Most homes and buildings today use a thermostat to control a central heating/cooling system. In addition to regulating the indoor temperature, they also control air movement through the house when a forced-air heating and/or cooling system is in use. Thermostats can also control a single heating or cooling device such as an electric strip heater or room-size air conditioner.

Thermostats operate by sensing the indoor temperature and directing the heating or cooling equipment when to operate based on a preset temperature. For this reason, it is important to have the thermostat located in a central part of the home away from windows and doors that can affect its performance.

There are many different kinds of thermostats available. Analog, digital, manual, programmable and even thermostats that can learn your habits and change settings on its own throughout the day. The more you are able to adjust temperature settings based on your home, work and sleep schedule, the more you are able to influence your energy costs. With some of the advanced features of today’s thermostats, it is more important than ever to read the operating manual for optimized performance.

While thermostats try to keep your entire house at the desired temperature, it is nearly impossible to achieve. A 5-10 degree temperature variation in different areas of the home can be
expected. These variations can be the result of the distance of the room from the heating/cooling equipment, number or doors and windows or the level which the room is located. Opening or closing grilles, dampers or valves can help even out the temperatures and improve indoor comfort in your home.