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Gadget Freak Case #218: Finally – A Decent Space Heater Thermostat

Andrew Morris designed an electronic thermostat that senses actual room temperature. He tested and tweaked the design to get the proper control range and hysteresis.

Andrew Morris was frustrated by the inadequate thermostats on most space heaters. The thermostat is typically built inside the heater and has little contact with the outside world. It switches on and off according to the temperature inside the heater, not the ambient air temperature. This makes it little more than a duty-cycle controller, similar to the nonthermostatic control on an electric stove or the temperature control on an electric blanket.

Morris decided to design an electronic thermostat that senses the actual room temperature. He tested and tweaked it to get the proper control range and hysteresis. The new thermostat has an internal adjustment to set the center temperature. It has a range of 20F, centered at 70F. In creating the new thermostat, he did not alter any of the safety functions in the heater.

Wall mounting is more convenient to use and gets a better sense of the room temperature.

Andrew Morris' gadget saves electricity by using the actual room temperature to control the heater.

Do you have a Gadget Freak project you would like the world to see? Send a brief description of your gadget and a photo to Senior Editor Rob Spiegel.

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The editors of Design News have handpicked your favorite Gadget Freak cases from over the years, bringing them together in a dynamic digital edition, complete with videos, which you can view here.

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