[Greenbuilding] Triac Thermostats

Richard Garbary richard6 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 17 07:26:20 PST 2011

Recently installed three triac thermostats in an all-baseboard townhouse:
rec-room/basement, living room, master bedroom. The owner is very pleased
with the results. Very accurate temperature control; no wild swings above
and below the set point. The thermostats output just enough wattage to
match the heat loss. A normal thermostat is just a switch, either on or
off. Normal watt-density for baseboards is 250 watts/foot. With the triac,
watt-density can be reduced to less than 50 watts/foot. Like heat pumps
with inverter technology, the object is to run the appliance at the lowest
power level, continuously; this makes for a very low demand on the grid.
One of the many benefits is that it virtually eliminates "cold wall
effect", because the baseboards are not cycling on and off.

This is a great upgrade solution (interim or until the money comes in for
the heat pump!) for anyone with baseboards. Just might breathe new life
into a heating method that many have not considered, especially in well
insulated homes.


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