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Some Honeywell Thermostat models come with a smart feature called  “Adaptive Intelligent Recovery”. When enabled, the thermostat prematurely turns your heating or cooling system on ahead of its scheduled time. During this time you will see the word “Recovery” on the display panel.

Thermostats are programmed to achieve a desired temperature by controlling the connected HVAC system. It can take time from triggering the HVAC system to heat or cool, for the ambient room temperature to hit what has been set on the thermostat.

The Honeywell Thermostat recovery mode allows the HVAC system to start heating/cooling before the scheduled time to achieve the planned ambient temperature when needed.

What is the Honeywell Thermostat Recovery Mode?

When your thermostat says it is operating in recovery mode, it means the thermostat is working to achieve an upcoming temperature, set in the schedule.

The thermostat turns on the HVAC system before time to achieve the required room temperature on schedule. This is needed as there is typically a delay in obtaining the desired temperature, as it takes time for the warm or cool air to work its way through your home. 

Without it, your thermostat would disappoint by only starting heating or cooling at the selected time and then taking an hour or two to achieve your desired temperature!

For example, you want your room temperature to be 72° at 7 am. So, your thermostat will start heating your room around 6 am which gives the system a full hour to bring the room up to 72°. 

Similarly, in Summer, when you have set your thermostat to a lower temperature for the time you return from work, it starts cooling your room before time.

Honeywell Thermostat Hold and Permanent Hold Features

Benefits of Recovery Mode

There are numerous benefits of the Honeywell thermostat recovery mode.

Designed to save energy

For two-stage heating or cooling systems, the recovery mode on programmable thermostats is designed to be energy efficient. 

Instead of quickly generating and blasting warm or cool air throughout your home, the system gradually brings up or down the temperature. This consumes less energy and ultimately saves money.

Comfort and Convenience

Using the Honeywell Thermostat recovery mode will provide you comfort by attaining the desired temperatures when you need it. 

Depending on inside and outside conditions, the time it takes to warm up or cool down your home can vary throughout the year. The recovery mode can adjust the time it takes to pre-warm or pre-cool, based on these factors.

Outside of the recovery mode, you can program your thermostat easily so that it works when you need it and remains off when you are out.

Less Load on the HVAC System

The Honeywell recovery mode or “Adaptive Intelligent Recovery” system places less load on an HVAC system by not requiring sudden calls for large intense amounts of warm or cool air. This is particularly important for two-stage heating or cooling systems. 

Regular sudden temperature change requests put a heavy load on an HVAC system and can result in premature components failure.

How to Override or Disable Recovery Mode?

While recovery mode is convenient and energy-efficient, sometimes you may want to disable it. 

I’ve personally disabled it on my thermostat, as our heating system is quite noisy and the impact of recovery mode was prematurely waking us up in the mornings!

While the process to override the Honeywell thermostat recovery mode is quite simple, it varies slightly based on the specific model. Below is a general step by step guide for disabling the recovery mode through settings.

If this walkthrough does not work for your specific model, then you can search for the instruction manual here to find the specific steps.

Note: If after disabling the Honeywell Thermostat recovery mode, you still see “Recovery” on your display, you may need to reset your thermostat. Instructions on how to do this are here.

  1. Select the “Settings” option from the display screen.
  2. Navigate to the “Preferences” option and select it.
  3. A menu appears. Select the “ Smart Response Technology” option from the menu.
  4. Now select the “Off” button to turn off the recovery mode.
  5. Touch the “Previous Menu” option to go back.
  6. Now, select the “Home” option on the screen.
  7. This way, you get back to the home screen.
  8. You can see that the recovery mode is turned off, and the thermostat is strictly following the schedule.


We hope that this detailed discussion on the Honeywell thermostats “Recovery Mode” answers your questions. In case you need any help, you can ask in the comment section below.


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  • Christopher
    Posted March 10, 2022 at 5:51 am

    Feature Request: Add a “recovery mode” option when changing the temperature via the mobile app.

    There are times where our family leaves the house for several days to visit with friends and family. We often turn down (or up) the thermostat in order to conserve energy. If it is winter we set the thermostat to 55. If it is summer we set the thermostat to 85.

    When we are on our return trip to home, it would be great if we could activate the smart recovery system and gracefully warm up our home without using auxiliary heat (resistive coils). I know in advance that we are headed home on Sunday, and I can adjust the thermostat from 55 up to 72 on Sunday morning. However, if I do so then the auxiliary heat kicks in.

    I can slowly increase the temperature in our house one degree at a time but that involves the compressor kicking on and off (which is an expensive operation from an electrical load scenario). As a human, I am doing the work a robot can do for me, which is always an opportunity for automation and technical advancement.

    It would be great if the Honeywell product line could allow me to perform an ad-hoc “smart recovery” when I return from being away from my home. I want to slowly warm up my house in an energy efficient manner from 55 degrees to 72 degrees without the use of resistive coils.

  • Davea0511
    Posted November 24, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    On my Honeywell T4 thermostat you turn of recovery mode (adaptive intelligent recovery) by going into the installer setup (ISU) by hitting the middle bottom button and plus button for 3 seconds, then hit select until you get to 425, then down arrow to change the setting to 0. Keep clicking select after that until you get to “done” and hit select.

    • Liz
      Posted January 21, 2022 at 3:45 am

      Thank you davea0511! You’re a lifesaver! Couldn’t find it anywhere not even the manual

    • CD
      Posted February 3, 2022 at 6:18 pm

      THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It worked!!!!

  • Dave
    Posted December 26, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    My Honeywell thermostat is using adaptive intelligent recovery to operate a two stage geothermal heat pump with electric resistance auxiliary heat. Is there a way to program the stat to prevent it from using the electric resistance heat during the recovery?

    • David H
      Posted November 19, 2021 at 5:16 pm

      I also need the answer to this question since I have a single stage heat pump and don’t want the resistance heating coming on at all.

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