Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature Troubleshooting

A Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature can occur for many reasons.   For example, poor thermostat placement, to a broken heating / cooling system.  Here, we discuss some of the reasons why this happens.  We then offer troubleshooting tips and fixes to solve these issues.  First, we look at what problems happen in the thermostat itself.  Then we go over the furnace / HVAC issues that can also cause too little heating and cooling.

Possible Reasons for the Honeywell Thermostat not Reaching Set Temperature

Thermostat Frozen

Problem

Now and then with smart thermostats, a snap of static electricity near the thermostat, can freeze the touch screen.  Also, a power surge in the home’s electrical system can do the same.  Then too, the data shown onscreen no longer updates.  Further, the heating or cooling may stay on or off. No matter how far from set temperature the room temperature is, the HVAC system may run and run and run.   Or, it may not come on at all.

Solutions

When Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature happens, reboot the thermostat.  Turn off power to the thermostat for ten to twenty seconds. Then turn it back on.  This is easy with many smart models because they can detach from furnace power. Simply unsnap them from their wall plates.  Then, wait a few seconds,  and finally re-attach them to reboot.  Or, if your thermostat does not come off of the wall easily, cycle it at the breaker box.  You can cycle main power to the whole furnace system by switching off and on the breakers that feed it. Doing this power cycles the thermostat as well, and thus, reboots it.

Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature. Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF wireless thermostat, displaying its -Home- screen. We set the temperature set to 69 degrees, and placed the thermostat into temporary hold mode until 10:00 PM.

Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature. The RTH9580WF wireless thermostat, displaying its -Home- screen. We set the temperature to 69 degrees, and placed this thermostat into temporary hold mode until 10:00 PM.

Thermostat Lost Power

Problem

The screen on smart thermostats looks blank or dark.  No readings or status messages show up.  Further, the furnace and / or condenser does not run.  Plus, you hear no humming at the furnace.  There may be no indication of power loss on today’s non programmable models, except that their backlights aren’t working.  But the effect is still the same.  That is, that the HVAC system does not function at all, no matter what the thermostat setting.

Fixes

Honeywell thermostats get power from the furnace / HVAC system usually. So, check that all parts of that system have power.  Often there’s one circuit breaker that feeds the furnace itself, and another that delivers power to the outside unit.  So check that none of these has tripped off.

Check that the heat works.  The heating and cooling subsystems often get power from separate circuit breakers. So, the thermostat could get its power from either one, although usually not both.  A power loss in either system could cause Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature.  By checking that the heat works, you’ve ruled out this cause of thermostat power loss.

Also, check that the cooling works as you did with the heat above.  Your thermostat may get power from the cooling subsystem (Rc wire).  A downed cooling system may therefore, also take the thermostat offline.  If so, check for and if necessary, restore power to the cooling system to restore the thermostat to working order.

Thermostat Not Calibrated Correctly Might Cause Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature

Problem

The current temperature reading on the thermostat may not show actual room temperature.  Perhaps the thermostat reads low for example. It may read 72 degrees. But the actual room temperature is 76 degrees. You have problems in this case.  Indeed, you may see the set temperature never hit, as the room is much warmer than what the thermostat says. Plus, your furnace may have hit capacity.  So, it’s not able to raise the room temperature higher.

The reverse could happen with the cooling system.  In that case, the thermostat reads high.  That is, it reads 76 degrees when the actual room temperature is 72 degrees. Here again, the cooling system may be pumping out all the cool air it can.  So, it cannot lower room temperature further.  Thus, the thermostat never reaches its set temperature.

Fixes

Calibrate your thermostat on those models that allow this.  To do that, buy an accurate tube-style thermometer. Then, place it near the thermostat.  Next, wait for a half hour for the readings to stabilize.  Then, note the difference in reading between the thermometer and the thermostat reading.  In the 72 degrees Vs. 76 degrees example above, the difference is four degrees.  If the thermostat reads four degrees warmer than the thermometer, then adjust thermostat calibration four degrees in the negative.  If the thermostat reads four degrees cooler, then adjust the reading four degrees in the positive.

Thermostat Incorrectly Wired

Problem

If the problem occurred when you installed a new thermostat, you may have wrongly wired the thermostat.  Perhaps you’ve reversed the W and Y wires.  This would run the cooling stage though the thermostat is actually calling for heat.  Other symptoms may arise too.  This depends on which wires and how many of them connect to the wrong thermostat terminals.

Fixes

Check for correct wiring at both ends of the thermostat cable.  At the thermostat, attach all wires to the right terminals in the wall plate.  Then, do the same at the furnace end.  Get help from a professional HVAC repairman if you feel uncomfortable ringing out these wires.

Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature: Picture of the screen of the Honeywell RTH8580WF thermostat, in System mode.

Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature: Screen display of the Honeywell RTH8580WF thermostat, in System mode.

