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Most homes have thermostats, many of which contain mercury. Mercury-containing tilt switches have been used in thermostats for more than 40 years. They provide accurate, reliable temperature control, require little or no maintenance, and do not require a power source.
Like all mercury-containing products, thermostats that contain mercury have the potential to contaminate our environment.
Now the good news: Electronic mercury-free thermostats are available. They can be programmed to control temperature at preset times. This results in lower utility bills and less pollution from burning coal.
As an energy conservation measure, some utilities offer free programmable thermostats to replace old ones. Programmable thermostats can also be purchased.