What's worse than freezing your keister off on when Old Man Winter blows through town? Freezing in your own home. The trouble is, those pesky heating costs can really pile up. The largest expense in the average U.S. home is space heating, which accounts for about 45 percent of annual energy bills. Households that use natural gasspend about $700 a year on heating costs, while the price tag for those who rely on oil to keep their houses and apartments cozy is a whopping $1,700 annually.
The thermostat, a heat-sensitive switch, is the basic control that regulates the temperature of your home.
It responds to changes in the temperature of the air where it is located and turns the furnace or air conditioner on or off as needed to maintain the temperature at a set level, called the set point. The key component of the thermostat is a bimetallic element that expands or contracts as the temperature increases or decreases in a house.