Different Types of Thermostats

Thermostats, also known as temperature controls, are devices that are utilized to sense and regulate the temperature of compounds like air or water. Thermostats are tasked with either increasing or decreasing the temperature to a specific point. These electrical devices are found in a variety of applications and industries, all of which rely on them for their accuracy and precision. In this blog, we will be providing a brief overview of the most common types, their features, and applications.

Mercurial Thermostats

One of the oldest types of thermostats in existence, mercurial thermostats are designed with thermal coils and mercury switches that are controlled by either a dial or lever on the thermostat. As the temperature setting is manipulated by the dial, the mercury switch closes and signals  the heating system to turn on. Once the air heats up to the desired temperature, the thermal coil unwinds, causing the mercury switch to open and shut off the heating system.

Bi-Metal Thermostats

A bi-metal thermostat has a strip made from two metals such as brass and iron whose coefficients of thermal expansion are different. If the thermostat is set for heat, the circuit closes. When the room temperature rises to the desired level, the strip bends and opens the electrical circuit, turning off the heating system.

Heat Control Thermostats

Heat control thermostats are probably the most widely used devices. They are utilized to regulate the air temperature of a specific room or indoor environment and are usually found connected to heating temperature control systems like boilers or furnaces.

The thermostat emits an electrical signal to the system it is affixed to when there is a need for heat, indicating that the room temperature has fallen below a previously determined temperature. The signal sets off a control relay that will start up the boiler or furnace, and will begin delivering heat via forced air or through radiators. As the temperature reaches the desired set temperature once more, the signal from the thermostat turns off, and the system shuts down.

Temperature Regulation Thermostats

Thermostats used for temperature regulation are found in an array of applications. Electric heater thermostats sense temperature and provide power to the electric heating elements as necessary. Cooling fans are designed with fan control thermostats, which can turn a fan on or off depending on the temperature of a room. Hot water systems use hot water thermostats, or aquastats, to sense when the water heater requires the system to create more hot water.

Automotive Thermostats

Automotive thermostats are designed to monitor cabin temperature, allowing passengers to have a comfortable flight. Additional thermostat control is utilized on the cooling system to sense the temperature of the internal engine components, activating electric fans to draw in additional air through the radiator to cool such compartments when in danger of overheating.

Monitoring Thermostats

Monitoring thermostats are critical components found in a myriad of industries. Oil thermostats are one type that is designed to monitor the temperature of a lubricating liquid within machines and engines to ensure motor protection. Components as small as bearings are even equipped with thermostats, monitoring the temperature of bearings which informs operators if maintenance is required.


If you find yourself in need of thermostats for monitoring or regulatory processes, rely on Industrial Gamut. Industrial Gamut is a trusted supplier of all types of thermostats as well as other industrial equipment like relays, valves, pumps, and more. At Industrial Gamut, we pride ourselves in our steadfast commitment to quality, ensuring that every part you order from us has been vetted for authenticity and reliability. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote for your comparisons and see how Industrial Gamut can help you fulfill your operational requirements.


January 6, 2023

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