In this article, I’ll dive into the common reasons why your Ecobee smart sensors report high humidity levels in your home and how you can address the levels with your Ecobee thermostat.
Why Is Ecobee Humidity So High?
1. Your AC fan is set to “On”
If your Ecobee sensors detect high humidity levels, it might be because your thermostat fan setting is set to “On.”
Having your fan constantly blowing is a common mistake people make with their air conditioners, and it’s one of the main reasons they experience high humidity levels inside their homes.
Your air conditioner collects moisture from the outside air, and the condensation builds up on the cooling coils. If your fan is set to “Auto,” it will only push the gathered moisture into your home when a cooling cycle occurs. Having your fan on “Auto” also allows time for excess moisture to drip down and drain out of the unit in between cycles.
However, if your fan is always blowing, it will constantly push all the built-up moisture from the cooling coils into your home. This will raise the humidity levels inside your house.
Fix: Set your AC fan to Auto
To change the fan setting on your air conditioner, follow these steps:
Step One: Click on the icon with three parallel lines on the main screen of your Ecobee thermostat. This will open the main menu.
Step Two: Click on the tab that says “System Cool.”
Step Three: Click on the tab that says “Fan.”
Step Four: Choose to have your fan set to “Auto: at least 0 min/hr.”
2. Your Ecobee comfort settings aren’t allowing your AC to dehumidify the room
Another reason your Ecobee sensors might be picking up elevated humidity levels is that your air conditioner needs to run longer to get rid of extra moisture in the air.
Air conditioners don’t just cool the air inside your home. After all, there is a reason they are called “conditioners” and not just “coolers.” The refrigerant that air conditioners use in their process of cooling down your indoor air soaks up the moisture in it as well.
This conditioning process takes time, and if the comfort settings on your Ecobee don’t allow enough time for all the moisture to be eliminated, excess humidity will begin to fill your home.
Fix: Allow your air conditioner to run longer
There are several ways to make sure your air conditioner is running long enough to get rid of the extra moisture forming in your home:
Option One: Change your comfort settings to a lower temperature so the air conditioner will run longer. You can do this by going to the tab that says “Comfort Settings” in the Main Menu area of your Ecobee thermostat. From there, you can customize your presets.
Option Two: If you don’t want to go in and change your presets, you can temporarily override your comfort settings by adjusting the temperature on the main screen of your Ecobee thermostat or on the Ecobee mobile app. The thermostat will hold that setting until you cancel it or until the time you choose for it to end.
Option Three: The third option doesn’t involve changing or overriding your comfort settings. The Ecobee has several features that work in tandem to help with this problem. They are the Dehumidify Using AC feature and the AC Overcool feature. To utilize these features, follow these steps:
Step One: You can enable the Dehumidify Using AC feature by going to the “System” tab on the Main Menu. From there, you can choose the humidity level you want.
Step Two: To access the AC Overcool feature, go to the Main Menu and click “Settings.” From there, click “Installation Settings,” “Thresholds,” and then “AC Overcool Max.” Finally, you can choose the number of degrees you will allow your air conditioner to cool past your comfort settings.
3. The locations of your Ecobee sensors might be causing an issue
The Ecobee room sensors can help control humidity in rooms and areas distant from the Ecobee thermostat. However, location matters when it comes to choosing a location for these sensors.
If you choose a location that is too close to a heat source, like a furnace, air vent, or oven, the sensors will give you false readings. Choosing a location that naturally will have a higher humidity level than other areas of your house, like the bathroom, will also give you false humidity readings.
Another way the location of the room sensors can affect how your Ecobee thermostat works is if you put them in a room or area that rarely gets used. Since the Ecobee is a smart product, it uses its sensors to decide whether people are in the house. If you put the sensor in a hallway that no one uses or a room that is not occupied by people, the Ecobee thermostat will assume no one is home and change the comfort settings to their “Away” presets. This will, in turn, affect the temperature and humidity in your home.
Fix: Change the location of your sensors
If you think the location of your sensors is the reason why you are getting false readings, you can easily verify it by looking at the thermostat. It will either say “Smart Home” or “Smart Away.” If it says, “Smart Away,” despite the home being occupied, you probably need to move the sensors to a higher-traffic area.
The manufacturer instructions included with your device also give you directions on what to avoid when choosing a location for the sensors. Here is how you can download documents included with your ecobee device
4. The sensors are showing N/A on the main screen
The Ecobee room and smart sensors measure the humidity in your home and work with your Ecobee thermostat to adjust it. Therefore, if one of your sensors is not working properly, it can cause issues with the effectiveness of your thermostat.
If you think your Ecobee sensor is not working like it should, check its connection status on the “Sensors” tab on the Main Menu screen of the sensor. There are several reasons why your sensor will display “N/A” on its main screen. The most common reasons are that the sensor has a low battery, or it is out of range from the Ecobee thermostat.
Fix: Replace the battery or move your sensor
If your Ecobee sensor is displaying “N/A” in the “Sensors” tab, you might need to change the battery. Ecobee sensors take one CR2477 3V battery. You will need something flat and pointed, like a knife or a flathead screwdriver, to help you pry off the back of the sensor and the battery itself.
If you replace the battery quickly, it should still be connected to the thermostat. If the sensor is not connecting after replacing the battery, move it closer to the thermostat and allow it to connect before moving it back to where it resides in your home.
Here are the specific batteries I use for my Ecobee (view on Amazon)
Another reason your Ecobee will display “N/A” is because the sensor is located too far away from the Ecobee thermostat. If the sensors are placed more than 60 feet away from the thermostat, they will not be able to connect with it.
5. Your Ecobee needs to be recalibrated
The best way to see if your Ecobee sensors are delivering accurate humidity readings to your thermostat is to use a hygrometer to take a reading of the room that the sensor is in.
You can get a hygrometer on Amazon.
Fix: Recalibrate your sensor using a hygrometer
To recalibrate your sensor, follow these steps:
Step One: Put the Ecobee sensor in the room you want to measure.
Step Two: Use the hygrometer to detect the humidity of the room.
Step Three: Use the Ecobee mobile app to select the “Sensors” tab.
Step Four: Click on the sensor you want to calibrate and then select the “Menu” tab.
Step Five: Click on “System Cool.”
Step Six: Enable the “Dehumidify Using AC” feature.
Step Seven: Enter the number seen on the hygrometer.
6. You may have an issue with your central air conditioning unit
There may be an issue with your central air conditioning unit that needs to be addressed. Two simple things to check on your air conditioning unit before calling a professional are the air filter and the outer grate of your central air conditioning unit.
Dirty air filters can overload your AC unit and make it hard to cool your house effectively.
Natural debris, such as cotton or seeds from trees, can gather inside your unit grate and cause it to not work efficiently.
Fix: Replace dirty air filters and wash out the outer grate
Step One: If you haven’t changed your air filter in over three months, it’s probably time to replace it.
Step Two: Unscrew the outer grate of your outdoor AC unit and wash it out with a hose.
If you have investigated the common causes mentioned in this article and are still experiencing high humidity readings on your Ecobee thermostat, you may need to contact the Ecobee support team.