Thermostat Not Level May Cause Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature

Problem

Poor leveling on an older thermostat can affect how well it responds to room temperature changes.  Those models relied on a bimetal spring to sense temperature.  They attached a mercury switch to the end of that spring.  Then, as room temperature rose and fell, the spring changed size.  This tipped the mercury switch on or off to bring room temperature near the thermostat set temperature.

Proper leveling was essential for this tipping to happen correctly.  Indeed, if tilted too far off of level, the furnace might run all the time, or never at all.  The mercury inside does not make or break the contacts  as it should.

Fixes

Check that your thermostat is level, and level it if not.  If it’s not too far out of level, try loosening the screws that hold it against the wall. Then, tilt it toward level.  Finally, while holding the thermostat in that position, tighten the screws back up again.

But if the thermostat is too far from level, you may have to drill new mounting holes.  In that case, remove the screws and wires if necessary. Then reposition the thermostat over the new holes.  Then, drive the screws into those new holes.  We suggest putting wall anchors into these holes for a stronger hold.

If you still have a mercury thermostat, it may be time to replace it with a current model.  Today’s thermostats have more accurate sensors and more features.  Plus, these newer ones work well, no matter how far off of level you install them.

Honeywell Thermostat Not Showing Correct Temperature

Problem

Your living quarters may reach the set temperature.  But, the thermostat does not show that temperature.  This can happen you place the thermostat on an outside wall. Too much outside temperature affects the thermostat reading inside.  Or, the thermostat  might be on a wall shared with the furnace / utility room.  In this case, the furnace heat can also affect the thermostat negatively.  Or, the sun is shining on it, making it read too high.  For these situations, someone installed your thermostat in a poor location.

Fixes

Always place thermostats on an inside wall.  This wall should be far from heating / cooling sources.  So, move your thermostat to a better spot.  If you must have it on an outside wall, be sure to well insulate that wall.

Broken Thermostat Wiring can Cause Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature

Problem

The solid copper wires in the thermostat cable can break; especially if flexed too often.  Or, perhaps the installer stapled the cable with too much pressure or stapler misalignment, and punctured the cable.

This problem would normally show up during testing of a new thermostat.  But it often does not surface for years.  Plus, settling of wall studs can flex these wires that installers often fasten to them.  After decades, this flexing can erode wire coverings, causing faulty HVAC operation.

Fixes

Replace the cable between the thermostat and HVAC unit.  Avoid tightly stapling the wire, and don’t fasten it more than necessary.  Lay it loosely.

Thermostat Temperature Offset Too Large

Problem

Let’s say that you set the thermostat to 75 degrees. Plus, the furnace can heat the house to a max of 78 when running full tilt.  Further, let’s say that you set your temperature offset to -5 degrees.  In that case, your thermostat may try to heat your house to 80 degrees.  Not the displayed set temperature of 75 degrees.  So, an extreme temperature offset can look like a Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature issue.  But it isn’t here.

Fixes

Adjust the offset temperature.  This helps assure that your set temperature does not exceed your HVAC capacity.

Thermostat Temperature Set Too High or Too Low

Problem

You can set thermostats way higher or lower than the HVAC system can deliver.  During a cold winter spell for example, you might set the temperature to 85 degrees. But your furnace can deliver only enough BTUs to heat to 78 degrees.  Or, during a summer heatwave, you might set the temperature to 72 degrees.  Yet your cooling system may be too small to cool your living space down to 72. Perhaps it can only hit 75 degrees.

Fixes

Try setting the thermostat to a realistic temperature.  A realistic temperature is one that your HVAC system can deliver.  If that setting is not comfortable, then your HVAC may be to blame.  So, check it for proper function as discussed elsewhere in this post. You could also add more heating / cooling units around the house.  Or, upgrade the central HVAC unit to a larger size.

Furnace / HVAC Issues can Cause Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature

Clogged Furnace Filters and Fan Blades

Problem

Dirty air filters can restrict airflow though the HVAC unit and throughout the home. Clogged filters reduce how much the system can heat and cool.  How so?  Dirty fan blades move air less well.  Plus, they put out more noise, and also, again, reduce your furnace’s heating and cooling ability.

Fixes

Replace furnace filters monthly. Plus, hire a pro HVAC technician yearly, to check your system.  He should clean out dust buildup inside.  Also, have him remove blockages in the air handler, inspect the control units for damage, and so on.

Dirty Heat Pump Coils can Trigger Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature

Problem

Dirty heat pump coils, again, slow airflow through the condenser outside, and the evaporator unit inside.  Thus, dirt can interfere with the system’s  efficiency.  Dirty coils lowers the BTUs per hour that the heat pump can pump. That could mean that the system cannot keep your quarters as warm / cool as your thermostat setting calls for.

Fixes

These coils have closely spaced metal fins.    Have a professional clean these with steam.  Or, try vacuuming them with a household sweeper that has a  hose and brush.  Do not bend the fins though, as they’re delicate. Bending them too much can forever restrict airflow and thus, reduce your system’s heating / cooling abilities.

