If submitting a service request after hours or on the weekend, please note it is best to call.

(979) 398-5194 Request Service

How Do Thermostats Work?

Thermostats have become so commonplace in modern life that it’s easy to never think about them. They have made their homes on the walls of almost every modern building and seem just as in place there as any portrait or painting.

Here at Barker’s Heating & Cooling, it’s our job to understand every aspect of the heating and cooling systems that keep society comfortable. From the most complicated VRV/VRF systems to the most rudimentary electromechanical thermostat, we take pride in our comprehensive knowledge of our industry. We are excited to extend that expertise to every one of our customers.

With that in mind, here is a brief overview of how the average thermostat works.

Different Types Of Thermostats

Before discussing how a thermostat works, it’s important to note that the two main types of thermostats function in entirely different ways, digital and electromechanical. While electromechanical thermostats are becoming rarer every year as they are phased out by digital thermostats, they’re still out there — so we still have a responsibility to keep our customers informed about them.


The first electromechanical thermostats can be traced back to the late 1800s and utilize the physical properties of certain materials to detect changes in air temperature. A variety of materials have been used over the years, but the majority of recent mechanical thermostats utilize a bi-metallic strip to detect temperature changes.

These strips are formed into a coil that expands and contracts with the temperature of the air. The movement created by the change in air temperature allows the coil to either connect or disconnect from a mercury switch that’s position is adjusted according to the temperature setting.


Digital thermostats are more simple and more complicated at the same time. They are more simple in that there are far fewer moving parts. They are more complicated because, to achieve a thermostat with fewer moving parts, decades of technological development had to first be done. At this point, digital thermostats have come a long way and are offered in a variety of types that deserve their categories in themselves.

  • Standard Digital
    • Like any digital device, digital thermostats utilize a series of sensors and circuit boards to both set and control the cooling and heating system of your home. They are reliable, come in a variety of types and options and have quickly become the industry standard because they are by far the most accurate thermostats.
  • Smart Thermostats
    • Smart thermostats represent cutting-edge thermostat technology. Not only are they digital and programable, but they also utilize internet connectivity and AI technology to provide the most versatile thermostat options ever.

Barker’s Are The Only Ones You Should Trust To Touch Your Thermostat

We understand that part of being an industry leader means not only providing the highest quality services possible but that we also become to be a source of reliable knowledge and information. Without these resources, it can be difficult to be sure about your decisions, and we want our customers to be confident in every decision they make with us —, whether that be to install a new system or choose a new thermostat.

Barker’s Heating & Cooling is committed to becoming the obvious choice for college station thermostat installation. If you are in the market for a new thermostat or are looking for a thermostat, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. Don’t hesitate to call us today!

Why Choose Barker's?

ribbon icon
You will save a minimum of 30% on your heating and cooling costs or we will refund double-the-difference of your savings not realized during the first year.
trophy icon
If we do not have your new system operating by the date promised, we will pay you $500 for your inconvenience.
hands shaking icon
We guarantee that the equipment we have installed will perform as we have stated, or we will remove it and return 100% of your investment.

What Our Customers Are Saying

Very Professional

Chandler did an excellent job checking out our heat pump. He was very professional, communicated well, was responsive to our questions and I was very happy with everything he did.

Steve M.

Honest and Trustworthy

Our AC went out during a late summer heatwave. Called Barkers and Victor worked very hard to get the outside unit up and running. Two hours later we conceded to the death of a 29 yo unit. Victor notified the office the next morning, and within 24 hours we had a complete new system installed, and the house cooled by the time I got home from work. Highly recommend. Honest and trustworthy.

Susan H.

Very Impressed

We were impressed by this company from the first phone call. Reed was an exceptional young man; very personable and professional. The installation team of Mike, John and Cody did an excellent job. Barker’s is a business with high standards and we are very satisfied with everything about them. So glad we found this company!

Donna D.