Thermostats have been slow to catch on. Heating, like so much else, was invented by the Romans. Their version of underfloor radiant heating, called a “hypocaust”, was surprisingly sophisticated and warmed the chilliest of villas and better still, public baths. It can get chilly inside marble buildings if you’re running around naked and wet.
The modern thermostat was invented in 1885 by Albert Butz and is the first known example of process control methodology. This invention was the genesis for what is now Honeywell Corporation.
Butz’s patent and his business was acquired and, in 1906, was bought out by a young engineer by the name of Mark Honeywell, who later unveiled the first programmable thermostat. Featuring a built-in clock, it enabled users to turn down the heat at night and automatically adjust it to a pre-set temperature in the morning.
An electric clock was added in the 1930s and in 1953 Honeywell’s famous round thermostat was unveiled. One of the world’s most recognizable designs, it remains in production and can be find on the the walls of more households around the world than any other thermostat.
Electronic thermostats have been surprisingly slow to catch on, with John Barclay, national sales manager for Siemens, admitting their blue-to-red dials are still hugely in demand, despite the option of slim line and even wireless remote digital controls which control heating far more accurately and flexibly. Green Energy Solutions wants to highlight that lowering the heating by just one degree can save you 10% of energy.