A thermostat is a component of a control system which senses the temperature of a system so that the system’s temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint.
The thermostat does this by switching heating or cooling devices on or off, or regulating the flow of a heat transfer fluid as needed, to maintain the correct temperature. A thermostat may be a control unit for a heating or cooling system or a component part of a heater or air conditioner. Thermostats can be constructed in many ways and may use a variety of sensors to measure the temperature. The output of the sensor then controls the heating or cooling apparatus. A thermostat may switch on and off at temperatures either side of the setpoint the extent of the difference is known as hysteresis and prevents too frequent switching of the controlled equipment.