Which thermostat is better mechanical or electronic?

The thermostat you select for your house can make a big difference in your comfort level and energy costs. It’s critical to comprehend the distinctions between mechanical and electronic thermostats because the market is flooded with options. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately comes down to your personal requirements and tastes.

Mechanical thermostats may initially appear to be the more straightforward option. The basic temperature-sensitive coil mechanism used in these conventional devices allows them to function. The thermostat is triggered by the coil to turn on or off the heating or cooling system when the temperature goes above or below a predetermined point. Mechanical thermostats are renowned for their dependability and robustness; they frequently don’t need to be replaced for many years.

Electronic thermostats, on the other hand, provide more sophisticated functions and accurate temperature control. These electronic gadgets make use of sensors to identify temperature variations and programmable settings to more effectively control the climate in your house. You can adjust temperature settings with programmable schedules according to your daily schedule, preserving energy when you’re not home and guaranteeing comfort when you are.

The accuracy of electronic thermostats is one of their main benefits. Electronic thermostats can maintain a more constant indoor temperature, which increases comfort levels, in contrast to mechanical thermostats, which may have a larger temperature swing before activating. Furthermore, a lot of electronic thermostats have extra features like Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables you to remotely control your HVAC system using voice assistants or smartphone apps.

When compared to their mechanical counterparts, electronic thermostats might have disadvantages despite technological advancements. The initial cost of an electronic thermostat is usually higher, and certain models might need to be installed by a professional. Furthermore, because electronic thermostats run on electricity, they might not function during blackouts unless they have a backup battery.

In conclusion, a number of factors, such as financial constraints, desired features, and individual preferences, will determine whether to choose an electronic or mechanical thermostat. Electronic thermostats offer sophisticated functionality and precise control, while mechanical thermostats are more straightforward and dependable. Before choosing, carefully consider your needs and the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Purpose and principle of operation of the thermostat

Prior to selecting a thermostat for a heated floor, it is important to comprehend its function and working details. Its primary responsibility is to keep the environment at a comfortable temperature for humans. Its working principle is to activate the heating system when the floor surface reaches a predetermined temperature.

The floor turns off when the temperature reaches the predetermined point. The thermostat is turned back on when the outside temperature drops by one degree or more. This little gadget conserves energy in addition to maintaining the same temperature on the floor.

The thermostat’s function extends beyond merely regulating temperature. When the owner wants to heat the entire room, they can use it. This is especially useful in cold winters when the batteries that heat the air in the room are not strong enough to do the job.

Varieties of thermostats

A thermostat for a warm floor is something that many people have to purchase when setting up a heated floor surface, in addition to selecting the type, pipes, and finish. Which is superior? There are several types available now, each with unique qualities:

  • Electronic-mechanical. The temperature can be changed by rotating a special round regulator. Its main advantages are ease of use, no breakdowns and low cost;
  • Electronic. These varieties have a display and the temperature control is done by means of special buttons. Sufficiently user-friendly, they belong to the medium price segment;
  • Programmable. The most sophisticated and functional are models that have the ability to program a specific temperature setting. This function allows you to heat the floor in the morning and evening on weekdays, and reduce the temperature during the day when everyone is at work. The user can independently set any necessary mode. These devices are the most complex, expensive and more often break down.

Different temperature control sensors (infrared, simple, dual) and configurations (in-wall or surface mounted) are available for all thermostats. However, they need a professional connection in order to function correctly and efficiently. It is best to leave the installation to trained professionals with lots of experience.

How to choose a thermostat for underfloor heating

You’ve made the decision to purchase an underfloor heating thermostat. Which is superior? Its selection ought to be guided by the following criteria:

  • Number of functions. The more modes of operation provided in the thermostat, the more opportunities for regulating the temperature regime will get the owner;
  • Ease of use. It is especially important to pay attention to this criterion if the device will be used by teenagers or people of mature age. They should be easy to operate and intuitive;
  • Method of installation. The thermostat can be mounted inside the wall or superimposed on it as an outlet. The choice of a certain variant depends on the interior style;
  • Power. Select the device according to this criterion should be in accordance with the floor heating system, since electric, water and film require different power;
  • Type of control. By this criterion, you should choose a thermostat according to your personal preferences. Mechanical ones are the simplest and most durable, but they don"t offer the same features as programmable ones. There are also models that can be controlled using a remote control unit.

