It seems ‘cloud-connected’ thermostats are all the rage these days. Google doesn’t own enough personal information – they want to dissect how we heat our homes, too. I went to Rona, Canadian Tire, Lowe’s, & Home Depot to find a manual thermostat suitable for the garage – that is, one that goes down to zero degrees. Finding one that goes that low is not as easy as it sounds. They’re all made for the insides of homes and only go down to 10°C at best. I absolutely don’t want to keep the garage at a toasty 15°C in the dead of winter – just keep it above zero.
I finally one at Home Depot. It’s made for electric baseboard heaters, overkill for this application, but it goes down to 0°C. Now I see that Canadian Tire has the same one, but I dismissed it at the time because I didn’t know if a baseboard heating thermostat would be compatible with a forced-air type.
Yes, you can use a baseboard heater thermostat to drive a forced-air furnace but not the other way around. The line voltage on a baseboard heater thermostat in North America is 240VAC/60Hz or sometimes 120VAC. A forced-air furnace thermostat line voltage is 24VDC, I think, and does not handle any significant load – just a basic on-off thing to trigger a relay switch in the furnace.
So now I have a garage that will not freeze and will be nice enough to work in during the bitter, cold months.