We’ve all used thermostats before, but only when something goes wrong do most of us stop to consider how they actually work. Whether you’re dealing with a current problem or simply curious about these useful devices, you’ll learn the basics about thermostats by reading below.
The Meaning of “Thermostat”
“Thermo” means heat, and “stat” means to stay the same. Therefore, “thermostat” means to keep the temperature the same. When you set your thermostat to 70 degrees in the winter, for example, the heat will turn on whenever you go below that mark. When you hit that mark, the heat will turn off so things don’t get too toasty in your house.
Behind the Scenes
Traditionally, most people have had mechanical thermostats. In one of the most common types of thermostats, a metallic strip is used to control the heat. The strip expands as it’s heated and contracts as it’s cooled. This movement allows it to close or open the electrical circuit required to turn the heat on or off. (The same scenario, with a slightly reversed process, would happen with a cooling unit.)
There are also thermostats with gas-filled bellows as well as those with wax. In either case, the idea is the same as with the metallic strips. As the inner material heats up or cools down, it undergoes a physical change that lets it flip the switch from on to off, and vice versa.
Most modern thermostats are digital, and there are a growing number of programmable and smart thermostats. These newer thermostats can help you reduce your energy consumption because you’ll only be using your heater or air conditioner when you need it. If you’re interested in putting in a new thermostat, Brisk Air in Coral Springs, FL, can install one for you. If you’re having problems with your current thermostat, we can take a look and fix your issues.