The safety of the home is dependent on the thermostat, which is a fairly complicated device, so choosing one should be done as responsibly as possible. Cheap models are not a good choice because they can malfunction easily. Purchasing merchandise from reputable and trustworthy brands is preferable. Legrand, Devi, Energy, and Uriel Elektronics are the market leaders in this particular niche.

Many people must make another tough decision when remodeling their apartments and setting up a heated floor: which pipes will provide a warmer floor and are more capable of handling the task? These days, there are many options available on the market, including polymer, copper, and metal, so acquiring them won’t be difficult.

A thermostat for underfloor heating will ensure comfortable conditions and reduce energy costs

Thermoregulator for warm floor: a unique gadget that lets you manage the temperature of the apartment’s air conditioning system in addition to the floor.

Thermostats are typically installed in every room with floor heating; they are in charge of preserving the ideal temperature in that specific bedroom, living room, or bathroom.

However, there are multi-channel devices, which combine two single-channel regulators or one two-channel regulator and individually control one heating zone at a time.

What functions can the thermostat perform

The floor heating regulator’s primary job is to keep the temperature at the desired level, so it

  • Turns heating on and off as the floor temperature changes, with or without regard to the room temperature
  • Enables an economical heating mode at night or when the occupants are not present
  • Turns the system on or off at a preset time

The thermostats are designed for use with which underfloor heating system?

The vast majority of thermostats on the market are appropriate for both electric and film underfloor heating systems, whether they use cable or mats. Regardless of the kind and mode of control, they are universal.

Thus, purchasing a thermostat from the same brand is not required when selecting a heating cable or mat from a particular company.

Water floor heating also makes use of thermostats, but these are programmed for the circuit as a whole rather than for each room separately.

A damping tape is another essential item for underfloor heating. It prevents the finish coating from deforming and makes up for the screed’s thermal expansion.

If tiles are going to be used for this covering, you may find our advice on selecting a tile adhesive for a heated floor helpful.

Appearance and classification

The warm floor market offers a vast array of thermostats, allowing you to select a device with any color, shape, filling, complexity, and price range.

Thermostats for underfloor heating may be digital or mechanical. Touch panels, remote controls, and push buttons can all be used to operate electronic ones.

Electronic thermoregulators come in two basic varieties: those with an on/off button and those that can be programmed.

There are gadgets that show the current temperature readings and have a scale for setting the desired temperature.

Cheap mechanical thermostats are dependable and easily repairable in the event of a malfunction.

The inability to perceive and comprehend the current floor temperature is their biggest annoyance. You can only determine whether the system is operational by touch.

The most well-liked electronic thermostats among vendors are the basic models with a floor sensor and display, as they are reasonably priced, dependable, and even senior citizens can operate them.

Simple digital thermostats that have a display always show you the temperature that is being heated.

Infrared sensors and air and floor temperature sensors, both individually and in combination, are included in the floor heating kit.

In certain situations, a two-level thermoregulator (with two types of sensors) is more cost-effective since it prevents overheating by regulating the air temperature in the room in addition to the heating elements. It also shuts off when any of the sensors detects an optimal temperature.

The benefit of infrared sensors is that they can be placed far from the thermostat and used to control the heating system as a whole, negating the need for them to be floor mounted. Showers, saunas, bathrooms, and other spaces with high humidity are advised to use them.

The greatest places to use infrared sensors are humid spaces (shower rooms, saunas, etc.). To prevent moisture from harming the thermostat, it should be kept in a dry location.

  • by installation method – internal and external,
  • by "stuffing" – digital and analog.

Digital sensors exhibit superior accuracy and are less vulnerable to interference from different sources causing data distortion.

At a height of roughly 1.5 meters, air temperature sensors or thermostats with integrated sensors are typically placed in a slightly shaded area, away from heat sources and outside of the region heated by direct sunlight.

Internal sensors next to the heating cable, mats, or film are embedded in the thickness of the floor. Data from this sensor is sent to the device’s monitor.

The thermoregulator and temperature sensors can be linked directly, or a junction box can be positioned in between.

Is a thermostat necessary for a warm floor to operate?

Although it is not necessary, it is inefficient as the device’s function will have to take over and manually turn on and off the entire heating system.

When the thermostat malfunctions or is absent, excessive energy use occurs right away, and occasionally the heating system breaks down.

