Have you ever wondered how your home thermostat works? This piece of technology has advanced considerably in terms of energy-saving features. Take our quiz to see how much you know about your home thermostat.
Your thermostat should ideally be located in the room where people spend the most time. Typically, it's in the den/family room or living room.
A mercury switch is inside the thermostat. A vial that holds the mercury activates the thermostat when it contacts a series of wires and completes an electrical circuit.
There are two thermometers in a home thermostat. One is located in the thermostat cover on the wall, and the other is inside the thermostat.
One thermometer measures the actual room temperature, and the other monitors the heating and cooling system.
The two different metals that make up the bimetallic strip expand and contract when heated and cooled, which moves the mercury switch.
When you turn up your heat on the thermostat, the thermometer coil and mercury switch tip to the left, which starts the heater.
A heat anticipator shuts off a heating system before the ideal temperature is reached, allowing time for the heat in other areas of the home to reach the thermostat's thermometer.
A typical home thermostat system has five wires, labeled RH, RC, W, Y and G.
The RH wire connects to the heating system transformer, and the RC wire connects to the cooling system transformer.
The W wire comes from the relay that turns the heating system on and off.
The G wire connects to the relay that turns the fan on and off. Without the fan, hot and cold air would not be circulated inside your home.
Digital thermostats use a thermistor to calculate temperature, which it does by measuring electrical resistance.
The biggest difference between the two is that a digital thermostat lets you program temperature settings for different times of the day, which can save you big bucks on energy costs.
The zoning system provides consistent temperature throughout your home. It involves multiple thermostats that are spread out in your home, which are all connected to a central control panel.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could save up to 30 percent on energy costs by using a zoning system. Over several months and years, this can add up to considerable savings!
The U.S. Department of Energy's Innovation and Invention Program funded the development of a damper system that can be installed and used with existing mechanical home thermostats. It can serve a similar function as zoning, which is typically used only with modern digital thermostats.
Talking thermostats may seem like a frivolous add-on, but they can actually save you money and stress. Talking thermostats alert you when they need servicing.
Digital signal processors change your speech into digital instructions. No need to press a button; simply command your thermostat to increase or decrease the temperature!
Telephone thermostats are handy if you live in area with frequently changing weather. If a cold or warm front suddenly moves in while you are out, you can call your thermostat to adjust temperature settings accordingly.
Your telephone thermostat doesn't actually need a working phone line; it has a built-in telephone interface module that receives commands.