The Secret Workers Of Our Appliances-Thermostats


Since it is winter time checking your home’s thermostat is almost a daily activity. Even though we only really check our furnace’s thermostat to make sure our homes stay cozy and warm. Our major appliances have to use more than 8 thermostats a day! So let’s take a moment to learn about all the thermostats that keep your appliances running smoothly and that make your life easier!

10284402 - worker icons in cold and warmth with radiant heat and thermostats

  • High Limit Thermostats
    • The high limit thermostat is probably the most widely used thermostat. The dishwasher, dryer, and range use it. The main concept of this thermostat is the same across all appliances; it is a safety feature to prevent the appliance’s temperature overheating. For example, in dryers the high limit thermostat is usually located between the power source and the heating element. Each dryer has different temperature setting that activates the high limit thermostat; this is typically between 175 and 250 degree Fahrenheit. If the dryer reaches the designated temperature setting of the high limit thermostat then, the high limit thermostat will shut the power to the dyers heater off so that the dryer does not overheat. Clogged or blocked vents are the main reason that the high limit thermostats will be activated.
  • Cycling Thermostats
    • The cycling thermostat is responsible for maintaining the temperature inside the unit. The cycling thermostat will cut the unit off it becomes too hot, if the unit is not heating at all, or if drying is taking way longer than usual.
  • Thermal Cut Off Thermostats
    • The thermal cut off is a lot like the high limit thermostat. They both cut the electrical connection to the unit’s heater or burner if the temperature becomes too hot and they are both considered to be safety thermostats. However, unlike the high limit thermostat the thermal cut off consists of two thermostats. One of the thermostats does not reset itself once the unit has returned to its regular temperature.
  • Control Thermostats
    • The control thermostat is one of the thermostats located inside of the range. This thermostat controls and adjusts the temperature inside of the range. Once you set your oven to the desired temperature the oven control thermostat turns the heating elements on so that they can heat up to the desired temperature. Once the unit has reached the desired temperature the control thermostats stops the heating process so that the temperature is maintained.
  • Defrost Thermostats
    • The defrost thermostat is a thermostat that is typically located in a refrigerator or freezer unit. Refrigerator or freezer units can have either regular defrost thermostats or bi-metal thermostats; there really is not much of a difference between the two. The defrost thermostat is one of the parts of the defrost cycle inside refrigerator or freezer. The defrost cycle consists of a defrost heater, defrost thermostat, and a defrost timer. The defrost thermostat manages the temperature rise in the refrigerator or freezer unit. Once the unit reaches a certain temperature the thermostat stops the electrical connection to the defrost heater. This prevents the unit from overheating.
  • Cold Control Thermostats
    • The control thermostat of the refrigerator could be considered the brain of the refrigerator. The cold control thermostat is usually located inside of the control box of the unit. The control box typically is attached to the top of the the unit and it will have a knob of some sort on it so that you can adjust the temperature of the unit. After the knob on the control box is adjusted to the desired temperature the cold control thermostat orders the compressor to begin cooling. Once the thermostat has detected that the unit has reached its desired temperature the cold control thermostat stops the compressor so that the desired temperature is maintained.
  • Furnace Thermostats 
    • There are three different types of thermostats a furnace can have: a manual thermostat, programmable thermostat, or a smart thermostat.
      • Manual Thermostats
        • Manual thermostats can be digital or non-digital. Typically, manual thermostats are found in homes. Manual thermostats are the most simple of the three furnace thermostats and they are exactly what they sound like. The user manually sets the temperature of the thermostat, and the temperature will remain the set temperature until the user manually changes it.
      • Programmable Thermostats
        • Programmable thermostats automatically adjust temperatures.  There are four different types of programmable thermostats, 7 day, 5-1-1 day, 5-2 day, and week thermostats. The 7 day thermostat allows the user to set a different temperature for each day of the week. Some 7 day thermostats even give users the option to have the temperature adjust at certain points of the day! The 5-1-1 thermostat allows users to set one temperature for the week days and then a different temperature for Saturday and a different temperature for Sunday. The 1 week programmable thermostat is the least flexible of the 4 programmable thermostats. For this thermostat the user sets one temperature for the entire week.
      • Smart Thermostats
        • Smart thermostats adjust the temperature of your home themselves based on the user’s preference. If is really hot the thermostat will lower its temperature or if it’s really cold it will rise the temperature. Most smart thermostats are also equipped with an app that you can use on your phone. So when you leave for work you can turn your thermostat down or if you go on a vacation you could turn your thermostat off.

Thanks for reading!  If you found this post helpful, be sure to like & share it with a friend.  As always, feel free to leave any additional tips, questions for us, or ideas for blogs you’d like to see in the comment section below.

Written By: Claire Begalke

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