During cooling season, I program the heat pump to work more in the early morning in order to make more efficient use of lower outside temps. However, when I increase the setpoint later in the morning, the HP doesn't run, and hot air collects on the 2nd story. Thought being able to run the fan intermittently during the "coasting" period might help reduce the stratification somewhat.
The 6 programming periods available with the newer RobertShaw models is asloappealing. During the winter, I program the Honeywell to be 58 overnite, 67 at 5:30, then 69 for the rest of the day while my wife and kids are home. I don't mind using the oil to warm up in the morning - I consider the HP the primary heat source in spring/fall, but only a supplement to the furnace duirng the winter - but don't want the furnace to fire mid-day if the HP can maintain the temps. Not sure how early the if the Honeywell will start a recovery, but it appears to be longer than two hours, e.g. it will begin at 2:30 for a 6:00 setpoint when outisde temps drop into the 20s. Wouldn't ever want the furnace to come on during the night, as the warm air tends to wake me.
My ideal thermostat - especially for cooling - would be able to maintain a delta below outside air temp, instead of absolute temps. I've noticed that an inside temp of 76 is quitre comfortable when it is 90+ outside, but seems warm hot when it's only 80. This leads me to increase the daytime setpoint as the spring progresses into summer, then back as fall arrives.