A thermostat does two things: It senses the room temperature, and it regulates the heating system to maintain a selected temperature. But how it does these things can have a serious effect on both comfort and fuel use. Most inexpensive thermostats allow wide temperature swings, making the room alternately too cool or too warm. Better quality thermostats have adjustable "anticipators" that turn the heating system off just before the desired temperature is reached to avoid overshooting the mark. When properly calibrated, anticipators control temperature swings so they are barely noticeable without allowing the heat to frequently turn on and off (short-cycling), which wastes fuel. Another type of thermostat adjusts the temperature at predetermined times. Called a "clock" or "setback" thermostat, it reduces energy use and
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