"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Line voltage thermostat.
These regular two wire line thermostats are often used with baseboard heaters. They are slow to respond to temperature changes.


Low voltage thermostat

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Low voltage thermostat.
This thermostat is more responsive to temperature change and provides more accurate control. They can be used for all electric unitary systems. The low voltage thermostat, see illustration, is also used for forced air heating systems (both gas and oil), heat pumps, hot water boilers and where closer temperature control is required.
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Space Heating
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Space heating. Zonal heating. Floor insert heater. Direct vent wall gas heater. Radiant floor heating.

Space heating is also known as Unitary Heating Systems and Zonal Heating Systems. Installing a new or adding onto an existing central forced air heating system may not always be practical or possible. There are several unitary systems available. Some of the more common systems and types are described below.
Electric baseboard heaters. Heat is distributed through a long element with many thin fins attached. Always make sure that the air can freely move over the heater, so keep furniture and drapes away from all units. Minimum clearance should be 3" (75 mm).
Wall units are designed to be recessed into the wall. They are commonly used in confined areas such as hallways and bathrooms. Some units come with a blower fan.
Floor insert heaters are often used in front of floor level windows and patio doors.
Direct vent wall gas heater. These self-contained heating units circulate heated air with or without a blower fan. They are compact and permanently attached to an exterior wall. A vent through the wall discharges the combustion by-products and draws in fresh combustion air. There are no heating ducts to distribute the heat to other areas.
Radiant floor or ceiling heating systems. There are many floor heating systems on the market today but some older homes still have resistance cables to warm the




Floor insert heater


Direct vent wall gas heater
ceiling which then radiates the heat within the room. The cables are embedded in the plaster ceiling.
WARNING. Be careful not to puncture any wires when installing screws or hooks for lamps and hanging plants. Use a wet mop to moisten a cool ceiling, then turn on the system. The location of the cables can be clearly seen as they will dry the ceiling beneath them first.
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