How to Program a Honeywell Programmable Thermostat

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Your Honeywell programmable thermostat serves as the heart of your HVAC system. When you install a programmable thermostat, you can set your preferred temperature settings for various periods of time. Honeywell offers a variety of programmable thermostats, each with slight variations for how you program those periods. Learning the specifics of your model makes it easy to stay comfortable around the clock without the need for manual adjustments.


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Types of Honeywell Programmable Thermostats

Honeywell programmable thermostats come in a range of types, from basic models with weekly settings to advanced smart thermostats with multiple control options. All Honeywell thermostats typically have up to four periods per day for which you can choose specific temperatures. In the summer, you might choose a lower temperature overnight for cool sleeping conditions, a warmer temperature during the day when everyone is gone, and a moderate temperature in the evening. With four periods, you can set the temperatures based on your activities and preferences.


Some models let you set different periods for different days. For example, a 5-2 thermostat lets you set one program for the five workweek days and a different program for the two weekend days. A 5-1-1 thermostat offers a separate program for Saturday and Sunday. If you have a widely varying schedule, a seven-day thermostat lets you pick a different schedule for each day of the week.


Programming a Weekly Thermostat

If the type of thermostat you choose is a weekly model, you'll set up to four periods per day that will repeat all seven days of the week. An example is the Honeywell RTH221B1039 thermostat, which has simple buttons and a small display screen. The four periods you can set are wake, leave, return, and sleep.


To set the four periods:

  1. Set the system to either Heat or Cool based on the season.

  2. Hit the Set button to the left of the screen until it displays Set Schedule.

  3. Set the start time of the Wake period with the up and down buttons. Press Set.

  4. Choose the temperature setting using the up and down buttons. Press Set.

  5. Repeat for the remaining periods, which are Leave, Return, and Sleep in that order.

  6. Override your settings temporarily by using the up and down buttons to adjust the temperature. Your newly selected temperature will remain in effect until the next scheduled period.


Honeywell thermostats with a 5-2 or 5-1-1 configuration use a similar method, but you'll choose the times for the weekend days as well. The buttons might be slightly different. Look for a Set button on the thermostat or a Settings option on a touchscreen thermostat and follow the on-screen prompts. You can find most Honeywell manuals online if you don't have yours to find specific programming steps for your model.


Programming a Wi-Fi Thermostat

Honeywell Home offers many smart thermostats, like the Honeywell RTH9585WF1004, that connect to an app. With these models, you can control the programming through a touchscreen on the thermostat or through the app. On the thermostat, choose Settings at the top and choose Create/Edit Schedule to access the options. When you click View/Edit, you can see the current schedule. There's a Guide Me option that helps you create a schedule based on your answers to a few questions or you can choose "I'll do it myself" to manually enter your preferred schedule.


If you choose to do it manually:

  1. On the screen, choose the days you want to program. You can do one day at a time or choose multiple days if you want the same schedule for more than one day.

  2. Press the Wake option to set the time to start the Wake mode. Choose your time and use the up and down arrows to set the temperature.

  3. Repeat the process with other time periods you want to program. It also has Leave, Return, and Sleep options.

  4. Touch the Fan Settings option if you want to adjust how the fan runs during any period.

  5. Choose additional days and repeat the process if you want to create different schedules for certain days.

  6. Use the Delete Period option if you want to remove any programmed periods.

  7. Press Done when you've programmed all periods. This saves your changes and lets you exit that menu.

To override the program on your smart thermostat temporarily, simply change the temperature on the screen using the up and down arrows. Then, choose the Hold Until time, which will appear on the screen, by touching the up and down arrows. If you want to continue that temperature indefinitely, select Permanent, and it will hold that temperature until you change it or hit Cancel Hold to resume the regular programming.