How to Increase the Differential on Your Thermostat

The temperature differential is the setting at which the thermostat turns on when the temperature of the room falls below the set temperature. The default setting for the differential is typically set at 1 degree, but it can be increased if the furnace is coming on too often. You can increase the temperature differential using either a programmable or a nonprogrammable thermostat. This requires changing settings on the thermostat.

Robert Shaw Programmable Thermostat

  1. Press the "Set" and "Prog/Man" buttons and release both at the same time. The thermostat will then go into programming mode.

  2. Press the "Set" button to display the option to set the time of day. Press the "Up" and "Down" arrow buttons to change the time.

  3. Press the "Set" button. Press the "Up" and "Down" arrow buttons, if you need to change the day of the week.

  4. Press the "Set" button. Press the "Up" button to increase the temperature differential.

  5. Press the "Set" button to save the changes.

Friedrich Nonprogrammable Thermostat

  1. Take the cover off the thermostat.

  2. Press the "Reset" button to enter the Temperature Differential mode.

  3. Press the "Up" arrow button to increase the temperature differential.


  • The temperature differential is displayed for only 10 seconds, after pressing the reset button, on the Friedrich nonprogrammable thermostat.

About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.