It is therefore preferable to determine the floor heating system’s future mode of operation beforehand and buy a device that has all the features each room needs.

Economical thermoregulator

Using a thermostat can result in energy savings of up to 70%, depending on the type of device.

In small spaces (such as bathrooms or toilets), a basic mechanical or electronic thermostat with few features is usually the best option. The room needs to be warm day and night because it is not used on a set schedule.

Using a programmable thermostat in large rooms that regulates multiple parameters at different times of the day is far more efficient.

The potential energy savings increase with the number of parameters used.

Research has indicated that thermostats provide varying levels of savings:

  • Non-programmable – up to 30%,
  • Programmable – up to 70%.

Basic selection criteria

A set of warm floor thermostats is sold by certain manufacturers.

It is evident that the kit does not include the most sophisticated models of the gadget, which have a low cost and few functions. But if the heated area is small, it’s possible that this will be sufficient for you.

If selecting a different device is required, it is helpful to take into account a number of factors:

  1. Specifications:
  2. mechanics or electronics, or programmable electronics,
  3. remote or built-in sensors,
  4. Floor or air temperature sensors separately or together.
  1. Device power.

The device indicates the warm floor’s maximum power for which it is intended.

In actuality, though, you ought to purchase a gadget made to withstand a heavier load than the room’s floor heating. A 15-20% excess will allow the device to function for an adequate amount of time.

The floor heating in very large rooms is installed in individual units, each of which has a thermostat attached to it.

  1. Method of installation:
  2. Surface-mounted – fixed in a special box on the wall, suitable for all types of walls.
  3. Recessed: for these, grooves should be drilled to hide the wires and a hole should be drilled to install a mounting box for attaching the device. Not for use in wooden houses.
  4. To connect from a DIN-rail: these thermostats are installed in the panel of the distribution board.
  1. Design, decoration:
  2. Shape, color – the choice is so great that it is difficult to give recommendations.
  1. Number of channels:
  2. one device controls two rooms – a number of conditions must be met,
  3. two single-channel devices in one box,
  4. one dual zone thermostat.
  1. Control and programming
  2. Depending on the age of the users and their requests, as well as the heat exchange mode, it is possible to find an appropriate level of sophistication for the device.

The capacity of the floor heating system and the thermostat itself are taken into consideration when determining the best location for installation.

How do I connect the thermostat to the floor heating system?

Sometimes the connection is made straight to the electric board; in this instance, if the power is greater than 2 KW, an automatic circuit breaker needs to be installed.

Connect the thermostat to the mains outlet more frequently, keeping in mind the total number of electrical appliances that use it.

The standard placement for the unit is between 80 and 90 cm from the floor; however, if air sensors are to be used, either by themselves or in conjunction with a floor sensor, the installation must be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended height and instructions.

The typical distance between the floor sensor and the wall where the thermostat is mounted is 50–60 cm.

It is set inside a mounting tube or corrugated container to keep it safe from potential harm and make replacements simple in case they are needed.

In order to keep the sensor from rising above the general level, a recess is made in the floor during the installation of a film floor to accommodate the thickness of the tube holding the sensor.

Steps for installing the thermostat after determining the location:

  • Mounting the junction box under the thermostat, if it is not surface-mounted.
  • Routing in the wall and floor.
  • Connect the power supply wires to the box and check the voltage supply with a tester.
  • Lead the wire from the sensor through the corrugated pipe and the grommet to the thermostat box.
  • Connect wires according to the diagram.
  • Putting the thermostat on the installation site.
  • Fix the outer panel and the thermostat cover.

Comparison of thermoregulators: prices and manufacturers

Purchasing a thermostat is not difficult; the key is to know exactly what you need and how simple it is to operate.

It is worthwhile to look at the products of the German company EBERLE if you need to purchase the most basic mechanical device that is also affordable and dependable.

One of the "popular of expensive" products is the German manufacturer LEGRAND’s programmable electronic thermostat.

It is worth noting that the two-zone spectrum of action device TR 730 from "National Comfort" has analogs that are very modern and reasonably priced.

The domestically developed G2R S803PE programmable electronic thermostat from LLC "Jituar" is significantly less expensive to build than its European equivalents.

