How Does an AC Thermostat Work?

Thermostats aren’t something Sarasota homeowners think about until they need to turn up the heating or cooling. Fortunately, you don’t have to be in the dark about how your air conditioning thermostat works. We’ll go in depth about the AC thermostat, how it works and why it’s important to keep it in great shape.

What is a Thermostat, Anyway?

The AC thermostat as the part of your air conditioning system you use on a regular basis. When it comes time to warm up or cool down your home, all you have to do is dial in the right settings and you’re done. Once your home reaches the desired set point, the thermostat automatically switches the AC system off until temperatures fall or rise a few degrees.

Without an air conditioning thermostat, you wouldn’t have much control over your AC system. For starters, it’d likely run forever until it either freezes or overheats itself. A constantly-running AC unit can also make your home very uncomfortable.

Mechanical vs. Digital Thermostats

AC thermostats come in all types, but nearly all of them can be sorted into “mechanical” and “digital” forms. Both have their own pros and cons to consider, whether you’re buying a new AC system or upgrading your thermostat to the latest and greatest.

Most electromechanical thermostats use a coiled bimetallic strip and a mercury switch to control temperatures. The metal strip easily expands and contracts based on temperature changes, allowing it to wind or unwind in response. This moves a temperature adjustment layer, which in turn moves the mercury switch.

Digital thermostats trade those metal strips for circuitry and sensors that provide accurate temperature sensing and control. As a result, manufacturers can add a wide array of features onto their digital thermostats, including zoned climate control, geolocation and smartphone compatibility.

Tips for Energy Savings

Take advantage of your AC thermostat’s programmable features. For instance, you can set your thermostat to change temperatures based on time of day. Some thermostats even offer Wi-Fi connectivity for more precise temperature control, even when you’re away.

Don’t rush your AC thermostat. Cranking your settings to the max won’t warm or cool your home any faster. In fact, you could end up wasting energy. Just let your thermostat do the work.

Take care of your AC thermostat. If yours is battery powered, for instance, make sure it not only has fresh batteries, but also little to no corrosion on the terminals or anywhere else that comes in close contact with the battery.

Know when to replace your thermostat. If you have any problems keeping your home warm or cool, give your thermostat a closer look. Most models offer a 10-year lifespan, which is a good time to carefully check and change them.

Let Airrific be your source for high-quality AC maintenance and repair. Give us a call or contact us online if you have any questions about your AC thermostat.

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