The Evolution of Thermostats

When your house is too hot or too cold, the first thing you do is check the temperature on the thermostat. What are you supposed to do when it’s freezing cold in the morning, but over 100 degrees in the afternoon? You go to your trusty thermostat, a device that gives you a sense of power and diction over the temperature in your home. With the help of a thermostat, you are in charge, and you have the say of whether it’s too cold or hot – no matter what the kids may believe.

Could you imagine living in a world without any central heating and cooling? It’s hard to imagine, but our ancestors long before us were able to live through it! Let’s take a look at the history of the thermostat.

The First Thermostat is Born

Thermostats have been around much longer than you may think. They’ve actually been around since 1620, when a Dutch inventor created a mercury thermostat to regulate the temperature of a chicken incubator. Sure – it might not be the most exciting story, but you can thank him for the power of thermostats. However, the thermostats we rely on in our homes today aren’t exactly the same as this one. They have gone through many changes and advances. Now, we’re going to discuss the basics and the different types of thermostats.

Line-voltage vs. Low-voltage

Thermostats can be categorized into two basic types: line-voltage and low-voltage. Line-voltage is used primarily in single heating systems, and low-voltage is usually found in central heating systems that use oil, gas, and electricity. We can further categorize thermostats by naming three different types: mechanical, programmable, and electric thermostats. You are probably more familiar with these.

Mechanical vs. Programmable vs. Electric

The mechanical thermostat is the oldest of its type. Even though they are now considered “old-fashioned,” many people still have them in their homes and continue to buy and use them. They are line-voltage and operate by being triggered by metal bars that either heat up or cool down. Some people may opt for a mechanical thermostat because they are known to be very inexpensive. However, they are notoriously known for their unreliability. You get what you pay for, after all!

Programmable thermostats are a little more recent and are considered to be “high tech” in this industry. These do exactly what their name suggests: program. The user can adjust the temperature automatically or preset for certain times. These help conserve energy and lower your electricity bill because you can set the device to minimize the temperature if you are ever gone. By doing this, your system won’t have to work so hard. Luckily, you can set it to a more ideal temperature when your family needs comfortability at home.

Last, but not least, is the electric thermostat. These are relatively newer and even have mechanical components. These are very popular in many homes today because they have electronic gadgets which contain a sensor that detects when the temperature moves below or above the desired temperature for the room. These thermostats can either come in line-voltage or low-voltage and can also be programmable. They are known to have a quicker response time for when the temperature is changed, too. If you want top of the line, you’re in the right place.

Modern Thermostat
Modern Thermostat

It’s been around 300 years since the first thermostat was invented. Its evolution has been incredible, and home-owners everywhere couldn’t be happier.

Thermostats are a crucial part of a heating and air conditioning system – it doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of July or the start of January. Living in San Antonio, Texas, you never know what the weather is going to do next. The right thermostat can make or break the quality of the comfortability in your home. If you need assistance finding the right thermostat for your home, talk to the professionals at Honest Air. Our technicians can evaluate your HVAC system to find the perfect thermostat for your home and your lifestyle. Schedule an appointment, and call us at 210-681-7333 today!

Written by: Sabrina Schilling, Office Administrator

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