Proper programming of your house's programmable thermostat is the key to efficient heating and cooling. Programmable thermostats change slightly depending on their type, but they all follow similar steps. Before you begin, you should know which type of thermostat you have. They come in three types that let you program your heating and cooling for individual days of the week and weekend. These types also have four programmable times of day: "Wake," "Day," "Evening" and "Sleep."
Set the Time and Temperature for a Typical Week
Remove or unhook any covers or flaps that hide the buttons of the thermostat. This will show the main screen, day of the week, time, current and/or goal temperatures, as well as the keys to edit and save your personal settings.
Press the "Edit" or "Set" button to change the first time period, labeled "Awake." This is the time at which you wake up. Using the arrow keys, you can change the time to earlier or later. When you have set the correct time, press the "Done" key. Depending on the model of thermostat, this could also be labeled as "Next," "Save" or "Run."
Edit the "Awake" period. Use the up and down arrow keys to set the temperature for cool and high. Once you have finished setting the temperature, press the "Done" key.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all four time periods of the day. When you have finished each day and temperature, press the "Done" key to return to the main menu.
Set the thermostat to either "Cool" or "High." The main menu or the side of the thermostat has a button with these labels. Set your thermostat to either one depending on the season and/or the temperature settings that you have just programmed.
Set the Time and Temperature for a Vacation
Unhook or remove any covers over the thermostat to make sure you can see the main screen and all buttons.
Press the "Vacation" or "Hold Temp" button. This will allow you to edit the time period and temperature at which you would like to keep your house.
Adjust the amount of time that you would like to hold your house at one temperature using the up and down arrow keys. When you have set your desired time, press the "Done" key. If the time option is not available, then skip to the next step.
Use the arrow keys to adjust the temperature at which you would like to keep your house. Press the "Done" key. This will return you to the main menu.