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What is a thermostat?

2021-04-16

You might have a temperature control on a wall in your home to control the heating system but, although it's probably marked in degrees, it's not a thermometer. It's called a thermostat, a modern word based on two ancient Greek ones: thermo (meaning heat) and statos (which means standing and is related to words like stasis, status quo, and static—meaning to stay the same). We can tell just from its name that a thermostat is something that "keeps heat the same": when our home is too cold, the thermostat switches on the heating so things quickly warm up; once the temperature reaches the level we've set, the thermostat switches the heating off so we don't boil.

Let's just be clear about the difference: a thermometer is something that measures the temperature; a thermostat is something that tries to maintain the temperature (keep it roughly the same).

smart thermostats for home

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