Ecobee Thermostat Causing A Burning Smell – Why And What To Do?

Even with familiar names like Ecobee, thermostat problems can still arise. You may wonder why your Ecobee thermostat is causing a burning smell, and what you can do about it. We've researched the problem and gathered information for troubleshooting your thermostat in this post.

If your Ecobee thermostat is causing a burning smell, it may be due to natural wear, incorrect installation, overheating, or dirt collection. These can damage your device's wiring, resulting in a burning or fire-like odor.

Wiring and other electric problems with your thermostat can severely damage your system and home. Keep reading to learn the signs of a faulty thermostat and what you can do to fix it.

Woman adjust temperature on smart home digital thermostat, Ecobee Thermostat Causing A Burning Smell - Why And What To Do?

Why Is A Burning Smell Coming From Thermostat?

A burning smell can come from any electrical complication or damage to your thermostat or the connected system. These usually range from physical wear to wiring and power issues.

Regardless of the severity, you should repair an electric issue before it causes more harm to your system. If it starts causing a smell, the damage affects the physical wiring enough to burn the wires.

Faulty wiring puts your home in danger, so it's best to know the usual reasons it could occur to learn how to prevent it.

Here are a few common problems you might be experiencing with your thermostat.

Natural Wear And Tear

Like other devices, a thermostat can weaken over time, leading to physical damage. Although this is repairable, a worn-out unit can mostly be responsible for further problems with wiring.

If this is the case, evaluate the possibility of swapping it for a newer model compatible with your HVAC.

Incorrect Installation

Homeowners often consider DIY installation and setup up a thermostat to save on costs. However, without proper guidance, this could lead to complications later, especially when it involves wiring.

Loose and faulty connections can cause other parts of your thermostat to falter, such as the display or how it controls your heating or cooling units. The best way to repair this is by contacting an HVAC professional to evaluate your system.


Circuits can only hold a certain amount of power at a time. Plugging or connecting too much on it leads to overloading, causing it to overheat the appliances and devices connected.

The circuit breaker could trip, but if it doesn't, it poses a fire risk because it burns the wires to different systems. Some thermostats are connected directly to power sources rather than through an outlet, which could be why it produces a burning smell.

If you confirm this is the problem, it's crucial to have it checked and repaired as soon as possible to prevent further risks.

Dirt And Debris Buildup

Lack of cleaning could be the reason why your thermostat smells odd. It happens when collected dirt or dust gets burned from the thermostat's heat.

For this issue, a thorough cleaning is all your unit needs to eliminate the odor.

Can You Troubleshoot An Ecobee Thermostat?

Hand installing modern thermostat plate on wall

You can troubleshoot your Ecobee thermostat even without the help of a professional. Note you should inspect a few things in your thermostat to identify what's causing the smell. These are listed as follows:

1. Check The Setup Connections

Make sure you insert each wire securely into the correct terminal blocks. You can test this by gently tugging onto them to see if they quickly come off or not.

Ecobee thermostats require a C wire to power, so you should also ensure they are connected. If all the wiring is good but the thermostat doesn't work, you may not have enough voltage. For an Ecobee thermostat, you need more than 24VAC to power the unit.

This 24-volt transformer is compatible with Ecobee.

Check it out on Amazon.

Next, check if the backplate and cover panels are secure since some thermostats and HVAC models don't turn on when you're equipment is not in the proper place.

2. Replace Batteries Or Outlets

Check the thermostat's power if there are no issues with your setup and connections. If you have damaged batteries, replace them with a fresh pair. You will need to reset the thermostat after replacing the batteries. We discuss how to do that below.

If you own a wired or electrical thermostat, look into the outlet or circuit breaker to see if there are faulty parts.

See this Lithium Battery Pack on Amazon.

3. Reset Your Thermostat

If the problem with your Ecobee thermostat is digital, try resetting the device. You can do this with the following steps:

  • Open the main menu or press the "menu" button.
  • Click the "settings" option.
  • Select "reset."
  • Choose your reset preference.

The settings you can reset include schedule and preferences such as time, date, location, temperature, etc., or registration such as your Ecobee account and email. If you want to wipe it completely, choose "reset all."

Remember that you can only reset equipment configuration with the "reset all" option.

4. Adjust Thermostat Settings

Another way to evaluate your thermostat is by checking your settings and adjusting it accordingly. View how it controls your heating and cooling systems and change the setpoint as much as needed.

It's also essential to be sure your thermostat is on the "heat or cool" or "auto" mode.

Learn more on how to adjust your Ecobee thermostat settings in this post: How To Remove Schedule From Ecobee Thermostat

5. Clean Or Service It

If there are no electrical and digital problems with your thermostat, you can schedule it for maintenance or cleaning. Dirt and debris could disrupt your device's performance, such as its connectivity.

6. Inspect Your HVAC Systems

The issue may have nothing to do with your thermostat but rather with the HVAC system. Connection or wiring problems could affect how the thermostat functions.

Have a professional look into these units to determine if there's anything you need to get repaired.

Signs Your Thermostat Needs Fixing

Your thermostat is essential in maintaining your HVAC system's efficiency and functionality, so you should identify when it needs fixing.

Here are a few signs indicating a problem with your thermostat.

It's Unresponsive Or Has No Power

Ecobee style installed on the wall

It's obvious you have a broken home thermostat when it doesn't turn on or has become unresponsive. It could be your thermostat display is blank, or the temperature doesn't change for a while.

These could have something to do with worn-out batteries or broken outlets. So be sure to check these before calling in a technician for repair.

If you just experienced a power outage, read this post: How To Turn On Ecobee Thermostat After Power Outage.

Your HVAC Won't Turn On

If your heating or cooling unit doesn't turn on, it could be due to a thermostat-related issue. It happens when your thermostat fails to send commands to your HVAC due to wiring or connection problems.

Note that this could have something to do with your thermostat not turning on, so troubleshoot the power before looking into the connectivity.

Your HVAC Keeps Running

It's another connection issue if your heater or AC continuously runs after reaching the set temperature. Setting miscalibration or faulty wiring and sensors are usually responsible for this.

Check if your thermostat settings are in order and reset your device before getting into technical repairs.

The Temperature Readings Are Inaccurate

Ecobee smart thermostat installed on the wall

Your thermostat might produce inaccurate readings, causing the temperature around your home to fluctuate. One way to test your thermostat accuracy is to set a simple thermostat in the same location and see if it comes up differently.

It could be because of your device placement or a sensor problem. An expert should handle any further complications.

How Long Will An Ecobee Thermostat Last?

According to Ecobee, their thermostats should last about 12 years and longer when well-kept. You can keep a home thermostat running for a while as long as you regularly maintain the unit and HVAC systems.

An ecobee smart thermostat in a home

Although you can repair some thermostat issues, getting professional assistance will cost you between $110 to $600, depending on the model and problem. With an Ecobee thermostat, they have a 3-year warranty after the date of purchase.

Keep in mind that having your thermostat repaired by an expert ensures it stays functional, especially when the repair involves wiring and other technical fixes. A

s much as possible, contact professionals to repair your device when the issue requires more tools and expertise.

Final Words

Regardless of the appliance, a burning smell in your home indicates a major electrical issue. If it comes from your Ecobee thermostat, it's usually because of electrical complications from installation and connection to dirt and power.

Keeping your thermostat and HVAC in their best condition and monitoring their electrical requirements can prevent these situations.

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