If you have an Ecobee smart thermostat all wired up and configured, you’re probably ready to familiarize yourself with the heating system, especially for those chilly days when coziness is a top priority.
This guide will show you how to activate heat mode on your Ecobee thermostat, as well as how to switch the settings to emergency or auxiliary heat. This will come in necessary when the outside temperature drops really low.
How to Turn On Heat on Ecobee
Activating Heat Mode
Ecobee’s interface ensures a smooth user experience when going from one setting to the next. The following steps will make sure you have your heating configured correctly:
- On your thermostat’s home screen, click the ‘’Off’’ icon. It’s above the bigger middle number indicating current room temperature and the smaller number measuring the humidity level.
- Choose ‘’Heat’’ mode. It’s normally the first option listed.
In addition to the room temperature and humidity level numbers, now you’ll find an additional one in a small button on the right side of the screen. This number represents the desired temperature. By changing it, you set the level at which your heater will power on or off. When the temperature drops below that number, the heater turns on until the room temperature reaches the number you’ve set.
- To raise the temperature, hold the small button with your finger and slide it upwards until you reach your desired set point. To lower the temperature, hold the small button and slide it downwards until the set point is sufficiently decreased.
- Finally, check whether your heating is working properly by looking for the heat icon – which resembles an orange flame – at the top of the screen.
Activating Auto Mode
Is this the only way you can warm up your home using Ecobee? Not quite. Another good way of providing warmth is the automatic heat and cool feature. This is especially useful when you want to keep the room temperature consistent. This is how you start the auto heat feature:
- Tap the flame-shaped heat icon.
- Select ‘‘Auto.’’
The right section of the screen will now display two numbers. The top blue-colored one controls the air conditioning. When the room temperature goes above it, the air conditioner is triggered and starts working. The lower, red-colored number connects to the heater. When the temperature goes below it, heating starts up. In this way, the temperature remains at the level indicated between the two set points.
- Adjust the red and blue numbers accordingly by simply touching them and dragging up and down until you get to your desired temperature.
How to Turn On Emergency Heat on Ecobee
Ecobee’s heat mode will get you through most cold days without issue, but there are still days so frosty that your heating needs a little extra support.
When the outside temperature drops suddenly, you’ll need more power to maintain the heat in the home and that’s when the secondary heat source kicks in. While most traditional thermostats rely solely on emergency heat in frigid weather, Ecobee devices also draw on auxiliary heat. This allows your primary heat source to keep running, but its power is bolstered by the additional mechanism which allows the heat pump to operate correctly. Ecobee’s thermostats trigger auxiliary heat automatically. And by making a few changes to the settings you can tune the auxiliary controls to your preference.
First, you need to know how to get to the threshold settings:
- On your Ecobee’s interface, choose the three flat lines indicating the ‘’Main Menu.’’
- Go to ‘’Select Settings.’’
- Then, go for the ‘’Installation Settings.”
- Tap ‘Select Thresholds.’’
Now there are three main ways you can go about managing how and when your auxiliary heat functions:
- Adjust the ‘’Compressor to Aux Temperature Delta’’: Select the difference between the actual room temperature and your desired room temperature to indicate when the auxiliary heat should start working. When the difference is exceeded, the supplemental heating system is set in motion.
- Change the ‘’Compressor Min Outdoor Temperature’’: Your compressor – which is the core of the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system – won’t operate when the outdoor temperature falls below the level you set.
- Manage the ‘’Aux Heat Max Outdoor Temperature”: Once the outside temperature goes over this number, your auxiliary heat will stop working.
What to Keep in Mind With Auxiliary Heating
Auxiliary heat not only warms your space but also helps with the maintenance of the outside heating unit. When moisture collects around the unit and freezes, the heat pump starts warming up in order to defrost. Because energy is redirected from heating the home to defrosting the outside unit, auxiliary heating kicks in to support the system. However, there are some important factors to keep in mind when deciding whether you want the auxiliary mode to start working.
Auxiliary heat mode blows through energy more quickly, and it can seriously affect your energy bill. Since it’s significantly less efficient than your heat pump, be careful when you’re setting up the auxiliary heat functions on your Ecobee thermostat. It’s only meant to go off for short periods of time. When it goes on running for longer, it can astronomically increase your utility bills. Normally, it will only switch on during nighttime or in snowy weather, keeping up with the temperature set points you’ve selected. Your thermostat will even show if your home still feels too cold or too warm, your system may not be functioning properly despite the secondary heating settings. In such cases, it’s best to seek professional help and have experts come in to examine your heating and cooling system. You should also schedule regular maintenance check-ups every six months to ensure everything is in order and to avoid future problems.
Keeping Warm Shouldn’t Be Complicated
Setting your comfort level during the cooler months shouldn’t be a needlessly intricate process that makes you dread getting up to deal with your heat settings. Ecobee’s user-friendly interface turns that task into a simple and painless experience. It gives you control over your heating system so that you can match it to your personal needs.
However, keep in mind that setting controls that allow the auxiliary heat to run too frequently can put a significant dent in your household energy budget. To keep warm and avoid increasing your heating costs, figure out how best to coordinate your primary had auxiliary heating sources.
Have any tips on setting the Ecobee to be the most economical? Sound off in the comments below and let us know how you have been using the heating system.