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Different Types of Thermostats

Posted in General on June 6, 2018

A thermostat is essential for any home with an HVAC system. With it, you can set your heating or air conditioning on or off, and can control the temperature. Thermostats can be a great help for lowering your power bill and make it easy to adjust the temperature inside your home.

How Thermostats Work

In terms of operation, there are two types of thermostats: line-voltage and low-voltage.

Line-Voltage Thermostats

Line-voltage thermostats are used in single heating systems, such as radiator systems and baseboards. This type of connection flows through the thermostat and into the heater. The trouble with this kind of thermostat is that they will sometimes shut off before the entire room is brought to the set temperature.

Low-Voltage Thermostats

These thermostats are more efficient for controlling air flow. Because of this, low-voltage thermostats are used in central HVAC systems that use electricity, gas, and oil as well as water heating systems. Low-voltage thermostats allow you to accurately control the air current and make it easier to use programmable controls. Low-voltage thermostats operate on 24V to 50V, whereas line-voltage thermostats operate on 240V.

Types of Wall-Control Devices

After you know what type of thermostat you need, you can then decide on what kind of wall device you want.

Programmable Thermostats

modern thermostatProgrammable thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature according to preset times. Having this capability makes it easier to limit energy usage since your home won’t need to be at your preferred temperature when you’re not there.

There are many different models of programmable thermostats. Basic models let you program daytime and nighttime temperature settings, while more complicated ones can be programmed for certain days of the week and the exact time of day.

Mechanical Thermostats

thermostat on a wall

Mechanical thermostats are the cheapest and easiest to install, but they also come with some tradeoffs. Their biggest issue stems from the fact that they either use vapor-filled bellows or bi-metallic strips to respond to variations in temperature.

Those that use bi-metallic strips are considered to be especially unreliable because of their slow response to the rise and fall of temperature. This means that there could be a significant difference between the temperature the thermostat is set at and the actual temperature inside the house.

Electronic Thermostats

These thermostats use electronics to detect temperatures, making them much more responsive than mechanical ones. Electronic thermostats also come in either line-voltage or low-voltage. You should also be able to find ones with programmable and automatic setback features.

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