Repair guides and support for home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system repair.

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Control cycling of home furnace thermostat for max. energy efficiency

I have a home that is rarely used in the winter (northern Minn.). I want to turn down the heat to minimum via the honeywell T-87 (2-wire) thermostat and have it cycle as infrequently as possible. Two part question:

How does the anticipator work?

Since the thermostat is mercury controlled, could I "unbalance" the unit to go even further down in temperature?

Thank you Billy

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The dwell time on a Honeywell thermostat sets the times your home is occupied or unoccupied to heat and cool it more efficiently. Honeywell thermostats allow you to set a time for waking up, leaving, returning and sleeping, and adjusts the temperature accordingly.


  1. Find the "Schedule" button on your Honeywell thermostat. It may be abbreviated "Sched." Push the button, then push the "Edit" button.
  2. Press the "Wake" button to program the temperature you desire when you rise in the morning.
  3. Set the "Leave" time to reflect the time you leave the house every day.
  4. Use the "Return" time to tell your thermostat what you want the temperature to be when you return home every day.
  5. Adjust the "Sleep" time to conclude your day.
  6. Use the middle up and down arrows to adjust the time. Your Honeywell thermostat allows you to set the time of your choice in 15-minute intervals.
  7. Select "Done" when you're finished. The changes are saved automatically.

A setting below 55 risks freezing the pipes. Keep the doors under your sinks open. If I were going to be gone say for a month, I'd shut the water main off and open all the outlets and drain as much water out as I could.

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I would also turn off the gas main if you have one. Good answer +

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rj - what if the heater is gas operated? Why would you shut off the gas?

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I admit if the heater is gas operated securing the gas would not be a good idea. I was thinking in terms of a gas leak and fire while the dwelling was unoccupied.

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