How Does a Thermostat Work?

While your HVAC system has many components, the component that you likely interact with most regularly is the thermostat. While it’s easy to understand the usefulness of a thermostat to control your Charlotte, NC, home’s temperature and to help save energy, it can be difficult to understand how a thermostat actually works. To gain more in-depth insight into a thermostat, it’s helpful to look at it from the inside out so you can more easily see the big picture by first looking at the smaller parts.

Function Depends on Type

There are two basic types of thermostats: mechanical and digital. At Integrity Heating & Cooling, we work to stay on the cutting edge of HVAC technology, meaning we are able to repair and to replace both types of thermostats in their various forms. Given the different interfaces these two types of thermostats have, they operate in slightly different ways.

In a mechanical thermostat, a piece of metal has to actually move in order to interrupt the circuit and to stop the flow of electricity to the HVAC system. This is typically achieved using a bi-metal coil or strip. This section of metal is sensitive to temperature changes, expanding or contracting at a constant rate. As the temperature in the room reaches the desired temperature, the metal in the thermostat reaches the correct size to be able to break the circuit.

A digital thermostat operates in much the same way, except that no movement is necessary thanks to the digital nature of the thermostat. A thermostat senses the temperature, thus increasing or decreasing its electrical resistance. When a certain level of resistance is reached, the thermostat understands that the desired temperature has been achieved, after which a signal is sent to cut power to the HVAC system.

A Constant Rate

Some people think that setting the thermostat far above or below the desired temperature will cause their Charlotte home to heat up or cool off more quickly. However, this is not how a thermostat works. After all, the HVAC system produces a constant temperature as it heats or cools the air.

The only way the temperature in a home is controlled, then, is by how long the HVAC system runs. Therefore, it’s much more economical to set the thermostat to the exact temperature you want and then to trust your system to do the rest.

Diagnose HVAC Problems

If your HVAC system isn’t properly heating or cooling your home, your thermostat may be to blame. Of course, another component could be the culprit. At Integrity Heating & Cooling, we offer extensive diagnostic services to ensure that we repair the correct components to provide you with the best results. Other services we offer include HVAC installation for both residential and commercial efforts, duct sealing, stand-by generator installation, and indoor air quality testing.

Additionally, we have been proud members of this community for over 35 years and are committed to your satisfaction, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and to let us assist you with your HVAC issues.

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