Do thermostats still use mercury?

Thermostats with mercury will have the “Hg” sign for mercury on the packaging. Most thermostats sold today don’t contain mercury. Programmable electronic thermostats and many manual thermostats are now mercury-free.

January 1, 2006

Additionally, are mercury thermostats safe? Many thermostats use mercury switches, but as long as a thermostat is intact, it isn’t dangerous. Electronic and magnetic snap switch thermostats don’t contain any mercury. If one or more small glass bulbs are inside, they contain mercury.

In this manner, what replaced mercury in thermostats?

There are certainly still thermostats around with Mercury switches attached to bi-metal coils, but they have been replaced with electronic devices with an electronic sensor, a bit of digital logic, and either a solid state or mechanical relay.

How do I know if my mercury thermostat is bad?

Remove the thermostat cover and look at the mercury bulb while turning the dial; the bulb should rotate as the dial is turned. The drop of mercury should move and make contact with the wire contacts as the temperature selector is turned up.

How long do mercury thermostats last?

20 years

Are old mercury thermostats accurate?

These are sometimes thought of as old-fashioned thermostats since they are not electronic. Fact:Mercury bulb thermostats are among the most accurate for temperature control within the HVAC industry. Cheap electronic thermostats provide inferior temperature control.

What states are mercury thermostats illegal?

There are 12 states where it is illegal to dispose of a mercury thermostat any other way than by recycling: California, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Vermont.

What do I do with my old mercury thermostat?

Unlike mercury-based thermostats, you can deposit these thermostats at any location that accepts electronics for recycling (such as big box retailers like Staples and Best Buy). Just make sure you remove the batteries to recycle them separately. Thankfully, recycling your old thermostat is easy.

When was mercury banned?


How much mercury is in a thermostat?

According to the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), mercury thermostats contain an average of 1.4 mercury switches (i.e., components), with a minimum of 2.8 grams of elemental mercury per switch. Therefore, the total amount of mercury used in a thermostat is approximately four grams.

Do I really need a smart thermostat?

With a smart thermostat, you can make the most of your heating system without wasting money or energy. During the heating season, you may set your thermostat to a cooler temperature while you are away so you do not waste energy (and money).

Why is mercury dangerous?

This liquid form of mercury is especially dangerous because it vaporizes at room temperature. If mercury vapor is inhaled, it is easily absorbed by the body, where it first gets into the lungs and from there into the blood and the brain. The nerve poison can cause sleep disorders, agitation, and paralysis.

Can you replace a mercury thermostat with a digital?

Keeping track of what wire originally went where is very important when installing the new thermostat. Mercury thermostats are really “old school” and most have already been replaced with either newer mechanical models or digital ones.

What type of mercury is in thermostats?

If a thermostat uses a dial or lever, it likely contains 2 to 4 grams of mercury. Common mercury-containing brands are Honeywell and White-Rodgers. If you want to upgrade your old, mercury-containing thermostat, ask your contractor about your HVAC system’s needs to make sure you get the right device for your home.

Are mercury switches legal?

Since mercury is a poisonous heavy metal, devices containing mercury switches must be treated as hazardous waste for disposal. Because it is now RoHS restricted, most modern applications have eliminated it. Low-precision thermostats use a bimetal strip and a switch contact.

Do analog thermostats go bad?

Wondering if your thermostat can go bad? While a thermostat doesn’t have a set lifespan, on average, you can expect them to last at least 10 years. After a decade, thermostats may start malfunctioning due to aging wiring or dust accumulation.

Is a digital thermostat better?

Digital thermostats are a better option for most people. As for the cost, a digital thermostat is more expensive than a traditional analog unit, however, within the first year of running your HVAC system, the money you save on your energy bill will more than make up for the cost variance.