Electric heating with low voltage thermostats and relays

The same low voltage thermostats that are used to control central heating and cooling systems can also be used with electric comfort heating when combined with a relay instead of a line voltage thermostat.

In the low volt setup, the switching of the power on and off (controlling of a line voltage resistive load) is done by an external electromechanical relay instead of the thermostat.

The Aube RC840T Series Electromechanical Relay is one of the options, it has a built-in 24 V transformer, operates silently, and on a call for heat, the relay is immediately activated with no delay. It is wired to the thermostat with common thermostat wire and the relay is wired to the heater with common 12 gauge building wire.

It can be very advantageous to use electric heat relays and low voltage thermostats instead of line voltage thermostats.  Low voltage thermostats offer a vastly greater selection and better availability.  There are even options to control the temperature of every room in your house from any computer or smartphone with thermostats such as Honeywell’s new Prestige thermostat.  Another benefit of low voltage thermostats is that a room that requires more than 5,000 watts is easier to control with one thermostat instead of 2 or more and the room will be more comfortable because the temperature will vary less.

Electrical contractors are familiar with how to install and mount relays and follow local building codes regarding the use of both low and line voltage in your system. Relays can be mounted in a varietry of areas such as inside baseboard heaters, on an accessable junction box or panel in the room or the basement below the rooms being heated.