How it Works
Your home thermostat is
simply a temperature sensitive switch. It displays the current temperature and
your target temperature. The thermostat is connected to your heating and
cooling systems, automatically turning those systems on and off to reach a
target temperature. Thermostats controlling gas
and oil heating systems run on low voltage and are generally located in a
central area on the same floor where the temperature is being controlled.
Thermostats controlling electric heat - commonly known as line voltage thermostats - are often located in each room, on the
opposite wall from where the electric heating element is located.
What Can Go Wrong?
Thermostats are simple
devices that rarely fail. When there appears to be a problem with the thermostat, it usually turns out to be a problem with
the heating or cooling system. However, a faulty thermostat
installation can leave your home heating
and cooling systems unable to start. Dirt can also affect a thermostat’s
calibration and interfere with operation, resulting in excessive heating or
cooling, along with wasted energy and money.
A home thermostat doesn’t
consume much energy on its own, but it does control the most significant
energy-consuming equipment in your home. Energy
efficient thermostat settings can save huge amounts of energy on your
heating and cooling. Electronic programmable
thermostats enable varying temperatures to be set for different times of
day and for specific days of the week. For every degree reduced in heating (or
increased in cooling) over an eight-hour duration, energy consumption and cost
is reduced by about one percent.