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What is a thermostatically controlled outlet?

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Quick Answer

A thermostatically controlled outlet supplies power to a device based on preset temperature ranges. For instance, a heater can plug into an outlet that activates at 35 degrees Fahrenheit and deactivates when the temperature reaches 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Simple thermostatically controlled outlets do not allow consumers to change temperature settings.

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Full Answer

A thermostatically controlled cooling outlet activates attic fans, ceiling fans, window fans and other cooling mechanisms. For example, a fan may turn on when the temperature reaches 78 degrees Fahrenheit and turn off at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of outlet plugs into a normal outlet and has two plugs on either side in a horizontal, rectangular formation.

Larger plugins contain computer-controlled thermostat settings. These models generally cost more than factory-preset versions. Thermostatically controlled outlets without factory presets contain just one plug, and the control panel takes up the rest of the space on the device.

Thermostatic outlets can be inexpensive replacements for computerized controls. Outdoor structures, such as greenhouses, cabins, sheds, workshops and well houses, contain these outlets as freeze warnings when they are hooked up to lights. Tank and pond deicers can be plugged into outdoor outlets when it gets too cold for fish. Thermostatically controlled outlets can help keep plants from freezing in greenhouses and keep camping cabins warm without wasting power. Hardware stores, farm feed retailers, outdoor stores and gardening retailers carry this type of equipment.

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