If your HVAC system at home is equipped with a Honeywell programmable or smart thermostat, the temperature in your home is automatically controlled by the schedules you’ve programmed into your thermostat. Generally, everything runs smoothly until you need an “unscheduled” temperature change for a short period. Do you have to change the programmed schedules and then, after a few hours or days reprogram the thermostat again?

Fortunately, you don’t have to reprogram the thermostat. Almost all programmable and smart Honeywell thermostats have a “hold” function with which you can put your scheduled programs on hold for any period of time. Thus, you can manually change the temperature in your home without reprogramming everything. 

In this article, I’ll explain what “permanent hold” is and how and when to use it. I’ll also discuss the difference between the “permanent hold” and “temporary hold” features of your Honeywell thermostat. Some other related matters will also be addressed to make it easier to understand the concept.

Honeywell thermostat Temporary Hold

You’ll understand the concept of “permanent hold” better if you know how your Honeywell thermostat’s “temporary hold” feature functions. So, let’s start by finding out what the temporary hold mode entails. 

What is the temporary hold feature?

The temporary hold feature of your Honeywell thermostat allows you to deviate from your pre-set schedules for a fixed period of time without altering the pre-set schedule. 

In other words, if you engage the temporary hold feature, you don’t erase the existing schedules; you just temporarily override them. 

When to use the temporary hold feature

You activate the temporary hold feature when you want to deviate from the schedule for a short time only. Remember, when you activate the temporary hold mode, you can set only one fixed temperature to be maintained for the period the mode is active – you can’t program a new schedule. 

Most Honeywell thermostats’ temporary hold feature allows you to deviate from the pre-set schedule for a maximum period of 11 hours. 

If you haven’t manually set the deviation to last less than 11 hours the thermostat will automatically return to the original pre-set schedules and temperatures after 11 hours. If no deviation time parameters have been set and the next originally programmed period has to start before the 11-hour “window” has expired, the Honeywell thermostat will automatically revert to the pre-set schedule.

How to activate the temporary hold

To turn on the temporary hold mode, all you have to do is to 

  • Press the “+”/-,” or “up/down” buttons,
  • follow the prompts, and
  • set your required temperature.

If your thermostat has the “11-hour” feature, you’ll be prompted to indicate an “until” time.

How to deactivate temporary hold

When you want to deactivate the temporary hold mode again, press 

  • “Run,”
  • “Cancel,” 
  • “Run Schedule,” 
  • “Use Schedule,” and then 
  • “Remove hold.” 

On some Honeywell thermostats, you’ll find a “Return” button to press to deactivate the temporary hold mode immediately. 

Honeywell Thermostat Permanent hold

Now that you know what the temporary hold mode allows you to do on your Honeywell thermostat, let’s have a look at the permanent hold mode. 

What is “permanent hold” and how does it differ from “temporary hold?”

When you put your Honeywell thermostat into permanent hold mode, the thermostat will allow you to set your required temperature and maintain it for an indefinite period of time. It will hold the temperature until you turn off the permanent hold function. 

Thus, the main difference between temporary and permanent hold is the timeframe. With a temporary hold, the Honeywell thermostat will only maintain an unscheduled temperature until the “normal” schedule has to start, or for a maximum of 11 hours. 

When your thermostat is in the permanent hold mode, it will hold the required temperature indefinitely until you manually deactivate the mode.

Honeywell Pro Series Thermostat Temporary & Permanent Hold

When to use your Honeywell thermostat’s permanent hold feature

Because your thermostat will maintain the new temperature indefinitely until you deactivate it again, it makes it easy for you to use the feature in a variety of circumstances. Without tampering with existing programmed schedules you can, for instance, keep your thermostat idle when you’re going on a holiday.

Or if you encounter an unexpected heatwave you can change the temperature to a comfortable fixed temperature for a few days until it subsides. When you deactivate the mode a few days later, it will automatically revert to the programmed schedules and you don’t have to waste time to re-program your Honeywell thermostat. 

How to activate the permanent hold

Because there are different Honeywell thermostat models there are different ways to activate the permanent hold mode. I’ll describe the most common ways of activating the mode, but you will find your model’s specific instructions in your Honeywell manual.

If you have one of the earlier Honeywell models, you press the hold button and set the temperature you require. With newer models with touchscreens or the ones which can be remotely configured via an app, you press the “+/-“ or the “up/down” buttons to change the temperature. When you’ve done that, just tap or press “hold” until the message “Permanent Hold” appears.

Activating permanent hold

How to deactivate permanent hold

Generally, the procedure to turn off the permanent hold mode on your Honeywell thermostat is the same as turning off the temporary hold. In other words, you have to press “Run,” “Cancel,” “Run Schedule,” “Use Schedule,” and then “Remove hold.” 

Some models, however, require that you first unlock the thermostat. You’ll have to look in your thermostat’s manual to find the specific unlocking procedure for your Honeywell thermostat model.

With some models such as the T4 Pro, you must press the “+/-“ or “up/down” buttons and then press “Cancel” or “Remove hold.” You can deactivate the Lyric T5 Wi-Fi by pressing “Permanent Hold” and then “Run Schedule.” 


The hold feature of the Honeywell programmable thermostats is very convenient. It makes it easy to change temperatures for a specific period of time without messing around with your pre-set programmed schedules. It is easy to activate and deactivate and with the permanent hold mode, you can set a temperature to be maintained until you deactivate the feature. 


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