A Cornucopia of Thermostat Facts

A Cornucopia of Thermostat Facts

Posted November 20, 2023

For this month’s blog, I want to share with readers a potpourri of facts about thermostats. Since we think about mercury-containing thermostats every day at TRC Central, I think it might be interesting to draw attention to other aspects of the broader thermostat world.

Did you know?

  • Warren S. Johnson invented the first bimetallic electric room thermostat in 1883.
  • Albert Butz patented an electric thermostat three years later, in 1886. It earned  the name the “damper regulator.”
  • It’s all Greek to me. The idea of a thermostat, though they didn’t call it by that name, goes back to the ancient Greeks, who used a mechanism similar to a thermostat to control the heating system of their temples.
  • Thermostat Etymology. The word thermostat comes from the Greek “thermos” (heat) and “status” (standing or stationary), which translated loosely means “keep heat at a steady level.”
  • Calling all Romans. They didn’t call it radiant heating, but the Romans used a primitive form of a thermostat called a hypocaust to heat their floors. They had open space below the floor, and gases from a fire or furnace underneath would move upward, eventually radiating the heat upward.
  • The Myth. Many homeowners think that thermostats control room temperature like air conditioning. The thermostat’s actual function is to turn on the compressor when the ambient air temperature is higher than the set temperature of the unit.
  • Geofencing. You can run, but you can’t hide. Some newer thermostats have geofencing features. That means your thermostat can “sense” when your smartphone is within a certain distance and then adjust the temperature accordingly.

Now that you’ve had a short diversion about thermostats, I need to remind readers about two topics. Our Banish Mercury Off the Planet contest has ended, and we will announce the winners at the HARDI annual conference during the Monday luncheon, Dec. 4. We will also issue a press release with the details, or you can simply visit our website.

Speaking of HARDI, we have been faithful attendees at the conference for years and have participated in the conference booth program. Our booth number #421. Please stop by, get acquainted, and, most importantly, if you have any questions about our recycling program or if we can help you in any other way, don’t hesitate to ask.

TRC has been successful in our recycling efforts for 25 years, and HARDI members have played an integral part in helping to make our planet safer.

We at TRC wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

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