From the manual: 7) With the Auto Recovery feature enabled, you do not need to set your comfort program times early. Auto Recovery will determine how early to turn your system on, so that the room is comfortable at the program time. see http://www.hunterfan.com/uploadedFiles/Support/Downloads/44550.pdf
The thermostat has settings to do either. For instance, it will either start at 8:00 am if that is the set time, or if you set it to Recovery mode, it will make sure the heat is up to temperature for 8:00 am.
It starts at the programmed time if the temperature is lower than the setting. Example, if it is winter and I have the heat set to be 70 and the temp at night which between midnight and 6:30am I have set to 65, if the temp is let than the 70 at 6:30 then the heat will kick on. We don't get up until about 7am so I set the morning start a half hour early.
This was a great buy for about thirty dollars. My typical winter G&E bill last year averaged $300 a month. This year I have been between $200-210. It more than paid for itself in the month of December alone.