Furnace Ran Out of Fuel

Problem

If the thermostat calls for heat, yet you’re getting none, you might be out of fuel.

Fixes

So, check your oil and propane gas tanks.  Are they empty?  Or, perhaps the gas company cut your service.  In that case, pay your bill and get it back on, ASAP.

Have tanks filled.  Check that your gas is on.  Try another gas appliance in your home, such as a water heater or stove.  If it’s working, then you have gas.

Evaporator Coils Frosted Up

Problem

On humid days, when an HVAC runs most, frost buildup can occur.  This happens either in the furnace on warm days, or in the outside unit on cold days.  So, why should you care?  Because frost lowers airflow through the coil fins. Thus, this ice interferes with the necessary heat exchanging that allows proper heating and cooling.  No matter where the frosting happens, the effect is the same; reduced heating and cooling function.  Frost-up thus, can cause the Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature problem.  Frosting makes your HVAC unit work harder to provide the same amount of heating / cooling.  This means higher energy bills for less comfort.

Fixes

Turn your HVAC system off for a half hour to an hour.  This allows the frost to melt away, restoring proper operation to the system.

Extreme Temps Outside Often Cause Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature

Problem

It’s common for HVAC’s to fail to keep up when the weather outside is extreme.  They might run constantly but still not keep up.  Now there may be nothing wrong with the thermostat per se.  And, there might be nothing the matter with the furnace either.  The issue might be that your HVAC system is too small to overcome the entering heat or cold.

Fixes

Close all windows and drapes.

Switch heat pump systems over to emergency heat on those very cold winter days.  This turns on the electric heaters in the air handler. These often produce hotter air output than when just the heat pump runs by itself.

But doing this consumes more electricity.  So, it might rise your heating bills.  But you will likely feel greater comfort too.

If you have a multi stage cooling system, check that both stages are working properly.

If your windows are old or are single-pane, try upgrading to at least double-pane. We prefer triple-pane, as these offer greater insulating.

One Stage Not Working in Multistage Systems

Problem

You may be getting SOME heating or cooling, but not enough to hold room temperature at the set value.

Fixes

If your system fails to reach the set temperature when heating, check the following.  All stages in the heating system should work well.  Stage one comes on first. This happens when room temperature falls below the set point by half a degree or so.  If it does not, figure out why.  Then, the second heating stage, if present, should fire up when room temp falls a few degrees below set temperature.  Again, if it does not, this may be why you are seeing your Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature.

If you see the Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature when cooling, check that your compressors are working.  Check all the stages in the cooling system, as some have more than one.  For multi stage cooling, stage one should come on first. As soon as room temperature rises above the set point by half a degree or so, you should hear it.  If it does not, find out why.  Then, the second stage should kick in when the room temp hits two or three degrees above set temperature.  Again, if it does not, this may be what’s causing your Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature issue.

For heat pump systems, a faulty or badly wired change over valve may also be to blame. In this case, your HVAC system may deliver air conditioning when the thermostat is really calling for heat.

Too Little Insulation or Too Much Outside Air Getting In

Problem

If your house lacks enough insulation, this worsens the Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature issue.  Indeed, much heat or coolness leaves through cracks around windows, walls, and doors.  Thus, the HVAC works harder to bring the house to the set temperature.  Indeed, there may be many BTUs leaking out in this way.  So many, that the HVAC system cannot backfill.  It cannot thus, maintain the set temperature. So, your thermostat never reaches that set temperature.

Fixes

Find the most leaky areas of your home.  Do that by walking around inside the house, feeling for hot or cold spots.  Look for places where cold air comes in.  Then, seal with the right materials.  Do the same on hot days, looking for places where excess warm, humid air comes in.  Be sure that the louvers on any exhaust fans you have, close completely when the fan is off.

Replace faulty windows and doors.  Again, single pane windows are huge energy hogs.  We suggest replacing these with at least double pane models.  Also, don’t forget about the basement.  We’ve found that replacing our old single pane basement windows with glass block units helped a lot.  These new windows took a big load off of our furnace.   Indeed, the set temperature grew much easier to maintain over a wide range of set values. Basement glass block windows, in our case indeed lessened our Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature problem.

Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature: Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF smart thermostat, front view after setup.

Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature: The RTH9580WF smart thermostat, front view after setup.

Improperly Sized or Worn Out HVAC / Furnace System is Another Reason for Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature

Problem

Sometimes, home builders cut corners to save money when figuring HVAC unit size.  They want a cheaper unit, one that might be too small thus, to regulate the temperature well.  So, on very hot or cold days, you might see the Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature problem show up.

Also, over time with heat pumps especially, their compressors lose efficiency.  Why does this happen?  Well, either because their valves are starting to leak. Or it occurs due to refrigerant leaking out through small holes in the piping.

Fixes

Have an HVAC tech check refrigerant pressure in your system. That person should also read the head and tail pressures while the compressor runs.  Find the right values for all of these on a sticker somewhere inside the HVAC unit.  Have him add refrigerant if these read below optimal values.

