Thermostats are interesting and helpful devices. They work in coordination with your heater to help the heater know when it needs to kick into gear or when it has done its job to heat the room.
The main switch (which determines whether to turn on the heat or the air conditioning) is a mercury switch. This means that it has a small tube that contains a tiny amount of liquid-metal mercury and three small metal rods. When the switch is flipped to turn on the heat, for example, the mercury tips to the left and comes in contact with one of the rods. This turns on the heater.
Directly below the mercury switch is a thermometer coil. The thermometer coil is a coil of two thin metal strips that have different expansion and contraction rates, depending on the temperature. When the surrounding air is heated up, one of the strips expands and pulls the mercury switch so that the heater shuts off. Once the air begins to cool down again, it contracts and the switch turns the heater back on to maintain the desired temperature.
Rainforest Plumbing & Air technicians are trained to fix or replace thermostats. Since the thermostat is an electrical device, it can break or cease to function properly. When this happens, you can give us a call to schedule an appointment right away so you can turn on the heat!