How to Set Auto heat or cool on an Ecobee Thermostat

One of the best ways to keep your home comfortable and save energy costs at the same time is to use an Ecobee thermostat to automatically heat or cool your home depending on the weather outside. 

This allows you to save money by heating and cooling your home only when it’s necessary instead of having your HVAC system running constantly. 

A thermostat is great for maintaining a comfortable home temperature in milder climates or in between heating and cooling seasons. On your ecobee thermostat, it will display blue for the cooling set point and orange for the heating set point.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to set auto heat or cool on an Ecobee thermostat, including how to create schedules, how to create rules, and how to change settings from the app or with Alexa voice commands. 

How to Set Auto heat/cool on ecobee

The Auto heat/cool setting on your thermostat allows you to set your system to automatically switch between a temperature range. When you select Auto mode, the thermostat will engage your heating and cooling depending on what is needed. 

This is enabled by default. If the temperature fluctuates regularly or when you are in the middle of a season change, you may need to adjust both heating and cooling at different times.

To enable Auto heat/cool mode, go to Main Menu > Settings > Installation Settings > Thresholds > Auto Heat/Cool and select Enable. 

Set BOTH a heating temperature and a cooling temperature, which must be different by 5 degrees F. The thermostat will automatically switch between heating and cooling within that range.

For example, let’s say you set a 70 degree heat and 75 degree cool threshold. During the winter, the heat will only be switched on if the outside temperature is less than 70 degrees. 

In the summertime, the AC will run at above 75 degrees. That way, it will do no heating and no cooling, thus saving energy costs.

The ideal room temperature range is around 5 degrees to avoid that frequent temperature switch; for this reason, an installer adjustment can modify the range for you.

Since they are set to three levels of temperature range, I can set 71 degrees of heat and 73 degrees of cool in Texas where winter nights are cold and winter afternoons can be too warm. 

My house is large enough and takes several hours to traverse a third-degree range, so I avoid the rapid switches between heating and cooling. It is important to always keep the range to at least 3 degrees or higher.

Ecobee threshold settings

In the Ecobee threshold settings, you can configure your HVAC equipment to be more efficient and prevent damage by controlling how the ecobee engages it.

Adjustments can only be made on the ecobee itself, not through the Web Portal or the mobile app.

Before changing any settings, we recommend contacting ecobee Support to discuss how to manage your HVAC equipment.

The THRESHOLDS menu can be accessed by following these steps:


Your ecobee thermostat will by default have the Configure Staging option set to Automatically.

When set to Auto, the thermostat employs a simplified HVAC staging method, relying on the data collected by a host of smart algorithms to decide when to turn on heating or cooling (to maximize efficiency. 

It uses the home’s ‘swing temperature’ as a means of predicting which parts of the house require additional heating or cooling) and when to stage up to a higher level of heat or cooling to keep up with higher heat or cooling requirements.  

After which it continues to cycle air through the ducts, just in case there is a need for additional cooling or heating later on.

If you want to be able to set specific thresholds for the ecobee (if for example you live in a hot, humid climate), you can select Manual from the menu. This will add the option to the Thresholds menu which lets you customize the heating staging to your specifications.

By using automated staging the thermostat simplifies heating and cooling needs by determining when it’s time to call for it (utilizing a dynamic swing temperature or temperature differential), when to stage up to a higher stage, and how long to run the fan after heating or cooling.


When finding the best ecobee settings to keep your home temperature ideal, it is important to determine the ideal range for auto mode. Ideally, the difference should be 5 F degrees and above. 

Setting your ecobee thermostat to auto heat or cool is a great way to save energy and money. By doing this, you are not only helping the environment, but also your wallet. With all of these tips in mind, you’re sure to feel comfortable with yourself as a smart consumer. 

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