But if the head / tail pressure difference is too low, then you have major problems.  This means that the change over valve is leaky, or compressor valves are inefficient.  The changeover valve might be cheap enough to replace. So too would the compressor.  This repair may be worth it as long as the system is less than fifteen to twenty years old.  If it is older than that though, then you should replace the whole system.

Conclusion

As should be clear, the Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature problem has many causes.  Plus, most of them lie beyond the thermostat itself.  A poorly insulated home, a furnace that’s too small, leaky windows and doors also contribute.  All of these make the HVAC system work too heard.  In many homes there’s little heat or coolness to spare due to poor sizing of these units.  Sadly, the fix for this often costs a lot.  Why?  Because it involves replacing windows and doors, or adding more insulation. Or you may need to upgrade your furnace or add more heating and air conditioning units.

But we hope that now, you know what might cause the Honeywell thermostat not reaching set temperature issue. Knowing the causes often helps in choosing the right fixes.  Even though the best fix may cost the most, at least now, you have the information in front of you.  Good luck, and choose the fixes wisely.

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References

Revision History

  • 2019-05-06: Deleted ad code and tuned the targeting for ‘Honeywell Thermostat Not Reaching Set Temperature’. Added tags and fixed some typos.
  • 2018-04-01: Revised the post content.
  • 2017-03-13: Originally published.




Set Temperature Range on Honeywell Thermostat

In this post, we show how to set temperature range Honeywell Thermostat RTH9580WF.  Now why would you wish to change the upper and lower temp limits on a thermostat (t-stat)?  Perhaps you are a landloard wishing to control heating and fuel costs in your tenants’ dwelling. Or, you need to keep your kids from setting the temperature too high or low to preserve your own comfort. Or, you want to save on HVAC wear and tear by disallowing ranges of temperature settings that would make it work too hard.  For any of these and perhaps many other reasons we haven’t thought of, you’d like to restrict how high and low the heating and cooling temperatures can be set.

Setting the temperature range limits on a Honeywell thermostat really a simple process once you know where to find these adjustments. Our Honeywell RTH9580WF t-stat that we’re demonstrating here, does indeed have high and low temperature range limit settings.  This is the t-stat we use in our home. So, we’ll discuss next, how to set this temperature range for better energy control and HVAC system savings from this t-stat.

Set Temperature Range Honeywell Thermostat, How To

Many Honeywell t-stats support limiting how low or high their heating and cooling temperatures may be set.  Here, we show how to set the temperature range limit it on our 9000 series RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat.  You start at the   Home   screen, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Home- screen, with the -Menu-button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

The  RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Home- screen, with the -Menu-button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat .

1. Tap the  MENU  Button on the Thermostat Home Screen

This brings up the RTH9580WF main menu.

We also scrolled down using the arrow buttons, to bring the  Preferences  item into view as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Main Menu- screen, with the -Preferences- button highlighted.

Our RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Main Menu- screen, with the -Preferences- button highlighted.

2. Tap the   Preferences   Button

Find this button pointed at by the pink arrow in the last picture.

The  Preferences  screen then shows, as seen next.  We then scrolled down using the arrow buttons, to bring the  Advanced Preferences  item into view.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Preferences- screen, with the -Advanced Preferences- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

The RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Preferences- screen, with the -Advanced Preferences- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

3. Tap the  Advanced Preferences  Button

This shows the first in a series of advanced settings screens then; the  Scheduling Options screen, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Advanced Preferences, Scheduling Options- screen. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

Our RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Advanced Preferences, Scheduling Options- screen. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

4. Repeatedly Press Green  Next   Button Until you Reach the  Temperature Limits   Settings Screen

See this screen shown next,

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen.

Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen.

5. Set the   Minimum Cool Limit   Temperature Range Value

On the left half of the  Temperature Limits   page is the   Minimum Cool Limit   adjustment control, as circled in green in the next picture.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Minimum Cool Limit- adjustment highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Minimum Cool Limit- adjustment highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

Tap the UP and DOWN arrows until the minimum cool limit temperature you want appears.   We set ours to 50 degrees. See this in the last picture.  This means that our cooling system will never try to cool our home to any temp cooler than 50 degrees F.

6. Set the   Maximum Heat Limit   Temperature Range Value

On the right half of the  Temperature Limits   page is the   Maximum Heat Limit   adjustment control.  We circled this in green in the next picture.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Maximum Heat Limit- adjustment highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Maximum Heat Limit- adjustment highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

Tap the UP and DOWN arrows until the maximum heat temperature you want shows up in the control.  We set ours to 90 degrees here.  This means that our heating system will never warm our home to any temp hotter than 90 degrees.