Given the wide range of options, a separate analysis of thermoregulators should be given. It would take a while to list all manufacturers by sales rating:

  • Teplotex, OJETR, DEVI,
  • Teplotex, Thermoreg, Warmehaus,
  • TermoDAR, Aura, Priotherm

These gadgets all have ratings higher than 70%.

The following table compares the costs of several randomly chosen models of underfloor heating thermostats:

Selecting and installing a thermostat for underfloor heating

You can regulate the degree of room heating with underfloor heating thermostats. Sensors can be grouped together in one housing or installed individually in each room, but they still regulate the space allotted to them.

It is possible to run the floor heating without a temperature controller, but doing so will dry out the air in the room and harm the floor covering. This post will discuss how to select a thermostat for a heated floor, as well as types, features, benefits, drawbacks, and manual installation methods.

Types of thermoregulators

It is impossible to change the temperature of the room heating system without a thermostat.

Categorization of floor heating thermostats:

  1. A modern programmable thermostat for underfloor heating is able to control the set temperature parameters and execute a set of programs. For example, switching on and off at a certain time (when the owners come home from work), economical heating at night and when the occupants are not present.
  2. The electronic digital sensor maintains the set temperature in the room, controlled via touch screen or buttons on the housing.
  3. Electronic-mechanical is made on the principle of the regulator in the iron. With the help of a wheel set the set temperature, which is maintained when the system is on.

The sensor is installable both indoors and outside.

It is possible to install an outdoor or indoor thermal sensor for underfloor heating. Placement in high-humidity rooms is prohibited.

Selecting thermostats that control the air temperature in a room is a better option if floor heating is the primary source of heating.

However, you must use a floor heating sensor if the floor has a covering that is sensitive to heat buildup.

It is ideal to use devices that have the capacity to connect two sensors for a heating system that serves as the primary heating system.

Operating principle

The thermostat keeps the pre-programmed heating parameters.

The floor heating temperature controller is an electrical device that needs to be connected to the electrical network, the temperature sensor, and the heating system.

It functions in line with this principle:

  • Receives the floor or air heating temperature parameters from the temperature sensor;
  • compares with the data set in the settings;
  • if the temperature exceeds the set temperature, it switches the heating system off;
  • If the temperature is lower than the set temperature, it switches the system on.

The type of flooring has an impact on temperature readings.

But what to look for when choosing a device

Now let’s talk about the best thermostat to select for a warm floor.

Nearly every sensor can be used to control the operation of heating elements of any kind, including infrared floor heating and cable.

A heating element system and sensor from various manufacturers are available for selection.

  1. Buy a temperature regulator for floor heating installation with a 10-20% reserve from the power specified in the instructions. In rooms with a large area heating elements are laid in separate blocks, each of them is connected to its own sensor.

Find a handy regulator.

  • In a set with heating elements most often comes a simpler regulator, which does not always meet the requirements of owners. You can buy an electronic thermostat with the most suitable characteristics for you, for example, sensors that control the temperature of the floor and air separately or simultaneously.
  • Pay attention to the number of channels: one device controls only one room or several rooms; one housing contains two single-channel sensors.

It is better to go with a simpler mechanical or electronic model for small spaces. It is advised that you seek the advice of professionals who can advise you on the best regulator to purchase for a heated floor.

You can find online instructions for installing the thermostat on your own.

It is preferable to have the thermostat installed by an electrician. If you choose to install the device yourself, make sure you thoroughly read the instructions that came with it.

The connection diagram is frequently sketched on the device’s body. Whether the floor is cable or infrared, the connection is the same. It is possible to connect a sensor to a water heating system, but doing so will control the system’s overall heating temperature.

Preparatory work

Place the sensors close to a power source.

Establish a location for the temperature controller’s mounting first. A socket should ideally be close by, as this will make connecting electricity easier. The appliance is normally between 600 mm and 1 m high from the floor.

Depending on the size of the thermostat housing, a hole must be made in the wall. Although they are fixed on the wall, surface-mounted sensors are an option, but they have a less appealing appearance.

Next, we drill a hole for the cable to be laid from the box’s location to the floor.

Installation of sensors

Floor or air temperature sensors are used to regulate the operation of underfloor heating elements. To stop cement mortar from getting inside, the floor temperature sensor’s corrugated pipe is sealed with a plug. It is placed up to one meter away from the heating controller, in between the heating elements. View this video for installation details:

A set of thermostats with a temperature sensor is available for purchase.

