The thermostat is the primary control device for regulating home heating and air conditioning systems. It allows users to set their desired room temperature, sending signals to the HVAC system to turn on heating or cooling as needed to reach and maintain the setpoint. Early mechanical thermostats used bimetals to sense temperature changes and control the heating or cooling equipment via electrical contacts. Modern digital thermostats rely on electronic sensors, microprocessors and touchscreen interfaces to offer homeowners more precision, programmability and smart features.
Digital thermostats contain advanced circuitry and programming to enable scheduling, intelligent optimization of runtimes, integration with smart home systems, remote access by smartphone, voice control, weather data, equipment monitoring and more. High-end models like those from Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell Home, and Emerson Sensi utilize WiFi connectivity, cloud computing, algorithms, motion sensors and apps to analyze usage patterns, maximize energy efficiency, improve comfort and provide convenience. Professional HVAC technicians can fine tune these digital thermostats to optimize sequences, setpoints and settings for maximum performance. Proper placement on interior walls, level installation, and compatibility with HVAC equipment are critical for the thermostat to function as the main controller of indoor comfort and energy usage.