7. Press the Red   Done   Button

Once you have set both the max heat and min cool temp values, tap the   Done   button, as pointed at by the green arrow in the next picture.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the red -Done- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the red -Done- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

The RTH9580WF then returns you to the  Preferences   screen, as shown next.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Preferences- page, with the -Previous Menu- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Preferences- page, with the -Previous Menu- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

8. Press the   Previous Menu   Button

Find the   Previous Menu   button in the last picture, pointed at by the green  arrow.

This takes you back to the   Main Menu,  as shown next.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Main Menu- page, with the -Home- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

Our RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Main Menu- page, with the -Home- button highlighted. Set temperature range on Honeywell thermostat.

9. Press the   Home   Button

This takes you back to the t-stat-s home screen.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, displaying its -Home- screen, after new temperature range limits were applied.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, displaying its -Home- screen, after new temperature range limits were applied.

11. Done!

We have now successfully set Honeywell thermostat temperature range limits on our RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat.  Hope this piece helps you to do the same on your thermostat.

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Revision History

  • 2019-05-04: Tuned the targeting and added tags.
  • 2019-01-13: First published.




Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Limits on RTH9580WF

Honeywell WiFi thermostats offer several ways (at least) to cut your heating and cooling costs.  On the RTH9580WF, you can set these temp limits.  This allows you to control just how warm and how cool the t-stat will make the home.  In this post, we detail how to set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF WiFi t-stat.

How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Limits on RTH9580WF WiFi Thermostat

1. Bring Up T-Stat   Home   Screen

These t-stats usually display the   Home   screen by default.  But your screen may be blank, depending on how you’ve set up the backlight timeout settings.  In that case, just touch any spot on the touchscreen to turn on the display.

You should then see something like the screen we’ve shown next.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Home- screen, with the -Menu-button highlighted.

The RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Home- screen, with the -Menu-button highlighted.

2. Tap the   Menu   Button

Find the   Menu   button near the top right corner of the screen, as pointed at by the  green  arrow in the last picture.

Tapping the   Menu  button brings up the t-stat’s main menu, as shown next.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. Picture of the RTH9580WF smart thermostat, displaying the Menu Screen with Preferences button circled.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. The RTH9580WF smart thermostat, displaying the -Menu- screen with the -Preferences- button circled.

3. Tap the   Preferences   Button

Note that we’ve scrolled down the main menu to find the   Preferences   option, as circled.

Tapping   Preferences  displays the   Preferences   page, as shown next.

Again, we’ve scrolled down the   Preferences   page to bring the   Advances Preferences   button into view.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Preferences- screen, with the -Advanced Preferences- button highlighted.

The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Preferences- screen, with the -Advanced Preferences- button highlighted.

4. Tap the   Advanced Preferences   Button

The   Advanced Preferences   menu item can be found roughly two thirds the way down the   Preferences   menu, as shown in the last picture.

This brings up the first screen in the   Advanced Preferences   list of screens.  In our t-stat, we got the   Scheduling Options   page, as shown next.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Advanced Preferences, Scheduling Options- screen.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Advanced Preferences, Scheduling Options- screen.

5. Repeatedly Press the Green  Next   Button Until the   Temperature Limits   Screen Appears

On ours, we had to press this button four times to reach the Temp Limits page.  See the picture of this page in the next step.

6. Set the   Minimum Cool Limit   Value

On the left half of the  Temperature Limits   page is the   Minimum Cool Limit   adjustment control, as circled in green in the next picture.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Minimum Cool Limit- adjustment highlighted.

The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Minimum Cool Limit- adjustment highlighted.

Tap the UP and DOWN arrows until the minimum cool limit temperature you want appears.   We set ours to 50 degrees. See this in the last picture.  This means that our heating system will never try to cool our home to any temp colder than 50 degrees.

7. Set the   Maximum Heat Limit   Value

On the right half of the  Temperature Limits   page is the   Maximum Heat Limit   adjustment control, as circled in green in the next picture.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Maximum Heat Limit- adjustment highlighted.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the -Maximum Heat Limit- adjustment highlighted.

Tap the UP and DOWN arrows until the maximum heat temperature you want appears.  We set ours to 90 degrees here.  This means that our heating system will never warm our home to any temp hotter than 90 degrees.

8. Press the Red   Done   Button

Once you have set both the max heat and min cool temp values, tap the   Done   button, as pointed at by the green arrow in the next picture.

Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the red -Done- button highlighted.

The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, displaying its -Temperature Limits- screen, with the red -Done- button highlighted.

The RTH9580WF then returns you to the  Preferences   screen, as shown next.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Preferences- page, with the -Previous Menu- button highlighted.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Preferences- page, with the -Previous Menu- button highlighted.

9. Press the   Previous Menu   Button

Find the   Previous Menu   button in the last picture, pointed at by the green  arrow.

This takes you back to the   Main Menu,  as shown next.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. Picture of the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Main Menu- page, with the -Home- button highlighted.

Set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on RTH9580WF. The RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Main Menu- page, with the -Home- button highlighted.

10. Press the   Home   Button

This takes you back to the t-stat-s home screen.