Connecting the thermostat

The process of connecting both cable and infrared floor heating is the same. As indicated by the diagram, connect the thermostat.

Locate a cable that has a brown or black phase, then use a voltage tester to check the voltage. Typically, the neutral cable is blue. There is 220 V in between it and the phase. attaching the cables to the apparatus.

  • L-phase brown, black, white color;
  • N-zero is blue color;
  • The grounding cable is usually green, yellow or a combination of these shades.

  1. Connect phase to socket No. 1.
  2. Connect the neutral cable to contact No. 2.
  3. Connect the heating cable to pins 3, 4.
  4. To socket #3 we lead the zero, to #4 phase.
  5. Connect the temperature sensor through pins #6, 7 without observing polarity.

The floor thermoregulator can now be connected. To ensure that it transmits heating data effectively, we installed it in a corrugated pipe to protect it from harm. Attach the cables of the temperature sensor to the thermostat.

Connecting a single-core heating cable

Under the single-core cable’s insulation are two wires. While the second serves as a grounding agent (green), the first conducts current (white). Watch this useful video to learn more about connecting cables:

Diagram for single-core cable wiring:

  1. Connect the conductive wire to pins #3, 4.
  2. Connect the grounding cable to pin #5.

A single-core heating cable is connected to the thermostat from both ends, so this should be considered when designing the arrangement of the heating elements.

Connecting the double-core heating cable

You will require a terminal for the earthing cable when connecting. Should it be absent from the kit, you will have to purchase it individually.

Single-core and dual-core cable wiring schematic

A two-core cable has one grounding wire and two conductive wires underneath the insulation.

Diagram for double-core cable wiring:

  1. Connect the brown wire with phase to contact #3.
  2. Connect the blue neutral wire to socket No. 4.
  3. Connect the green ground wire to pin #5.

Because it is not required to be connected at both ends, a twin-core cable is simpler to connect.

Mechanical Thermostat Electronic Thermostat
Simple to use, no programming required. Allows for precise temperature control and programmable settings.
Reliable and durable with fewer components that could fail. May offer energy-saving features like scheduling and remote access.
Usually cheaper upfront cost. Initial cost may be higher but could save on energy bills in the long run.

There are a few things to take into account when deciding between an electronic and mechanical thermostat for your house. Those who want a direct approach to temperature control may find mechanical thermostats appealing due to their straightforward design and dependability. They don’t need batteries or complex programming, and they are frequently more affordable up front.

However, electronic thermostats are more accurate and programmable, enabling more accurate temperature control and energy savings. Electronic thermostats offer more flexibility and convenience for controlling the heating and cooling system in your house, thanks to features like programmable schedules and remote access through smartphone apps.

Energy efficiency is one important factor to take into account. While controlling temperature can help both kinds of thermostats save energy, electronic thermostats usually have more sophisticated features that, over time, can result in even bigger energy savings. Electronic thermostats can optimize heating and cooling cycles and save energy waste by programming specific temperature settings based on your daily schedule.

Furthermore, many electronic thermostats have features like adaptive learning, which allows the thermostat to gradually learn your preferred temperatures and make adjustments based on that knowledge. This customized approach can prevent needless heating or cooling when it’s not needed, which can lead to greater comfort and additional energy savings.

In conclusion, your preferences, financial situation, and desired level of convenience and control will ultimately determine which mechanical or electronic thermostat is best for you. Electronic thermostats are a compelling option for people who want to maximize their home’s heating and cooling system because they offer advanced features and greater energy efficiency than mechanical thermostats, which are more complicated and less reliable.

In the debate between mechanical and electronic thermostats, the choice ultimately hinges on your specific needs and preferences. Mechanical thermostats are simple and reliable, operating with a basic temperature-sensitive coil to regulate heating. They are cost-effective and straightforward to use, making them a popular choice for those seeking a no-frills option. On the other hand, electronic thermostats offer more advanced features and precise temperature control. They often come with programmable settings, allowing you to tailor your heating schedule to suit your lifestyle and save on energy costs. While electronic thermostats may be initially more expensive, their added functionality and potential for energy savings make them a compelling choice for those willing to invest in long-term efficiency and comfort. Ultimately, the best thermostat for you depends on your priorities, budget, and desired level of control over your home"s heating system.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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