Why Is My Ecobee Not Following The Configured Schedule?

Having full control over your home’s heating and cooling is one of the best perks of smart home tech. Being able to use your phone to quickly change the thermostat in response to a cold snap while you’re on the way home from work is ideal. 

Ecobee makes one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market. Their technology is widely used and interfaces with all of the most popular smart home apps. With that said, some users do experience problems controlling the scheduling. Here’s what you can do to make sure the temperature is always right where you want it. 

It’s usually a problem in your settings. First check to make sure there are no holds and then double check that Smart Recovery is turned off. If that doesn’t help, make sure that your Alexa, HomeKit or other apps aren’t overriding the schedule you want. 

What is the Ecobee Smart Thermostat?

A wall mounted ecobee smart thermostat
A wall mounted ecobee smart thermostat

The Ecobee is a smart thermostat made by a Canadian company. This smart thermostat offers integration with Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit, and Google products. It’s a popular and ready choice for people looking to upgrade their existing smart home. 

A smart thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature to an incredibly fine degree of detail. You can set custom heating and cooling plans, manage temperatures based on your schedule, and even set the thermostat to “learn” about your routine and take care of the settings for you. 

All of this advantage comes with a few technical hiccups along the way. While the Ecobee works perfectly well most of the time, there are still some problems that people will have to face off with every now and then. 

When Your Ecobee Starts Changing the Plan

The Ecobee thermostat is one of the leading brands on the market today, but there are still issues despite the popularity. 

Users all over the internet have been reporting problems with Ecobee’s scheduling. Whether they can’t seem to change the schedule or their Ecobee seems to have gotten a mind of its own, people are frustrated with their seeming inability to change their schedules. 

The good news is, you can fix most of these problems quickly, easily, and on your own. Smart home technology is full of perks, but occasionally important functions can get lost in complicated menus. That’s typically the case for the Ecobee scheduling troubles you’ll see all over the internet

Your smart thermostat needs to be able to keep a schedule. Here’s some of the most common causes of Ecobee scheduling issues and how you can fix them. 

How to Set Your Schedule

The first thing we should check is the scheduling itself. If there is a problem with your scheduling, it’s best to check here first. After all, you’d rather check the easy answers first before spending more time on something that just might be an incorrect setting. 

You can find all of your scheduling needs in the appropriately named “Schedule” menu. You’ll want to check on both the individual days and the activities you’ve got set in those days. If those settings got mixed up, you could be experiencing scheduling problems even when your device is otherwise totally fine. 

Ecobee’s scheduling system is pretty straightforward. You can pick the days you want to work with and decide when you want to change your temperature. Just make sure you’re picking between your heating and cooling systems. If it’s set to cool, it won’t matter how hot you try to set the temperature

Does your fan keep on running with Ecobee, and do you wish to find a solution? Go through this article to learn how to turn off your fan!

Look Into Your Smart Recovery Settings

Smart home technology isn’t just a cute marketing name, it’s all about how the technology works. 

EcoBee’s smart thermostat has the ability to learn more about your home and your HVAC system. When you have the Smart Recovery setting activated, EcoBee will start to build a profile for your home and its unique features:

This setting looks at one thing and that is how long it takes your home to reach a desired temperature. This might sound simple, but it takes into account a few different factors. These include the performance of your HVAC equipment, how well insulated your home is, the weather, and what kind of settings you use. 

All of this information, though not all of it is tracked by the Ecobee, comes together to determine just how quickly your home will reach the temperature you want it to be at. 

Your Ecobee will build a profile over time and then use that to optimize your experience. Once it knows how long it takes your home to reach a given temperature, it can fine tune your schedule to create a better user experience and, ideally, save you money on HVAC costs. 

While your Ecobee is building up this data, your scheduling might be a little erratic. Until your thermostat has enough information to get it exactly right, there are going to be hits and misses in your experience. Any changes in your HVAC system can also disrupt this. 

The fix is easy. Simply turn off your Smart Recovery setting, and you can go back to a nice, old-fashioned schedule. Or you can keep using your Ecobee system for months in the hope that it learns enough to ‘get it right’. This may work for you in time, although some users do report that the system never really learnt their household’s routines properly.

Temperature Holds

This is the next setting you need to look out for. Temperature holds allow users to temporarily override their schedule. If a cold snap or a heatwave just showed up out of nowhere, this is the setting you would use to quickly change your settings without having to fuss with the schedule

The only problem is, what happens when you forget a hold and leave it on? 