11. Done!

We have now successfully set Honeywell thermostat temperature limits on our RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat.

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Revision History

  • 2019-04-21: Deleted ad code, updated the targeting, and added tags.
  • 2018-05-28: First published.




How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset

In this piece, we discuss how to set Honeywell thermostat temperature offset. We also talk about the problems that may result due to wrong offset temp setting.  First we define what the indoor temperature offset adjustment on a thermostat is.  Then we show how to set it on the Honeywell RTH9580WF smart thermostat.  Finally, we look at how setting the offset too far off can run your furnace / cooling too much, or too little.

Note that  temperature offset  is NOT the same as temperature swing or temperature differential settings.  Very different concepts. So be careful not to confuse them.

Thermostat Temperature Offset Definition

A Honeywell thermostat’s indoor temperature display offset setting allows you to adjust the temperature reading that the thermostat sees.  When the offset temperature is set to zero degrees, the t-stat reads very close to actual room temperature.  With a -2 degree offset setting, this makes the t-stat read, and behave, as though the temperature was two degrees cooler.  With a +1 offset, the thermostat thinks that the room is one degree warmer than with a zero temperature offset.

So why do many thermostats offer this offset adjustment?  The indoor display offset setting allows you to match the temperature the thermostat reads to what you think the room actually feels like.  You can also use it to calibrate your thermostat if you suspect that it reads the wrong value for the actual room temperature.  See our   How to Calibrate Honeywell Thermostat Temperature RTH9580WF   post for more details on that aspect of how to use this setting.

How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset Adjustment

Here’s how to adjust the temperature offset value on a 9000 series RTH9580WF Wi-Fi Honeywell thermostat.  You start at the   Home   screen, as shown next.  Note that we start off with a current temperature reading of 76 degrees. See this in the next picture.  Note that the heat is currently NOT running.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF smart thermostat, displaying its -Home- screen, showing the current indoor temperature to be 76 degrees, circled.

Honeywell RTH9580WF smart thermostat, displaying its -Home- screen, showing the current indoor temperature to be 76 degrees, circled.

1. Tap the  MENU  Button 

This brings up the t-stat’s main menu, as shown next.

We then scroll down using the arrow buttons, to expose the  Preferences  menu item.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Main Menu- screen, with the -Preferences- button highlighted.

Honeywell RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Main Menu- screen, with the -Preferences- button highlighted. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

2. Tap the   Preferences   Button

Find this button pointed at by the pink arrow in the last picture above.

The  Preferences  screen then appears, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing the top of its -Preferences- page, with the scroll buttons circled.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing the top of its -Preferences- page, with the scroll buttons circled. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

We then scroll down using the arrow buttons, circled in green above, to bring the  Advanced Preferences  item into view, as pictured next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Preferences- screen, with the -Advanced Preferences- button highlighted.

Honeywell RTH9580WF t-stat, showing its -Preferences- screen, with the -Advanced Preferences- button highlighted. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

3. Tap the  Advanced Preferences  Button

Entering Advanced Preferences shows the first in a line of advanced adjustment screens.  The first in this list of prompts is the  Scheduling Options screen, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Advanced Preferences, Scheduling Options- screen.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Advanced Preferences, Scheduling Options- screen. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

4. Press the Green  Next   Button Repeatedly, Until you Reach the  Indoor Display Offsets   Page

See this screen shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Indoor Display Offsets- screen, with the -Indoor Temperature Offset- buttons highlighted.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Indoor Display Offsets- screen, with the -Indoor Temperature Offset- buttons highlighted. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

5. Adjust Indoor Temperature Offset

Use the UP and DOWN arrow buttons to set the indoor temp offset.  So we circled these in pink, in the last picture.

For this demonstration, we set our temperature offset to -1 degree.  Thus we tapped the DOWN arrow once to get to the -1 choice, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Indoor Display Offsets- screen with a minus 1 degree temperature offset highlighted.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Indoor Display Offsets- screen with a minus 1 degree temperature offset highlighted. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

6. Press the Red   Done   Button

Your t-stat then asks whether you wish to save your settings changes, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Exit Advanced Preferences- screen, prompting for -Save Changes- confirmation.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Exit Advanced Preferences- screen, prompting for -Save Changes- confirmation. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

7. Press the Green   Yes   Button

Tap the Yes button, as seen in the previous screenshot.

The   Saving Changes   screen then briefly shows, as seen next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Saving Changes- screen.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Saving Changes- screen. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

After the new temperature offset setting saves, the thermostat then returns you to the Preferences page, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Preferences- screen, with the -Previous Menu- button highlighted.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Preferences- screen, with the -Previous Menu- button highlighted. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

8. Tap the  Previous Menu   Button

Then, doing so returns you to the  Main Menu  screen, as shown next.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Main Menu- screen, with the -Home- button highlighted.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, showing its -Main Menu- screen, with the -Home- button highlighted. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

9. Tap the   Home   Button

The Home button returns you to the t-stat’s Home  screen, as shown next.

