Types of Thermostats for Furnaces

There are many things you will need to increase your comfort in cold weather. The most important of these is a furnace. This appliance is inexpensive, has low maintenance requirements and is easy to operate. Unfortunately, it might malfunction during the worst of times. One of the everyday issues attributed to furnace breakdown is a thermostat malfunction.

The thermostat is a control device which determines your furnace’s heat output and is hence more or less your furnace’s nerve center. Its breakdown is unfortunately not the easiest things to fix, as a furnace repair expert from reputable companies like All Hours Plumbing and HVAC in Utah will attest.

In most instances, the repair expert might hence recommend a replacement of your thermostat rather than fixing it. The following are the range of furnace thermostats available for your property.

Mercury Contact Bimetallic Thermostat

This is an analog thermostat variant. A bimetallic strip in the thermostat moves with temperature variations and closes or opens a glass ampoule contact which contains mercury. This ampoule is in turn attached to a bimetallic coil which consequently tips the mercury to open or close the switch contact and set an appropriate furnace temperature. A mercury contact bimetallic thermostat also has a heat anticipator. This is an adjustable device which allows you to fine-tune your thermostat when it turns your furnace’s blower off and on.

Mechanical Contact Thermostat

This works much like the mercury contact bimetallic contact thermostat. Unlike the latter, however, this thermostat relies on mechanical contact of the bimetallic strip instead of mercury contact to switch the contact points on and off. Some mechanical contact thermostats also have straight blade metallic strips rather than the coiled strips found in mercury contact bimetallic thermostats. The thermostats are commonly found in old furnaces, but they are unfortunately not very accurate.

Digital Thermostat

Digital thermostat

This has the same working principle as the mechanical contact thermostat. It, however, uses electronic controls rather than a bimetallic coil to detect temperature variations and is hence very accurate. Digital furnace thermostats typically have large displays which are easy-to-read and are frequently used to replace mechanical contact thermostats. Though they have cooling and heating modes and on/off fan positions, these thermostats are non-programmable.

Electronic Thermostat

This is like an upgrade of the digital thermostat. It works similarly to the digital thermostats but allows you to program it. You can hence set the temperature for different times or days on your electronic thermostat. This feature makes an electronic thermostat the most energy-efficient option for your property. Smart thermostats are the latest electronic thermostats available and allow you to set your furnace’s temperature from your phone or portable device.

A thermostat’s malfunction does not only affect your comfort but also your furnace’s energy efficiency. To this end, a prompt repair or replacement of your thermostat is vital. Fortunately, it is easy to recognize a thermostat malfunction since your rooms will either get overheated or no heating at all. The thermostat’s glitch might, however, be a pointer to a deeper furnace issue and hence a thorough and professional look of your furnace is essential.

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