Curious as to what is the best non-programmable thermostat?
In this review, I will go over...
- My #1 top pick for the best manual thermostat
- Tips on picking the best thermostat
- Auto switching (heating to cooling)
- And adjustable swing settings
As a licensed home inspector, I know that a lot of homeowners don't want to have to fuss with thermostats like dealing with custom programs, WiFi connections, and other unnecessary adjustments.
If you have poor vision, elderly, or just don't want to try to 'remember' how to use a thermostat, then these non-programmable thermostats are for you!
A non-programmable thermostat is a basic thermostat that doesn't have any temperature programs — they are the simplest thermostats on the market.
Check out the list below of our top picks for the best non-programmable thermostats! Keep reading to see our buyer's guide and more details.
|View on Amazon|
Honeywell FocusPro 5000
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
|View on Amazon|
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Our overall top pick for the best non-programmable thermostat goes to the Emerson 1F83C because it has a large backlit display so you can easily change the temperature in dim light and read all the settings.
The Emerson is sleek and compact and also has some advanced features such as temperature limits and a keypad lock, great for tenant properties. It includes a one temperature swing control for more HVAC control.
This is our favorite pick for the best non-smart thermostat on the market!
What Are The Best Non-Programmable Thermostats?
Only have a minute? Check out our top 5 non-programmable thermostats below! Keep reading to see our full reviews of each pick.
- Emerson 1F83C (Best Overall Non-Programmable Thermostat)
- Honeywell FocusPro 5000 (Best Soft-Button Simple Thermostat)
- Suuwer SW701 (Best 'Easy Thermostat' For Seniors)
- Honeywell RTH5160D (Best 'Easy To Install' Non-WiFi Thermostat)
- Emerson NP110 (Best Single-Stage Basic Thermostat)
- Heagstat H701 (Best Easy To Use Programmable Thermostat)
If your home has dual fuel (gas & heat pump) then the setup is standard and sensors aren't needed.
The Emerson 1F83C also has some advanced features such as temperature limits and a keypad lock — great for tenant occupied properties or pesky roommates. It also has a one degree temperature swing feature for even more home comfort.
(Best Soft-Button Simple Thermostat)
This Honeywell non-programmable thermostat is a quality device to control your HVAC without hassle.
The FocusPro is compact and sleek, just the right size for a basic digital thermostat.
It will automatically switch from cooling to heat and save you the trouble. It can be dual powered as well, powered through the batteries and hardwired into your home's electrical system.
The control buttons are easy to use and soft to the touch.
(Best 'Easy Thermostat' For Seniors)
The Suuwer SW701 is a simple and high quality non-programmable thermostat.
It has a large 4.5 square inch display that includes a blue backlight.
The Suuwer has large buttons for easy temperature control without the fuss of programming.
It is a single stage thermostat with precise temperature control of +/- one degree. The SW701 has swing temperature control as well.
(Best 'Easy To Install' Non-WiFi Thermostat)
The Honeywell RTH5160D is a straight forward and quality non-programmable thermostat for a no-fuss HVAC control.
This thermostat has a very simple display and basic buttons for easy control, and the display is backlit.
One nice feature is that this Honeywell unit gives you change reminders for low batteries so you aren't shocked with the HVAC goes out.
It is also easier to install than other thermostats because it uses push wiring connectors — a screwdriver isn't needed. The Honeywell also features an auto feature so it will automatically switch from cooling to heat or vice versa.
(Best Single-Stage Basic Thermostat)
The Emerson NP110 is a simple non-programmable thermostat for your home's HVAC system.
It has an easily readable backlit display so you can change temperature in the middle of the night.
This single stage thermostat has precise temperature control at +/- one degree for maximum comfort.
The Emerson includes a user friendly instruction manual for setup and operation. It does not work with multi-stage HVAC systems.
(Best Easy To Use Programmable Thermostat)
If you want a super simple thermostat with a large display, the Heagstat H701 is just for you.
