Controlling your heater

For optimal comfort we highly recommend using a wall-mounted electronic thermostat to regulate your electric heaters. Thermostats are more accurate when installed on an interior wall where sensors aren’t affected by the colder temperature of exterior walls. It will thus ensure more uniform room temperature and greater overall comfort.
 
Superior comfort isn’t the only reason to opt for electronic thermostats: they’ll also save you money on your heating bill. Hydro-Québec estimates that electronic thermostats deliver savings up to 10% on annual heating costs over their mechanical counterparts.
 
Mechanical thermostats work with two strips of different metals (or alloys) that expand at different rates in response to temperature variations. That means these thermostats do not actually “read” the temperature, and are accurate only to within 2° or 3°C of the setting. This variance gets larger as the thermostat gets older. This somewhat crude system is sometimes nicknamed “saw tooth” heating because the heat output, if graphed, would resemble a set of sharp peaks and valleys rather than a smooth line: the heater works uninterrupted to above the upper setting, then stops and the room cools to below the lower setting, then the cycle begins again.

An electronic thermostat works differently. It reads the room temperature 240 times per hour, enabling it to maintain a much more uniform temperature, within approximately 0.5°C of the set temperature.
 
The graph below makes the difference clear.


Source: Hydro-Québec
 
You can save even more—up to 4.5% according to Hydro-Québec studies—by using programmable thermostats and setting them to lower the temperature by 3°C at night and when you are at work.