tracking pixel How Does a Thermostat Work? | HB McClure | HVAC
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Thermostats are the control hubs that regulate the amount of warmth your heating system puts out. The traditional thermostat was a numerical dial mounted on a wall that you turned when you wanted to make your home warmer or cooler. Today’s thermostats are more likely to be programmable devices that allow you to schedule your heating system’s activities through a smartphone-enabled app. If you want to upgrade your thermostat, get in touch with the experienced technicians who work with HB McClure in Lancaster, PA, and York, PA.

Traditional Thermostats

Both traditional thermostats and programmable thermostats contain wiring that connects to the furnace. The traditional dial also contained a tiny brass strip and a tiny iron strip that together functioned as a temperature sensor. When the strip was cool, it was straight and created a type of bridge through which electrical current flowed. This electrical flow triggered the furnace or heat pump.

Brass and iron both expand when heated, but brass expands more quickly. Thus, as temperatures rose in your home, the bimetallic strip curved and cut off the flow of electrical current. The furnace or heat pump then stopped functioning.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats use microprocessors and thermistor settings to change the heat settings in your home. They allow you to pre-schedule temperature adjustments, and this enables you to use your heating system more efficiently.

Most programmable thermostats are capable of storing up to six settings that can be synchronized with various times of the day. You have the option of overriding these settings manually if you wish. Some thermostats even adjust inside temperatures in accordance with changes in outside temperatures.

Thermostat Tips

If you want to achieve optimal energy efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends switching to a programmable thermostat. Make sure your thermostat is installed in a location that is far away from any drafts or heat sources that could cause it to register an incorrect reading. To the greatest extent possible, set the thermostat for temperatures that minimize the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures.

Since 1914, HB McClure has been helping homeowners and business owners throughout Lancaster, York and other parts of central Pennsylvania with thermostat purchases and installations. In addition to heating and cooling system services, we also offer plumbing services, humidity control and water conditioning systems. Contact our office for more information and to schedule an appointment.