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What happens if you change the thermostat by HomeKit while the system is "OFF"?

So early this morning I woke up freezing and realized that my iOS app (in public beta) had turned off my furnace before bedtime. (There was a good reason, not important.) I opened the app and it automatically set the proper temperature. Via HomeKit my app received the feedback from my Ecobee 3 that the setpoint change had been made successfully. Back to sleep?

Nope. After several minutes, nothing. I checked and discovered that the system was still set to "off". Once my app made another attempt to adjust both the mode and the setpoint, the feedback was again received and this time the furnace immediately kicked in.

So it appears that the Ecobee reported a successful change of the setpoint temperature even while the system was off, and yet failed to turn the system on. Does this make sense?

It's my bad to not also catch and report confirmation that the system was set to the right mode. I'll be fixing that ASAP.

I just wanted to confirm that my observation makes sense.

Is this all written up somewhere yet?
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