Can Ecobee Control the Heat Pump?

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Written By Dinu Sri

Dr H. T. D. S. Madusanka is an electronic expert with 10 years of experience, involved in the research and development of SMART HOME systems.

Does ecobee work with a heat pump- absolutely yes, depending on the version of the ecobee kit you got, you can configure the heat pump into the ecobee home kit.  

Ecobee smart thermostat, commonly referred to as ecobee, is an automated device from Ecobee Company, used to adjust room temperatures appropriately.

In contrast, a heat pump is a device that adjusts room temperatures by transferring heat energy from a source to a thermal reservoir.

How do these two devices connect?

For an ecobee to control the heat pump, you need to configure them first. No pressure in the configuration!

Below are the details.

Note; the ecobee kit need to be preinstalled; if not, check for the details on how to install ecobee

Step 1: start the ecobee

Start the ecobee and select the RH only setting.

After clicking next, it will display G Y1 W1 and O/B icons. Click to continue.

Step 2: select the equipment’s

Now it is time to select the equipment you have installed. Among them is the heat pump. Hence click yes and proceed.

After, you will be prompted to set the temperature.

Step 4: select the stage of the heat pump

The main common types of heat pump configurations are one heat stage and two heat stage heat pumps.

Select appropriately depending on the heat pump type. You can refer to the heat pump manual for more guidance.

Step 4: select the heat pump type

 Majorly, a heat pump can be an air-to-air or geothermal heat pump. The most recommendable setting, if you are using a single stage heat pump, is air-to-air.

Step 5: specify the reverse valve energizing type

O/B reversing valve has either on cool or on heat energizing.

This is it-

When using Ruud Equipment only, specify on heat.

On the other hand, you can select cool for all other equipment.

Step 6: equipment configuration

After specifying the energizing type of the valve, you can select the heat pump’s equipment configuration: 1 stage heat pump, 1 stage auxiliary heating or fan.

Step 7: heat source and fan setting

The typical heat source for most homeowners is a furnace. However, if you are using a boiler, you can choose it too.

Step 8: fan setting

In this step, you need to specify the cooling mechanism. That is the tool to control the fan. It can either be the thermostat or the HVAC equipment.

At this point, the ecobee has successfully been configured to control the heat pump. 

Stages of heat pump compatible with Ecobee

A heat pump can have one or two-level heating and cooling mechanisms. What is the difference between the two?

 A single-stage heat pump, the most common heat pump, has only one level furnace, hence a single heat and cold output.

Similarly, the two-stage heat pump has more than one heat and cold output. Consequently, it can cool and heat at various levels. 

Most people prefer the two-stage heat pump due to its high efficiency as a result of the constant air circulation. To top it off, it is ideal when working with a limited budget.

Let’s now answer the common million-dollar question, “does ecobee work with a two-stage heat pump?”


An ecobee can support both a one-stage and two-stage heat pump. That is possible due to the power extender kit that is incorporated in the ecobee system. 

Even better, the only minimal change will occur in the installation process. Rather than selecting a one-stage heat pump, you will choose the two-stage heat pump.

Ecobee heat pump wiring

Wiring the heat pump and the ecobee is quite technical. And to be frank, tons of expertise is needed. Hey! Don’t freak out! What would be the purpose of this piece if not to help you out.

The first step to having successful wiring is to understand different wire terminals’ purposes in both ends. Let’s get into that.

Wire labelDescription
CC wire, which is the abbreviation for the common wire, is the primary wire that enables the ecobee thermostat to operate. Though, this common wire can be abbreviated as X or B wire.
RSome HVAC systems have only R wire that represents the RC and Rh wire. The R wire is inserted in the RC terminal of the ecobee.
RhRh wire is used as the power wire for both cooling. When using a dual transformer, it has both the Rc and Rh for cooling and heating, respectively.
RcStill, if there is no RH wire, the Rc wire is used for both power wirings. That is cooling and heating.
W/ W1/ and W2Typically, the W/W1 wire controls the heating system. Though, some heat pump systems might have W2 wire controls, which speeds up the heating. The W2 wire connects with the ecobee W1 terminal
G or G1The heat pump system has either G or G1 wire, which controls the fan.
Ecobee heat pump wiring

Best ecobee settings for heat pump

Do you need the output of the ecobee controls on the heat pump to be of higher efficiency? Below are some of the ecobee recommendable settings that you can use;

  • Auto heat/cool- the auto mode setting engages both the heating and cooling preferences when necessary. This setting is recommendable when living in areas where the environmental temperature fluctuations are quite significant
  • Heat/cold minimum delta- setting the minimum delta value ensures that you cannot adjust the temperature range beyond the set value while in auto mode
  • Heat dissipation time- this value is set to auto by default. It refers to the period the fan will continue running after the heat is turned off
  • Cold dissipation time- still, it is auto by default. It refers to the amount of time the fan will be running after the cooling is turned off.
  • Thermal protect- refers to the minimum temperature reading difference among the sensors.
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