Thermostat Modes/Settings Explained
If you’ve just upgraded from a manual thermostat to a programmable or smart thermostat for your home, you might wonder what all the different settings mean. Programming your thermostat can be tricky the first time, and when the seasons change, you might deal with some confusion once again. Here’s what those thermostat settings mean and some tips on making the most of your thermostat’s features.
Automatic or Auto
Automatic means that the thermostat will heat or cool your house. It will heat if the temperature drops below the setting you entered for heating, and it will cool if your home’s temperature rises above the temperature you set for cooling. For example, if you set the heating level to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and your house’s temperature drops to 67 degrees, the auto setting will trigger your heating system to cycle.
The fan-only setting keeps the fan in your air handler on at all times. If you set the fan to auto, it will only turn on when a heating or cooling cycle takes place. Some people like the enhanced airflow provided by this setting.
When your thermostat is in heating mode, it will trigger a heating cycle if the indoor temperature drops below a set point. If your house’s temperature increases, such as on a mild spring day, the heating setting won’t allow your air conditioner to cycle on.
When the thermostat is set to cool, it will trigger a cooling cycle if your home’s temperature increases beyond the set point. However, on a chilly autumn night, the cooling setting will prevent the heating system from cycling, even if your house’s temperature drops below 60 degrees.