Note that this screen appears as it did before we changed the temp offset. Mostly that is, except that the current temp reading is now one degree less than it was when we started.  But our place is still the same actual temperature.

Also note that our heat has come on since we made this adjustment.  Why? Because the thermostat now senses that the room is one degree cooler than before. Plus, the temp it reads is now one degree colder than the set temperature, which is 76 degrees.  Thus, the furnace kicks on.

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Home- screen, with the current temperature reading, 75 degrees, circled.

Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat, showing its -Home- screen, with the current temperature reading, 75 degrees, circled. How to Set Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset.

10. Done!

Honeywell Thermostat Temperature Offset Problems

You may experience issues if you set the temperature offset too large.  For instance, if you set it to its minimum value (-3 degrees), this could make your place overly warm.  Up to three degrees warmer than the set temperature.  With this offset, your set temperature might be 76 degrees, as in our demo here.  But your heat won’t shut off until the thermostat reads 79 degrees!  At this temp, your furnace might run way excessively.  Perhaps it might not turn off at all. Not good.

The same can happen in the summertime. Then, your system is likely set to cooling mode.  At this time, you might set the temperature offset to +3 degrees, its maximum offset.  In this case, your set temperature is 76. But the HVAC system keeps running until your indoor temp falls to 73 degrees.  Again, this could mean that your climate control system runs too much and thus, uses way too much energy.  And, you’ll likely feel pretty cold besides.  So take care when setting Honeywell temperature offsets.

To solve this problem, simply decrease the display offset temp. This helps assure that the temp reading on the thermostat reads close to actual room temperature.  Plus, an accurate display reading helps prevent calling for more heat or cold than your HVAC can deliver. We suggest that you avoid setting the temperature offset to more than one degree either way (+ or – offset).  Only use higher offsets in  special circumstances

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Thermostat Reads Higher than Actual Temperature, How to Fix

When a thermostat reads higher than actual temperature, your home can get too cold in the winter.  It can also become  too warm in summer.  Now At least several factors affect the thermostat temperature reading besides actual room temperature.  These include aging components drifting out of tolerance in older thermostats.  Or, an improperly positioned thermostat might read incorrectly. Also, broken electronics inside the thermostat or lopsided thermostat installation (not level), cause faulty readings.  So here, we discuss some of these problems and offer suggestions for fixing them, to address this annoying and potentially costly situation.

Why Thermostat Reads Higher than Actual Temperature and How to Fix

We offer these causes and fixes in  order of severity.  That is, the most involved or costly problems appear near the bottom of this list.  The simpler adjustments and cost-free tweaks appear near the top.

First, Verify that your Thermostat is Indeed Reading Incorrectly

To start, obtain an accurate thermometer.  Then, place it as close to the thermostat as practical.  This assures that it’s reading the same air temperature that the thermostat sees.  We use an inexpensive refrigerator thermometer for this purpose, as shown next.

However, for the absolute BEST results, get a thermometer that reads in the 70-degree range midway up its scale.  Also, be sure it’s big enough for you to easily read.  You want to be far enough away from it so that your warm breath does not impact the temperature readings.

Picture of a Honeywell smart thermostat alongside a reference thermometer. This makes it easy to compare the temperature your thermostat reads with the reading from a known-good thermometer nearby.

A Honeywell smart thermostat alongside a reference thermometer. This makes it easy to compare the temperature your thermostat reads with the reading from a known-good thermometer nearby. Thermostat Reads Higher than Actual Temperature.

Now to the causes and fixes of incorrect thermostat temperature readings.

1. Assure that Thermostat Vents are Not Blocked by Dust, Lint, Curtains, Furniture

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF Internet Thermostat, being snapped onto wall plate.

Honeywell RTH9580WF Internet Thermostat, being snapped onto wall plate. Thermostat Reads Higher than Actual Temperature.

This is of big concern in modern day thermostat models, that generate some heat from the microprocessors, memory, and other computer components inside.  If the vents are blocked by dust, furniture, Etc., the thermostat can grow extra warm inside, where the temperature sensor is found.  Thus, this vent blocking can cause higher-than-normal temperature readings.

The solution is to keep your vents open.  Vacuum the thermostat once per season, or more often if your thermostat is in a dusty, “linty” location.  Or, remove the cover and gently blow out the inside with canned air.  Or, if you don’t have canned air, use a soft, fine bristled brush and GENTLY brush out the dirt.  Note however, that some thermostats have no vents on the sides. For these, take them off the wall, and dust out in back of the unit.

2. Thermostat May Need Calibrated

Picture of the Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, displaying its -Indoor Display Offsets- screen with a minus 1 degree temperature offset highlighted.

Honeywell RTH9580WF thermostat, displaying its -Indoor Display Offsets- screen with a minus 1 degree temperature offset highlighted. Thermostat Reads Higher than Actual Temperature.