This can cause your schedule to get ignored. This is just the hold functioning as intended. Until you tell it to stop holding, it will keep your temperature in one place. 

If your schedule isn’t working the way you want it to, make sure that there aren’t any leftover holds still hanging on. The best part of this is, you can see if there are any holds active right on your home screen

Now, let’s take a look at a trickier problem. 

Comfort and Other Settings 

Ecobee works by allowing you to schedule your “activities” throughout the week. These are just different periods where you can schedule Ecobee’s temperature. You add your comfort settings to your activities and then you have a fully functional schedule. 

Either of these two could create problems on their own. If your activities get set to too many “sleep” or “away” by mistake, you could start experiencing scheduling problems. Your comfort settings also come into play here. 

If you’ve got your comfort settings at the wrong temps, you might think that it’s a scheduling problem when you can get your thermostat to work right. It’s actually working just fine, but obeying a mistaken comfort setting. 

Both of these two settings can be changed right in the menu. You can dial in the perfect schedule and comfort settings that work with you, and you’ll never have to worry about Ecobee technical issues again. 

That’s because, sometimes, the scheduling problems aren’t caused by Ecobee itself. 

HomeKit and Scenes

Smart home tech is at its best when it can network together and create a seamless experience. This also means that companies might have to share control and access to their devices with each other. This creates some tensions as not all devices are fully functional or perfectly matched. 

Ecobee works great with Alexa, Google, and Apple products, but this does create an additional layer of settings for us to look into. 

If you are still facing scheduling problems after looking into all of your Ecobee’s settings, the problem might be with your related apps. 

The app that you use to control your Ecobee could have its own settings for your thermostat. A great example of this are Scenes inside of Apple’s HomeKit. These Scenes are great for setting your smart home tech to run exactly how you want it to, but they also tend to override the settings inside your devices

Similar concepts apply to using Alexa, Google Home or other apps to manage (or enhance) your ecobee system. If your Ecobee is giving you a scheduling headache, check out the app you use to control it and make sure that there isn’t an incorrect setting there telling your thermostat what to do.  

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

12 thoughts on “Why Is My Ecobee Not Following The Configured Schedule?”

  1. stupid and does not address problem. It only tells me what YOU want me to do, not what I want to do. Typical. This thing is going into the trash and I am buying a NEST.

    • Sorry to hear your experience Douglas, sometimes ‘smart’ thermostats do seem a bit too ‘smart’ for their (or OUR) own good 🙂 I hope you get your problems sorted, or at least have better luck with the Nest thermostat.

  2. I own the ecobee voice and love it. I have it set to a schedule and occasional on colder days I bump up the heat. I have it set to hold for two hours Incas I forget. Mine works great.

  3. Make sure your Ecobee has the factory settings removed. We just had ours removed yesterday because our programming never worked. The install company never removed them and it conflicts with your settings. Rather dumb but what a difference.

    • That’s a good tip to know, thanks Kris! Yes I wouldn’t have immediately thought of that either – you’d almost assume that the factory settings were basic settings that wouldn’t conflict with anything else.

  4. Hi Tristan-

    I’ve noticed that my Eccobee will not follow my “schedule adjustments” when I’m nearing the end of an activity period. Example: An activity period ends At 10:30 Pm. At 10:15 pm, I notice that the house is too hot and so I adjust the current settings to try to make the a/c cone in. (I.e. lower the set temperature from 75 to 72). But the a/c will not come on … until 10:30 when the new activity period starts. Is there a way around this, or to fix it? What is the reading behind this? If I can’t find a way to get it out of this setting, I’m going to have to replace it with a Nest.

    • Hi Sanford,

      Sorry to hear this, that’s frustrating. I don’t know of an immediate fix unfortunately – it seems more like ecobee is trying to ‘be clever’ and not making the house too hot (or cold, as the case might be) before the schedule adjusts. It could be worth shooting ecobee support an email via their website though, in-case they have extra thoughts. Do let me know if they can suggest anything, I’d be interested to hear of a definitive fix.

  5. Well it seems that the hold functionality is working as intended but in my case not in a particularly useful way. Essentially what I want is a temporary override until the next scheduled change time hits. So, if I am working at home then I can temporarily override the temperature to what I want, but in case I forget, I don’t want to have to explicitly remove the hold. This way if I stay at my girlfriends, but have forgotten to remove the hold, I know that the temperature will always turn down at 10.00pm regardless of whether or not I am home.


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