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How Does a Thermostat Work?

February 1, 2020

We take a lot of things for granted in our modern lives, and having a comfortable home is at the top of the list. Since the weather changes throughout the year, being able to heat or cool your home is key in terms of keeping everyone happy. Thermostats are used to maintain set temperatures. Read on to learn more about a few different types of thermostats being used today.

Non-Digital Thermostats

Most traditional thermostats have thin metallic strips inside of them. Those strips can either expand or contract, depending on whether they’re getting hotter or colder, since metal is pretty responsive to changes in temperature. Depending on whether the strips are in a more coiled position or fully extended, the electrical circuit inside the thermostat is opened or closed. This determines whether your heating or cooling system will turn on or off. The temperature at which the system turns on/off is determined by how you set your thermostat.

Other thermostats use wax or gas-filled bellows. Wax and gas are similar to metal in that they physically change depending on how cold or hot it is. This physical change allows them to turn switches on or off.

Digital Thermostats

In a world where everything is becoming digital, it makes sense that thermostats are following suit. Digital thermostats can instantly turn your heater or AC on or off. Many thermostats can be programmed to turn on only at certain times. This lets you save money because you won’t be heating or cooling your home when you’re not there. Smart thermostats can take things a step further, allowing you to program your thermostat and make adjustments from a mobile device.

At Bratcher Heating and AC in East Peoria, IL, we find that many customers are looking for help with installing smart thermostats so they can cut down on their utility bills. Our business has been in the field since 1983. We have extensive experience with installing, repairing and servicing heating and cooling units. We also work with geothermal systems, indoor air quality systems, and fireplaces. Call us to schedule an appointment.