It comes with a wide backlighted display with simple up and down arrows as well as two sliders.
The swing temperature is totally adjustable and it is easy to install and easy to use.
This non-WiFi thermostat is great for seniors or those who don't want the hassle of remembering how to use 'smart' thermostats.
How To Pick The Best Manual Thermostat?
- Large & Backlighted Display
- Easy To Install With Push Connectors
- Temperature Limits For More Control
- Auto Transfer From Heating To Cooling
- Swing Setting Adjustments
- Verify Whether Single Stage Or Multi-Stage
#1. Large & Backlighted Display
One of the most important considerations for many people is the display. Homeowners want a display that is easy to read and uncomplicated to use.
Let's face it: some displays are just hard to read.
Especially in dim or no light situations, you don't want to be straining your eyes for such a simple task. And you will likely want a display that is backlighted, so you can read the thermostat without turning on the light.
Screen size is also an issue.
Some thermostats will state their screen size in square inches as well as giving the dimensions, but others don't give screen size information — you may have to get that information elsewhere. You may want to literally take a ruler, and draw a square or rectangle so you can actually see how big the display is because sometimes the product picture is misleading.
In addition to the backlight, readability, and size — most people will want easy to use controls. You don't want to fumble with it in the late evening and while half asleep. Some thermostats have touchscreens, similar to your phone or tablet, but others come with large and soft buttons that are super simple.
#2. Easy To Install With Push Connectors
Let's face it: some devices are just easier to install and thermostats are no different.
Some non-programmable thermostats come with push wire connectors so that you don't even need a screwdriver to connect the wires.
Other thermostats may have a reputation for being difficult to either mount on the wall, or connect to your HVAC system.
#3. Temperature Limits For More Control
Even though most non-programmable thermostats are simple digital thermostats — some also come with advanced features.
One of these things is temperature limits.
This feature allows you to set a maximum upper and lower temperature limit so that your kids or other occupants can't change the temperature to crazy levels when you are gone. Some thermostats also have keypad locks so nobody can change anything.
#4. Auto Transfer From Heating To Cooling
Not all thermostats have the ability to transfer over immediately from cooling to heat or vice versa.
This feature may be important to you if you don't want the hassle of constantly going to your thermostat when the temperature is overlapping between warm and cool.
#5. Swing Setting Adjustments
Most but not all non-programmable thermostats have an adjustable swing setting.
The swing is the temperature difference between your set or target temperature and the actual temperature that the HVAC turns on — and it can have a very large impact on your comfort and how much your HVAC needs to cycle on.
One study estimates that having 3F degree swing setting can reduce your AC load in the range of 13% to 50%.
If you set your AC to a set or target temperature of 74F, your AC will actually turn on when your indoor temperature hits 75F and then turn off with it lowers to 73F — a one degree difference.
Some thermostats come with adjustable swing settings so you can tweak this from 0.1 degrees and all the way up to a 3-degree difference. The average swing setting is 1-degree.
The higher the swing, the more efficient your HVAC system will run, but it is less comfortable. The lower the swing will give you a more comfortable home, but it is less efficient because it will turn on & off more often.
If this adjustability is important to you, make sure your manual thermostat has an adjustable swing setting.
Read Also: How To Clean A Honeywell Humidifier?
#6. Verify Whether Single Stage Or Multi-Stage
Another important consideration for non-programmable thermostats is single stage versus multi-stage thermostats — the thermostat should be compatible with system capabilities.
Single stage thermostats are the standard thermostats for homes with two HVAC systems — one heating and one cooling.
Multi-stage thermostats are for homes with more than the standard two systems, such as if you have a gas furnace, an A/C, and some solar panels with baseboard heating — equivalent to three HVAC systems (not standard two). Multi-stage thermostats are also compatible with multi-stage furnaces if there is a low and high setting.
An easy way to determine this is to look at your existing thermostat. Is there an auxiliary heat mode or is there a low heat setting? If you have more than the standard single stage HVAC system, then you will need to opt for a multi-stage thermostat.