Learn Why Mercury-Free Thermostats Benefit Your Home and Family
Many older thermostats use a mercury-containing switch to turn on the HVAC system, and to provide a time delay between the on and off states, reducing frequent power cycling that could damage the system. Mercury can be extremely toxic, and if you are planning on replacing the thermostats in your Fort Collins home, make sure you choose mercury-free thermostats and dispose of the old ones properly.
Dangers of Mercury
If a device containing liquid mercury is broken, mercury can be absorbed directly through the skin or it can be inhaled, if vapors are released. Mercury can also accumulate in the food chain, leading to exposure by eating food products such as fish and shellfish. Mercury exposure often includes symptoms such as impaired coordination, speech and vision, and it can lead to poor central nervous system development in children, organ damage in both adults and children, and, eventually, death, if exposure continues.
Benefits of Mercury-Free Thermostats
Mercury-free thermostats replace the mercury switch with non-toxic mechanical, electric, or electronic alternatives, eliminating the problems associated with mercury exposure and disposal. They are much safer for your family and the environment, and thanks to improved technology and materials, they are priced similarly to mercury-containing models. Mercury-free thermostats often offer more accurate temperature control, and the programmable models can also help you save on your monthly utility bills by adjusting the temperature in your home while you are away or asleep. Digital or programmable thermostats tend to last longer than mercury-based thermostats, which often fail sooner due to mechanical wear.
Disposal of Thermostats Containing Mercury
Many local communities offer a hazardous materials recycling program, which may accept old mercury-containing thermostats for free or for a small fee. Additionally, your HVAC contractor, local hardware store or building supply store may also collect used thermostats, usually without charge. When buying a new thermostat, make sure the packaging indicates that it is mercury free.
If you have questions about mercury-free thermostats, contact our HVAC experts at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning for more information. We serve Fort Collins and the surrounding areas.