July 12, 2021
Digital Thermostat in American Fork, UT

Whether you’re fighting the summer heat and humidity or the winter frost, it’s important to keep your HVAC system performing to address your home’s climate needs. While the typical HVAC system is complex and system maintenance is not a DIY operation, every homeowner should understand the modes and settings of their thermostat. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.


There are five modes that are common on many of today’s smart thermostats:

  • Heat
  • Cool
  • Heat-Cool
  • Off
  • Eco

The heat, cool and off modes are pretty straightforward. The heat setting provides heat when set to heat, and the cooling setting cools down the home when set to cool. Off renders the system inactive in off mode. The heat-cool mode will maintain a certain temperature range, providing both heating and cooling as needed to maintain the temperature within the established range. The eco mode will heat or cool to keep your home within an energy-efficient range.

On/Auto Setting

The on setting on your thermostat causes your system’s fan to run nonstop instead of cycling on and off. Setting your thermostat to on will cause air to circulate throughout your home. It may provide some benefits, including more consistent heating and better indoor air quality.

There are some negatives with using the on setting, though. Continually running your system’s fan will use more energy, leading to higher utility bills. Further, this approach may put undue stress on the fan motor, causing it to fail more quickly. This mode also may lead to excess humidity in the home.

The auto setting gives your fan a break by cycling it off and on with the rest of the system. Using this mode will reduce energy consumption and extend the life of your system.

Programmable Settings

Programmable thermostats are a great way to keep your home comfortable while saving on your energy bills. These thermostats provide you with the ability to customize a programmable schedule for your home’s heating and cooling. Programmable thermostats come in four main types.

A seven-day programmable thermostat provides the most flexibility, allowing a different schedule for each day of the week. Busy people with unpredictable schedules may find this to be a great option to manage heating and cooling bills.

A 5-1-1 programmable thermostat provides one schedule for weekdays and separate schedules for both Saturday and Sunday. This option is a good choice if you have a consistent schedule on the weekdays but unpredictable weekend schedules.

A 5-2 programmable thermostat provides a weekday schedule and a different schedule for Saturday and Sunday. This type of thermostat is a great choice for homeowners who have consistent weekday and weekend schedules.

a one-week programmable thermostat provides the ability to establish one daily schedule for each day of the week. This type of thermostat is a good choice for homeowners who have a consistent schedule that doesn’t change on the weekends.

Prior to purchasing a programmable thermostat, you should check with a pro to make sure you purchase the appropriate thermostat option for your HVAC system. You will also need to establish separate heating and cooling schedules for most thermostat options.

Typically, you will want to set your schedule to adjust for wake times, sleep times, leave times, and return times to maximize energy efficiency. It is important to note that the old myth about systems working harder to condition a room that was warmer or cooler than needed is not true, so setting your system to run less when you are away will actually save you some money.

Smart Thermostats

In addition to the benefits of a schedulable thermostat, new Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostats provide enhanced flexibility and energy efficiency. Many options exist for smart thermostats, and the enhanced benefits include the functionality to adjust the system remotely. Newer systems even use motion detection to adjust the schedule based upon the times you are actually home.

Trusted HVAC Experts

At Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we put our customers first, providing the best service in Utah since 1910. As a premier Lennox dealer, we offer a wide range of services, including heating and cooling sales and repairs, installation and maintenance, plumbing, indoor air quality, and sheet metal services. We couple all of our products and services with affordable pricing and offer financing on approved credit. If you’re in the American Fork area, call us today to learn more!

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