit is pushed out of the home rather than funneled into your living spaces.

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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!