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Thermostats

Thermostats may be the most important component in a heating system to control thermal comfort. They determine when to turn the system on and when to turn it off. You can greatly improve the performance of your system using the right thermostat as well as improve the efficiency.

Typical Setpoint thermostats turn the system on when the temperature drops below a specific temperature (setpoint) and turns the system off when the temperature rises above a set temperature. Usually the on and off themperaturs will be within 1-2 degrees of the setpoint on the thermostat. In both situations there will always be a lag in temperature swing. After the thermostat calls for heat there will be a 1-2 degree drop in temperature by the time the room begins to heat up. And after the thermostat cancels the call for heat; there is heat stored in the system that will continue to burn off which will cause an additional 1-2 degree overshoot. The result is a 3-6 degree temperature swing in the room causing the occupants to feel cold or warm when the system is off or on respectively.

PID thermostats use a modifiable pulse (PWM) to the system to regulate room temperatures. The increase the run time like from 5 min per hour to 30 min per hour till the thermostat finds the appropriate cycle rate to maintain room temperature. The result is that the system turns on before the room gets cold and turns off before the room gets hot. This results in a more stable room temperature. And the best part is that the thermostat is constantly updating the PWM rate so that it compensates for increased loads when it is colder outside or decreased loads due to solar gain or warmer weather.

Programable thermostats will allow the user to setback the room temperatures when the room is not in use to improve efficency and reduce opperating costs. Most PID thermostats will "learn" the response time of the heating system and compensate for a slowly responding system by turning the system on earlier to have the room at temperature at the time the user programmed the thermostat for. Ex: If the home owner wants the room warm at 7:00 am and the radiant floor heating system takes 30 min to heat the room, the thermostat will start the system at 6:30 am to achieve temperature at 7:00 am.

Tekmar Thermostats are available in both non-programmable and programmable types. Many offer a display-screen user interface with button operated menus. In tekmarNet®2 and tekmarNet®4 systems, thermostats can share outdoor temperature, system status and scheduling information with each other.

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