See our post  How to Calibrate Honeywell Thermostat Temperature RTH9580WF  for details.  This explains how to assure that your thermostat is adjusted correctly for reading the right room temperature, for a typical digital smart thermostat.  A temperature offset that is too far in the negative can make the thermostat read a few degrees higher than the actual temperature in the room.

Follow the instructions in your thermostat’s manual to adjust its display offset temperature reading.

3. Thermostat Could Need Leveling

Picture of the Honeywell Smart Thermostat RTH9580WF wall plate, mounted, with wires connected.

Honeywell Smart Thermostat RTH9580WF wall plate, mounted, with wires connected. Thermostat Reads Higher than Actual Temperature.

While leveling is not as important with today’s digital thermostats, we suggest  that you ensure that your thermostat is indeed level, especially if yours is reading room temperature incorrectly.  Not only does leveling the thermostat improve its cosmetic appearance.  It also maximizes airflow through the thermostat, helping to ensure accurate temp readings.

If its manual says to level it, then by all means, make sure the thermostat is level (horizontal and plum).  Sometimes you can get away with simply loosening its mounting screws enough to re position the unit. But if that doesn’t give you enough play to properly set it level, then don’t be afraid to take the unit off the wall and make new, more level screw holes for it.

4. Thermostat Temperature Sensor is Broken

All thermostats have some form of sensing device that detects the temperature near to the thermostat.  Now in today’s t-stats, a temperature sensitive resister such as a thermistor or varistor, can start to offer different resistance values for a given temperature.  This confuses the computer inside the thermostat. This misleads it into reading a higher than actual temp.

Older thermostats also have a sensor.  But this is usually a mechanical bi-metal spring attached to a reading gauge needle.  Some of these may offer a calibration adjustment.  But others, especially if they become bent due to tampering, are best just replaced.  Many of these mercury thermostats have two sensors.  One reads the temperature for viewing.  The other tips the mercury switch on and off as the room heats and cools. In these models, a faulty spring in the visual thermometer portion of the unit can cause exaggerating readings.

In any case though, if you have one of these mechanical thermostats, we highly recommend that you buy a newer, all-electronic model.

5. Thermostat is in Drafty, Extra Warm or Cool Location

Keep all heat or cold-producing appliances well away from your thermostat.  That includes microwave ovens, stoves, sunlamps, most fans, hair dryers, radios, — ANYTHING that produces heat!

Furthermore, do not allow sunlight or lamplight to shine directly on your thermostat, as these can make it read higher than actual room temperature. Keep candles and auxiliary heaters away!

Also, do not install a thermostat on any exterior walls or near windows, doors, as the outside climate will impact the accuracy of thermostat temperature readings.  Keep it away from heated pipes and ducts as well.

Hire an HVAC technician to relocate your thermostat to an interior wall that does not get any direct heating or cooling from the furnace / AC system that it controls.  Mount it approximately five feet above the floor

6. Faulty Wiring can Cause Excess Heat in and Around the Thermostat

Picture of the Honeywell Smart Thermostat RTH9580WF wall plate, mounted, but with wires not yet connected.

Honeywell Smart Thermostat RTH9580WF, wall plate mounted, but with wires not yet connected. Thermostat Reads Higher than Actual Temperature.

In rare cases, incorrectly wired thermostat installations have been known to cause higher than expected temperature readings.  This can occur if, for some reason, the wires inside the thermostat housing become warm due to excess current; often caused by a short circuit.

Check that the thermostat is cool to slightly warm to the touch.  It should not be very hot.  If it is, then call a qualified HVAC technician immediately to check the wiring between the HVAC unit and thermostat, for correct hook up.  Excess warmth in or around the thermostat could indicate a fire hazard, which obviously, you should take care as soon as possible.

7. Thermostat May Read Correctly But Furnace Running Too Much, or AC Running Too Little

It could be that though your thermostat appears to read too high a temperature, that it’s actually reading correctly, and your room actually IS warmer than you think.

For this issue, check that your heating is not running excessively.  If so, this could mean that your thermostat is broken in a different way than simply reading the wrong temperature.  Or, if in summer, perhaps your air conditioning is not running enough to cool your place down to the set temperature on the thermostat.  In either case, call in your trusty HVAC repairman to check out the system to see what might be the matter.

Conclusion

If a thermostat reads higher than actual temperature, don’t take it lightly.  Fix it right away.  Why?  Because this issue can seriously impact how comfortable you feel in your home.  How?  It can make you feel extra cold all year round.  And, especially in the summertime, your air conditioning may run excessively, raising your energy bills.  In winter, it can cause your furnace not to run enough, causing excessive coldness in your living quarters.  So do it up right, and make sure all is well with your thermostat.  Check that it’s reading the right temperature at least once per year, keep it clean and level, and free of any blockages around its vents.

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Revision History

  • 2019-04-15: Shortened post URL and tweaked key phrase targeting.
  • 2019-02-05: First published.