Your home’s White-Rodgers thermostat needs to be programmed from scratch, or you want to make changes to already existing settings. Now you wonder whether you can do the programming all by yourself or do you need an HVAC technician to come to your home to do the programming. 

You don’t need a technician to program your White-Rodgers thermostat. You can do it yourself by following a few easy steps. Whether it is the first programming of the thermostat or only changes in some settings you want to make, you will be able to do it yourself.   

In this article, we’ll show you step by step how to program your White-Rodgers programmable thermostat. We will teach you how to program a thermostat from scratch, and also how to change an already set thermostat’s programming when needed. We will also show you what to do if your thermostat only needs a reset. 

Steps to program your White-Rodgers thermostat

1. Start the programming procedure

If your White-Rodgers thermostat is a touchscreen model, press “SYSTEM” to get to the mode you want to program. To start the programming procedure if your thermostat doesn’t have a touchscreen, press the “PRGM” button on the thermostat.

To do the actual programming and adjusting of the parameters, you use the ”Up” and “Down” buttons. 

2. Set the current time and day

As the first step for any programming, you have to ensure that the current time and date are correct. If they are not correct, you have to set the time and day before you go any further with the programming process. 

To do this, just follow these six steps:

  1. Press the “Set Time” button.
  2. Now select the proper hour by using the “Up” and “Down” arrows.
  3. After you’ve selected and entered the correct hour, immediately press the “Set Time” button again to set the hour.
  4. When the hour has been set the system is ready to accept the selection of the correct minute.  To select the correct minute, use the arrow keys and press “Set Time” again when you’ve done. 
  5. Repeat this procedure to set the month, then the day, and then the year.
  6. To end the time and date setup, press “Run program.” This confirms the time setup.

3. Set the “Heat” and “Cool” programs on your White-Rodgers thermostat

When you are satisfied that the time and date are correctly set, you have to set the parameters for your heating and cooling programs. 

Set the “Heat” program

To set the dates, times, and functions of the heating program, you have to go to the “Heat” section or mode and make the settings there. 

Touchscreen thermostat

If you have a touchscreen thermostat, ensure that the thermostat is on. If not, press “System” to turn it on. Then choose the “Heat” mode. In this mode, press “Menu” and then “Set Schedule.” You now have access to the heating scheduling menu. 

The White-Rodgers thermostats’ schedules always start on Monday and allow you to set different temperatures for up to four time periods during one day. Use the arrows and set the starting time and temperature for the first period on a Monday. Press “Set Schedule” to proceed to the next period on Monday. 

When the Monday’s scheduling has been done, press “Advance Day” to program the next day. To program Tuesday’s heat program you just follow the same steps as what you’ve followed when you’ve programmed Monday. 

Keep on repeating the procedure until you’ve programmed all the days of the week. If you want to keep the schedule the same for more than one day, or even for every day of the week, you use the “Copy” function. You can copy the schedule to every day of the week or only one single day of the week.

To conclude the settings for “Heat,” press “Run Schedule.” 

Thermostats without a touchscreen

If you have to program a White-Rodgers thermostat without a touchscreen, you have to start the programming procedure by toggling the switch on the right of the thermostat to set the system to “Heat.” To enter the program menu, press the “PRGM” button. 

As with the touchscreen thermostats, the schedule starts on Monday and allows you to schedule different temperatures for four time periods. You select the desired temperature with the “Up and “Down” arrows and you press the “Time” button to set the time to which you want that temperature keyed.

When you’re ready to proceed to the next day, press the “PRGM” button. Then set it up as desired. When you’re done and your schedule is complete, press the “Run” button

Set the “cool” program 

In principle, you follow the same steps to set the “Cool” program as what you’ve done setting the “Heat” program. Just choose “Cool” instead of “Heat” when you have to indicate which mode you want to program.  

4. Check your programming

When you’ve completed all the settings you can check whether the thermostat has been programmed correctly. You can do the checking as follows: 

  • Move the “SYSTEM” switch to “HEAT.”
  • Press “PRGM” and cycle through the programmed periods. At this stage, you can make any changes to the programming if you want to. 
  • Press “RUN.”
  • Move the “SYSTEM” switch to “COOL.”
  • Press “PRGM” and look at the programmed periods. At this stage you can, as with the “heat” program, make changes to the programming if you want to. 
  • Press “RUN.” 
White Rodgers Thermostat 1F78 Programing
Program White Rogers 1F80-361 Thermostat

How to change a set program

As temperatures are more and more changing “unexpectedly” due to climate change, you will most probably want to change your pre-set and programmed schedules more often than in the past.  Fortunately, to change an already set program on a White-Rodgers programmable thermostat is quite easy. 

To start the changing process, open either the “Heat” or “Cool” mode – depending on what mode you need to change. Then press “PRGM” to cycle through the programs and get to the program you want to change. Just change the times and/or temperatures to what you want them to be and press “Run.”

How to deactivate and resume a program

You can also deactivate a currently running program on your White-Rodgers thermostat. When you stop the programmed schedule the thermostat holds the temperature at the point it was and lets you adjust it if you want to.  

To stop a program just press “Hold.” If you want to change the temperature level, you can use the arrow keys to adjust the temperature to the level you want. The thermostat will then stay at that specific temperature. 

To resume your previous program again, press “Run.” 

How to reset a White Rodgers thermostat

When your thermostat is not working properly after a power outage or any other technical or electrical issue you normally don’t want to re-program the thermostat – you just want to get it working again and keep to the set programs. 

You can reset the White-Rodgers thermostat by pressing down the “Up” or “Down” arrow and the “Time” button simultaneously and keep them pressed for 15 seconds.

If the thermostat is still not working correctly after a reset, you’ll have to program all the modes from start again. When it still gives problems after you’ve re-programmed it, it is recommended that you contact a professional electrician or HVAC technician to come and have a look. You can also get your thermostat tested. You’ll probably have to replace your thermostat.   

Why it is good to program your thermostat

Now that you know how to program your thermostat, you may still wonder why you should make the effort to program your thermostat. 

A well-programmed thermostat gives you the peace of mind that your home will always be at a comfortable temperature. And you will not be using energy unnecessarily by overheating or overcooling your home. Thus, your utility bill can be much lower when your thermostat is programmed correctly.

It is recommended that you plan the programming of your thermostat very well. Take aspects like the time of the day, and the number of people in the house into consideration. The better you plan and the more aspects you take into account, the better you will be able to set the right temperatures for the different times of the day and the various months. 

If you’ve moved into a new home or installed a new HVAC system, it is a good idea to make notes of your initial program schedules, and for the next 12 months note down all the changes you are making to the programming. This will help you to do your programming more “scientifically” for the next 12 months.


To ensure that your home is always at a comfortable temperature it is essential to have a well-programmed thermostat. A correctly set thermostat will also help to keep your utility bill low. Fortunately, it is easy to program a White-Rodgers thermostat. If you follow the steps and tips we’ve provided in this article you can do the programming yourself without paying for an HVAC technician to come to your home.


Comments are closed.