Mercury-Free vs. Mercury-Filled Thermostat — Why It’s Time to Upgrade

The cold season is fast approaching in Northern Virginia, so there’s no time like the present to get your home’s HVAC equipment in shape to keep you and your family warm and comfortable. While many homeowners are aware of the necessity of keeping all their HVAC equipment running efficiently and safely, thermostats are often overlooked.

In some homes, especially older ones, the electromagnetic thermostat that you depend on to consistently control your heating or cooling needs often contains mercury – a potent neurotoxin. Exposure can cause significant health problems, including damage to the central nervous system.

In addition, mercury-filled thermostats are often inaccurate, despite proper calibration. This can cause your HVAC system to work overtime, wasting money and energy. If you’re considering replacing your thermostat with a mercury-free model, here is a short look at the benefits and features of two types of non-mercury thermostats:

Digital Manual Thermostat

  • A digital manual thermostat contains an electronic temperature sensor component instead of a metal coil and a small glass bulb of mercury.
  • A microprocessor inside the unit compares the room’s actual temperature reading to the setting you choose, starting or stopping the HVAC unit as needed to match the setting.

While these thermostats are far more accurate than a mercury-filled unit, they do have to be adjusted manually.

Digital Programmable Thermostat

  • A digital programmable thermostat calculates temperature by measuring the resistance against an electric current sent through a metal thermistor.
  • A digital programmable thermostat is accurate and convenient. After programming the thermostat to a customized program of operation, just let the unit do its work. It will remember your temperature choices until the time you reprogram it.

Here are some of the scheduling choices available in programmable thermostats:

  • 1 Day: The same setting every day.
  • 5-2 Days: One program for all five weekdays and another for Saturday and Sunday.
  • 5-1-1 Days: A separate setting for weekdays, another for Saturday and another for Sunday.
  • 7 Days: The potential for a different setting each day of the week.

For more expert information on choosing a replacement thermostat, please contact us. We provide superior services to Northern Virginia homeowners, and we’d love to help you weigh the options and find the right solution for your Northern Virginia home!

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, a Modern Mechanical company, is a home services specialist with a history of exceptional work and satisfied clients. The company specializes in heating and air conditioning solutions and also provides plumbing and electrical services. Headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning assists residential and commercial customers throughout Northern Virginia with an array of home services needs. The team consists of professionals who are trained, certified and uniformed.

If you need additional information, please call (571) 421-1888

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